To Celebrate International Women’s Day today, 8th March 2021, The Early Childhood Development Project is pleased to 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.

Working in rural underprivileged areas, facing difficulties in their personal and professional lives, these women have overcome many obstacles to not only achieve their own goals, but to help other women in the ECD Sector develop careers while helping to educate children in their early years. 

The ECD Project is honored to have supported these women in their careers and will continue to support them and many more women in the ECD sector through the ECD Project activities in the coming year.

                                                        

 

Mrs. Iresha Sanjeevani Suranjika - Early Childhood Development Officer - Uhana Division - Ampara

“I joined the Early Childhood Development sector while working as a Productivity Officer in my Divisional Secretariat.  As a government officer I experienced work satisfaction once I began working in the ECD Sector. Also as a woman and a mother I was eager to learn how best to raise children and how to work with them in their early years. In my capacity as an ECD Officer I work with women and children in 54 Grama Niladari Divisions which holds 70 preschools. In a rural underprivileged area such as Ampara, where many services, including the ECD services, are very limited or not developed at all, we encounter all kinds of issues faced by women within these Divisions and I find working with them and fulfilling these services successfully on their behalf, especially as a woman, a great privilege.

The Early Childhood Development Project has worked with Uhana Division since 2016. There were many under developed preschools here and the ECD project supported them in improving all ECD services, thus providing the children in my division a happy early childhood.

Furthermore, as I express my heartfelt gratitude to the continued support of the ECD project, I must say the ECD project has been a huge strength to me personally in helping me to carry out my duties in this sector and as a woman it has given me a lifetime worth of experiences in the service the ECD project delivered to our Division and supported me throughout these years. ”

                                                     

 Mrs. Madhushi Lakmali – District Coordinator – Kalutara

“These days most people put great effort into their careers but are constantly working under stress. However I must say as a woman I am happy to have selected this filed to work in. The early childhood development sector covers the time period from a mother’s pregnancy to the early years of her child. It helps to educates society on nutrition for the mother, nutrition for children, child protection, family development, and so much more that is essential for the betterment of family life and society.

The ECD support from the National Secretariat for Early Childhood Development and the Early Childhood Development Project provides us with not only the theoretical knowledge required for us to raise children well in their early years, but also gives us very practical information on our children’s nutrition, education, development and protection. Personally this has helped me in my own life.

Unlike other fields, this sector provides us with information to develop our own life, the lives of our own children and improve family life. In Sri Lanka, as a woman, I feel this is a very valuable area to work in and I find myself happy and fulfilled working in the ECD sector.”

 

Mrs. Damayanthi Perera – Preschool teacher – Singithi Kakula Preschool – Horana – Kalutara District

“In 2009 I opened my own preschool with just 9 children. As the years went by the number of children increased and I successfully continued to run my preschool.

Children who attend our preschools at the start are those who are not able even hold a pencil properly. But, after 2 years of education, when they leave our preschools, they have gained the ability to draw, play and take care of themselves properly. This is my most fulfilling achievement, to see children developing in their early years.

The Early Childhood Development project came to the aid of my preschool when we required more space to accommodate the increased amount of children that had joined the preschool. Through the parent committee I received the funds from the ECD Project to develop the school. We also received play materials and educational materials for the education of children. Furthermore, our underprivileged children were selected for the fee waiver scholarships program so that they can access ECD services and it has greatly improved the ECD services in our village. This further increased the number of children in my preschool and I am now able to say that I am the head teacher of a sizeable preschool in our village.

The ECD project also conducted in service short term teacher training program which I took part in. This was a great service for us. Through this program we received training to better understand how to raise children in their early years, new skills and methods to work with young children. After completing this training I was happy to come back to my preschool and apply my learning. These new methods taught us that there are greater educational distances that children can reach to when well trained teachers join the education field.”