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Taking Care of 50 Vulnerable Sri Lankan Children

by The Sunshine Charity
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Taking Care of 50 Vulnerable Sri Lankan Children
Taking Care of 50 Vulnerable Sri Lankan Children
Taking Care of 50 Vulnerable Sri Lankan Children
Taking Care of 50 Vulnerable Sri Lankan Children
Taking Care of 50 Vulnerable Sri Lankan Children
Taking Care of 50 Vulnerable Sri Lankan Children
Taking Care of 50 Vulnerable Sri Lankan Children
Taking Care of 50 Vulnerable Sri Lankan Children
Taking Care of 50 Vulnerable Sri Lankan Children
Taking Care of 50 Vulnerable Sri Lankan Children
Taking Care of 50 Vulnerable Sri Lankan Children
Taking Care of 50 Vulnerable Sri Lankan Children
Taking Care of 50 Vulnerable Sri Lankan Children
Taking Care of 50 Vulnerable Sri Lankan Children
Taking Care of 50 Vulnerable Sri Lankan Children
What do you say to my Picture?
What do you say to my Picture?

The two-day programme in Creative Art, Drawing, Craft and Clay Sculpting organized for the fifty Sunshine Kids was received with much excitement and enthusiasm ever-since it was announced. The Sunshine Kids have previously participated in similar creative programmes but this one was special as it was designed to include multiple forms of art therapy.  The drawing and art programme using non-toxic paints and crayons were held in one corner while the clay sculpting in another. Then there was pom-pom making which the kids loved and hand art on the wall which they created into a collage of colour resembling an ocean.    

The kids could interchange their workstation moving around freely in the large spaces at their own pace and sharing their ideas with one another. Inviting a couple of parents to volunteer their time along with friends of The Sunshine Charity contributed to the enjoyment that was visible everywhere!

The programme was facilitated by a well-known artist, art teacher with extensive experience in conducting similar programmes for kids. She created a friendly and relaxed atmosphere enabling them to have fun while participating in the numerous therapeutic activities.

Sri Lankan children have gone through numerous traumatic experiences from conflicts and civil wars to more recently the Easter Sunday bombings. Understanding the traumatic nature experienced by many children whether the live in the north or south, east or west of the island, it was a joy to witness the impact the diverse range of creative activities had on the children. 

My pretty clay balls
My pretty clay balls
What fun it is to draw
What fun it is to draw
Lovely to have mum volunteer her time
Lovely to have mum volunteer her time
I love my crayons!
I love my crayons!
Painting on a wall is so nice
Painting on a wall is so nice
Try it
Try it
So proud of our school wall
So proud of our school wall
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We Graduated!
We Graduated!

Celebrating a graduation is important for every child whether at nursery, primary or university level. It was a special day therefore for ten children who graduated from the Sunshine Day Care and Preschool. The ceremony made them feel very important and their parents very proud. The event also marked the end of their term helping them to understand their move to the next level. During their time at the Sunshine Centre, we witness how children change, grow and develop in their early years, so the ceremonies were a great way of celebrating graduation.

Access to early childhood education is provided at many local centres but as we have learnt over the years from the community, kids graduating from the Sunshine Centre have a head-start having benefitted from a variety of educational and creative programmes and be guided by staff members who understand their needs. Here, they are encouraged to express themselves, interact and meet other children, enjoy playtime on a large compound with playground equipment and enjoy one nutritious meal and a glass of milk among many other things. Enriched with advanced learning tools the transition will be a positive one. Armed with experiences and opportunities presented during their stay at the centre, their struggle at their new school will now be less. It is moments like this that we realize how important it is for the community to have a facility like The Sunshine Centre. We wish them best of luck!

The graduation ceremony was followed by a concert for the parents, visitors and officials from the community. The fun-filled day ended with a year-end party for the children.

Season’s Greetings and Happy Holidays to all our donors and well-wishers who have continued to support the work we do for the children. To everyone we say a big thank you!

A Song from Our Heart
A Song from Our Heart
Come Dance With Us
Come Dance With Us
Peek a Boo
Peek a Boo
Tap Your Feet
Tap Your Feet
Happy Holidays to you too!
Happy Holidays to you too!
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Market to Market
Market to Market

Having participated in numerous teacher training programmes and workshops, the staff at Sunshine Day Care and Preschool have learnt to initiate programmes for the kids without depending on the trustees to do so. Adopting a bottom-up approach the staff interactions with the kids on what they would enjoy most and talking to the mothers on how best their children can benefit has allowed them to present creative and innovative programmes.

A giant leap forward for all stakeholders!

A Children’s Market held recently is one of one such activity. Supported by their mothers, the kids proudly displayed seasonal fruits and vegetables, coconuts and village greens, all grown in their back garden. Visitors from the community, Local Government office and Pre-school Education Bureau participated with great enthusiasm, buying from the kids the organically grown produce. The kids learnt the production line and a bit of the economics in vegetable cultivation, which is also a part of the preschool syllabus.

The introduction of playfulness is an important factor in child development and we, at The Sunshine Charity have consistently strived to make creativity an integral part of our programmes. We have seen the impact of these programmes, which over the years have helped the kids to be playful and enjoy their day imaginatively.

Enjoying Sales
Enjoying Sales
Enthusiastic Visitors
Enthusiastic Visitors
Proud Parents & Kids with their home-grown produce
Proud Parents & Kids with their home-grown produce
Understanding Economics
Understanding Economics
Playfulness is an Important Factor
Playfulness is an Important Factor
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Art & Craft Therapy
Art & Craft Therapy

Although The Sunshine Charity’s primary objective is to take care of vulnerable children affected by poverty and conflict, the organization decided to go beyond its mandate for the first time since it was established almost fifteen years ago. Creating a programme to reach out to the children affected by the Easter Sunday attack, The Sunshine Charity will work with local partners to provide trauma services to the hundreds of children affected by the tragedy. According to psychiatrist and psychologist engaged in the field, therapeutic opportunities like drawing and painting, dancing and music which will allow them to verbalize their feelings and heal the emotional scars is an important tool. Following-up on the advice given, the trustees decided it was time to go beyond our usual call and help the children and youth struggling to cope from the recent horrific experience. It will take months no doubt for them to overcome these emotions but contributing towards the healing process was our responsibility too.

The Sunshine Charity will work with well-known and experienced resource persons to provide a way for the children to reconnect to their normal lives by providing them with dance movement therapy, art & craft therapy and music therapy. Opportunities to dance, sing, play and draw in child friendly spaces will be a starting point to help them strengthen their role in the community and transcend cultural boundaries.

The back-to-back sessions will also include a dialogue segment with children which will emphasize positive experiences, establish trust and allow feelings to be expressed. It will be facilitated to allow them to celebrate the wonderful multi-cultural identity of Sri Lanka.

Run, Run, Run
Run, Run, Run
Building Sand Castles
Building Sand Castles
Lets Sing Together
Lets Sing Together
Playtime
Playtime
We are One
We are One
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Celebrating Sri Lanka's New Year
Celebrating Sri Lanka's New Year

As Sri Lanka gets ready to celebrate the island’s New Year, the Sunshine Charity is rejoicing additionally to a second jubilation - having its primary project, the Sunshine Day Care Centre being granted pre-school status by the Eastern Province Pre-school Education Bureau. The wonderful news came soon after the charity was awarded three badges by GlobalGiving – “top-ranked, proven effective and vetted” for the year 2018. What an honour for the organization!

Looking back, when we began the journey fifteen years ago, operating in a make-shift shed under a mango tree to take care of children affected by the tsunami followed by children affected by the protracted civil war and now taking a more broader approach to include vulnerable children affected by challenging situations, we are proud to acknowledge  that a small organizations like The Sunshine Charity has contributed immensely to break the cycle of poverty for disadvantaged communities, particular children living in the eastern province of Sri Lanka.

Helping vulnerable communities to make the right choices like spending more on food, health and education and less on unnecessary goods has created for them a new set of values and beliefs. Making families understand that sending children to work or, allowing them to idle at home will in no way help them to come out of the poverty trap has contributed equally to the process. In discussing these issues, it is important to find solutions. In staying focus to achieve the impact of the organizations goals and objectives, we have continued to provided a safe place for our children to play and interact with other children, provided them with one nutritious meal, a glass of milk, educational material and more recently conducted workshops for the pregnant mothers living in the community as well as parents in general on understanding the needs of children. This allowed for the paradigm shift.

"top-ranked, proven effective and vetted" by GG
"top-ranked, proven effective and vetted" by GG
taking care of vulnerable children
taking care of vulnerable children
Making the right choices
Making the right choices
The need to come out of the poverty trap
The need to come out of the poverty trap
Providing a safe place for children
Providing a safe place for children
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Organization Information

The Sunshine Charity

Location: Colombo 6 - Sri Lanka
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Project Leader:
Sharadha de Saram
Colombo 6, Western Province Sri Lanka
$21,398 raised of $50,000 goal
 
327 donations
$28,602 to go
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