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Friday, 04 June 2021 15:37

Meeting Community Needs

In order to engage communities with the reconciliation process in the country, NPC carried out assessments to determine the needs of the communities that the Social Cohesion and
Reconciliation (SCORE) activity has already worked with. Coexistence Society (CES) members, District Inter Religious Committee (DIRC) members and Local Inter Religious Committee (LIRC) members are assisting SCORE at the grassroots level.

The needs-based assessments were conducted through virtual consultative discussions in Mullaitivu, Monaragala, Ampara, Jaffna and Kandy. The most important needs of the area were identified during the discussions.

People who live in remote areas are not familiar with virtual discussions but team obtained the participation of the CES, LIRC and DIRC members using various strategies. Mrs. R. Sumitra, an
active CES member in Mullaitivu, said, ''As CES members we are trying our best to utilise our resources and manpower to enhance the living conditions of marginalised communities. Although we are not familiar with new digital platforms, through this discussion we can do some good for our communities.”

The participants shared the details of the needs in Mullaitivu. They suggested providing furniture for the village common hall, furniture and books for the public library and drinking water facilities. Mrs. Sivagnanam Sharmiladarshini, a member of the Mullaitivu partner organization, stated that during previous activities they had encouraged community members to find common needs that should be met in their area. “As a result, now it is easy to list down and discuss these needs since we already know what they are,” she said.

Participants in the Kandy discussion suggested providing non-medical equipment to the hospitals because of the Covid-19 pandemic. They discussed the possible solutions while focusing on the factors that had to be considered when addressing the issues.

In Ampara, participants explained that students were unable to pursue their studies because they did not have online facilities. They discussed how to increase the opportunities for education. They also suggested providing information on living with Covid-19, disinfecting risky areas, vocational training, self-employment opportunities, supporting disabled people and assisting hospitals in the area.

Mr. Suleiman Lebbe, President of the Irakkamam CES, expressed his gratitude for organizing meetings to assist people, especially when they were not familiar with the technology.

Mrs. Inoka, a CES member from Ampara, said, “There are lots of needs to be identified. There are young women who need livelihood support to earn money. This discussion will help the people who need support.”

Based on the discussions, the project team will conduct initiatives to meet the needs of communities.