The Foundation of Goodness’ endeavour has been to empower the rural underprivileged people of Seenigama and its region to uplift their lives and living standards through teaching skills and skills & enterprise development.
Supporting the Foundation of Goodness in this endeavour is the International Youth Foundation & Nokia (IYF/Nokia), which has been a keen sponsor of such programmes that are run by the Foundation of Goodness, over the past one and a half years. So far
541 students have graduated from these courses while 430 more are presently undergoing training in the various programmes.
General Cookery & Dessert Making class
in progress, sponsored by IYF/Nokia
There are thirteen programmes that IYF/Nokia supports. Seven of these target empowering women and are run at the MCC Centre of Excellence and the Udumulla Village Heartbeat Project where 1)beauty culture 2)lace making 3)patchwork sewing 4)general cookery & dessert making 5)bakery 6)sewing 7)industrial sewing machine training, are all taught free of charge.
Photography and Mushroom Cultivation workshops in progress, Both sponsored by IYF/Nokia
Also targeting business skills and skills enhancement IYF/Nokia also sponsors workshops on 1)Start Your Business 2)Generate Your Business 3)Improve Your Business 4)Mushroom cultivation 5)Photography – once again all are run free of cost.
Start Your Business workshop in progress,
sponsored by IYF/Nokia
The most recent project undertaken by IYF/Nokia in collaboration with the Foundation of Goodness has been the Seenigama Diving Centre and Training School, which was opened in August 2008 by US Ambassador HE Robert Blake.
( US AMBASSADOR OPENS TWO NEW SPORTING FACILITIES IN SEENIGAMA )
First batch attends a lecture at the newly opened
Seenigama Diving Centre & Training School
sponsored by IYF/Nokia
The Diving School teaches and enhances skills on Commercial Diving for professionals and teaches Sports Diving.
Visiting Seenigama last week to inspect the latest IYF/Nokia project was its representative Mr. Jean-Pierre Isbendjian, who also took the opportunity to take a look at the progress made by the other 12 programmes undertaken for sponsorship.
Mr. J. Isbendjian spends time at the
Seenigama Diving School & Training Centre
During his one-day visit to Seenigama Mr. Isbendjian was accompanied by FoG’s IYF/Nokia project manager Asiri Suranga. He sat with students as they attended a diving lecture and afterwards interacted with the batch and the course instructor Alan Sahabandu. He also observed a diving demonstration in the sea.
Just before noon Mr. Isbendjian visited the Udumulla Village Heartbeat Project’s Women’s Enterprise centre to see how the IYF/Nokia sponsored women’s empowerment programmes were fairing and observed a General Cookery workshop that was in progress led by Ms. Volga Subashini. Here too he interacted with the 35 participants and got a feel of how this particular course was fairing.
The IYF/Nokia representative observes
Business Enterprise Division run business
skills course and a bakery workshop
The next stop on Mr. Isbendjian’s busy schedule was the MCC Centre of Excellence run Women’s Enterprise Division where more women’s empowerment programmes are being run. Here too he interacted with participants of a Bakery workshop that was underway on ‘fish pastries’ and ‘birthday cakes’ and also with the instructor Mr. Venura Sajith.
Commenting on the IYF/Nokia run programmes the founder/trustee of the Foundation of Goodness Kushil Gunasekera said after his meeting with Mr. Isbendjian that it has been an overall success. “We keep researching to add value which will also impact life enhancing skills and techniques for people to start their own enterprise, and also so that they can give back to the community what they got free are key elements of the programme. Thanks to IYF/Nokia in funding this unique project we have rural women venturing into areas completely unknown to them before, and are improving their quality if life for their future betterment and that of their families’, especially by empowering women who are the catalyst of the family.”
The FoG team that visited Thailand for
IYF/Nokia training on the
Tsunami Exchange Fund Programme
In July, a 4-member team of the Foundation of Goodness visited Thailand on the Tsunami Exchange Fund Programme for training, courtesy IYF/Nokia. The team comprised project manager Asiri Suranga, deputy coordinating secretary P. Sampath, coordinator women’s enterprise Rasika Chrishanthi and deputy coordinator women’s enterprise Rangi Lakshika.
The Fog team learns Child Empowerment
and Hotel School Instruction in Thailand
The two main components learned on the programme were ‘child empowerment’ and ‘how to set up a hotel school course’. For the latter, the FoG team was taken on a guided tour of the International Hotel School in Bangkok, where they witnessed first hand the running of such an elaborate operation.
With a high demand in Sri Lanka for speciality chefs and cooks, starting a hotel school to help the rural disadvantaged who have a flair for cookery to develop their skills, is high on the Foundation of Goodness’ agenda of future plans.
“Opportunity knocks at the strangest times.
It’s not the time that matters
but how you answer the door.”
- Steve Gray