In honor of International Women’s Day that falls on 8th March 2021, The Early Childhood Development Project will highlight some of the female stakeholders who have worked with the ECD Project and those who have benefited through the ECD project activities by sharing their personal statements.

The aim of these statements is to highlights the challenge these women have experienced as working mothers and as women officers/preschool teachers in the ECD sector and how the ECD Project have supported them in overcoming their challenges to achieve their career and life goals.

 

Here we have Mrs. Nayomi Madushika, Mrs. Abthul Majeed Ayesha and Mrs. Sandaruwani Samarakoon, three Early Childhood Development Officers who share their experiences working in the ECD sector. They are three of the 439 Master Trainers the ECD Project has trained through its Training of Trainers Programme (Master Trainers) on Early Childhood Development that were conducted island wide.

 

 

Mrs. Nayomi Madushika – Early Childhood Development Officer – Passara – Badula 

“As a working woman, like other working women, I too face many obstacles in my private and public life. Taking care of children, handling household work, supporting the husband and family, while maintaining a successful fulfilling career is a huge challenge for all women.

When I commenced work in this sector I was not fully qualified in Early Childhood Development services and it was a further obstacle for me working in this field. But through the Training of Trainers (Master Trainers on ECD) program conducted by the Early Childhood Development Project, I was able to improve my knowledge on ECD Services and overcome my own challenges to provide a value added service to the greater society.

Coming in to this sector I had a dream of developing preschools in my area, beautifying them, helping to train teachers and educating happy children. The reality however is another story. There are many difficulties to overcome in develop this sector and these obstacles can get you down. However, the support from the Early Childhood Development Project came at an ideal time and helped me fulfil my duties and gain self-respect.

The majority of the working crowd in preschools are women. I feel that as a woman I am able to better understand their personal and professional issues and am proud to say that I have been able to help and support them to the best of my ability.”

  

  

 

Mrs. Abthul Majeed Ayesha – Sainthamaradu Division Early Childhood Development Officer - Ampara

“I joined the Early Childhood Development sector to better myself as a person and a government officer. Working in the ECD sector provides me with an opportunity to serve the greater society and fulfil my desire to be of value to the people. I joined the ECD sector as a degree holder, but over the years I have gained more knowledge and skills through the training programs that I received working in the ECD sector and as a woman this has helped me improve myself further and be effective in my work. The ECD sector has also provided me further training and opportunities to be a Resource Person who can educate women, mothers and society on the early years of child development.

Thanks to the continued support of the Early Childhood Development Project by World Bank, the preschools in my Division are now well established preschools with all facilities and well trained teachers. Furthermore, the ECD project has supported my Division with Fee Waiver facility that has helped more children in my Division to have access to ECD services.

As a woman, I have great self-respect and regard from the society for having worked within this field. The ECD Project has helped me, as a woman, to achieve these goals and I thank them for this opportunity."

 

  

Mrs. Sandaruwani Samarakoon, Early Childhood Development Officer, Balangoda, Rathnapura District (Sinhala)

“ ‘Rataki Dayaki Lowaki Aya’ is the theme of this year’s International Women’s Day. As a woman I am happy to take part in this celebration of women’s contribution to the society, nation and the world.

Today it is impossible to imagine the finance of a family without the contribution a woman brings. A woman also plays a huge role in contribution to the society through social services. As an Early Childhood Development Officer attached to the National Secretariat for Early Childhood Development under the Ministry of Women and Child ….. I too contribute to this social endeavor by supporting the education of children in the country and supporting the preschool teachers who work in the ECD centers. As a woman and a mother I have had the opportunity to support the education of children and resolve their issues by working closely with them. Thanks to this post I have also been able to work closely with preschool teachers in ECD centers and help them resolve issues they face in their day to day life. I am happy to be able to be of service to my country in this manner.

I must thank the Early Childhood Development Project for the support it has given me as a woman to develop my career. The ECD Project develops ECD centers, improves the education of preschool children by providing education play materials and reading materials to centers around the country. The ECD Project works with ECD Officers around the country to carry out their activities and I too am glad to be part of this endeavor.

Furthermore, the preschool teachers around the country are mostly women and the ECD project trains these preschool teachers on how best to work with young children and work with parents on parental awareness programs that cover early childhood development. As a woman I have the opportunity to gain work experience of this caliber thanks to the activities carried out by the ECD Project.

Therefore I feel, while supporting to strengthen my family finances, this career has helped me to give a value added services to the greater society and for this I am ever grateful.”

 

 

COVID-19 Emergency Relief Intervention through the Early Childhood Development Project distributed child friendly wash basins and Non Contactable Infrared Thermometers to ECD Centers in Colombo to help restart preschools.

 The distribution for Sri Jayawardanapura Kotte Divisional Secretariat was carried out on 11th February, 2021 and for Kaduwella Divisional Secretariat on the 21st of February, 2021.

 

The construction work on new ECD centers, with day care facilities, funded by the Early Childhood Development Project has been steadily progressing through the pandemic in 2020 and will be completed in 2021.

These centers will provide much needed ECD services and day care to children in the area, part of the ongoing initiative of the ECD Project to enhance equitable access to quality ECD services to all.

Listed below is the progress at the start of 2021.

                            District Hospital Premises in Monaragala District:

                                 

On site visit in 20th August 2020

 

                                        

                                                                                                      January 2021 civil works were completed.

Hulannuge, Lahugala Division, Ampara District

                    

Ground breaking ceremony on 22nd July, 2020

    

    

 

 Progress as of January 2021 in Lahugala, Ampara District

Elahera Divisional Secretariat premises, Polonnaruwa – current status

KiliKarachchi, Kilinochchi District – current status 

                                 

                                 Construction work in progress

                   

                      Outer circular road, Vavuniya, Vavuniya District – current status

Manmunaipattu Division, Batticaloa – current status

              

                                                         Construction work in progress

                            

In addition to the above, the construction work on the New ECD centers, with day care facilities, in the following districts are ongoing and will be completed in 2021:

Buddhagaya road, Mahiyangannaya, Badulla District

Puttalam District, Secretariat Premises

Rattota Divisional Secretariat Premises, Matale District

Neervely South, Pootharmadathukkaladdi, Kopya, Jaffna District

Hanguranketha, Nuwara Eliya District