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
Enjoying our Ice-cream
Enjoying our Ice-cream

 With fear of lockdowns and a new wave approaching, the festive celebrations came early for the Sunshine Kids. We wanted to be sure they will not miss the fun activities in-spite of Santa not being able to visit.

Christmas is always a magical experience for children. Coming together at the end of a school year at the Sunshine Preschool means receiving their medals and certificates, celebrating the traditions of the season, wishing each other happy holidays, and of course receiving their Christmas goodie-bags. Though a Christmas concert was not part of the programme this year, the parents enjoyed watching their happy children play with their friends and enjoying their time together.

We say a big thank you to all our donors and well-wishers for the continuous support extended to The Sunshine Charity. We would not have been able to overcome the many challenges faced these last couple of years if not for your generosity.

From The Sunshine Charity, we wish you a joyous Christmas and a happy New Year!

with my medal of achievement
with my medal of achievement
All dressed up!
All dressed up!
I am proud too
I am proud too
Me with my goodie bag
Me with my goodie bag
we got loads of gifts to take home
we got loads of gifts to take home
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Selecting Educational Material
Selecting Educational Material

In her small house in the village of Sambalthivu, Trincomalee, head teacher of the Sunshine Day Care and Preschool, assisted by volunteer mothers tenderly attended to the next delivery of grocery items and educational packs for the Sunshine Children. With an island-wide lockdown still in place, the challenge was to make sure nutrition and education continues uninterrupted. Over the years, The Sunshine Charity has not only focussed on the children, our primary beneficiaries but also made sure that our staff along with the mothers are empowered to understand the greatest needs of children. Encouraging them to be actively and meaningfully involved, the collaborative effort saw how coming together achieved stronger and successful results.

“Our district is under lockdown. Living off the main road in remote areas, there is no vendor who is willing to deliver our needs. We are very grateful for these groceries delivered to our doorstep by the Sunshine staff” is how families repeatedly expressed their thanks.

On behalf of the children and their families we say thank you to all our donors to be able to continue our work during these demanding times.

Drawing is my Favourite
Drawing is my Favourite
My favourite too!
My favourite too!
and Me too!
and Me too!
Nutirtion for the Families
Nutirtion for the Families
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Its Playtime
Its Playtime

A typical day for children attending the Sunshine Day care and Preschool would mean enjoying their time at the centre from the moment they are picked up from their homes to the time they are dropped off. During the time spent, the children practice writing skills, work with art material to create something beautiful which they often take back home to proudly show-off to their parents, playtime and what they look forward to most is a plate of noodles stir-fried with heaps vegetables and egg.

Speaking to twenty-seven- year-old Marian, “It is not every, day care and preschool that offers a basket of opportunities like here. While some do not have the adequate funding to provide preschool material others do not have committed teachers.My daughter Francis’s first school experience was when she joined the Sunshine Preschool in January 2020. I heard about the place from Joslin, a former assistant teacher who said the centre will be the ideal place for Francis especially since she has a disability with her hand. At the school she is taken good care and is not treated differently. This makes all the difference. It is Francis’s final year at the preschool after which she will transfer to the local primary school. If Francis’s did not have this opportunity, she would have stayed home”.

Marian is from Negombo on the west coast of the island and transferred to live in Trincomalee on the east coast when she married Fernando from the village of Attamotai. Fernando works as a carpenter earning Rs. 1,500 (US$ 7.5) per day. Along with their five-year old daughter they live in a rented house paying a monthly rental of Rs. 1,000 (US$ 5).  With such a meagre income, vulnerable households like the Fernando’s would not be able to afford enrolling their children at a paying preschool. With no missed opportunities, Francis will certainly have a head-start when she transfers to the local primary school.

With each visit to Trincomalee, we meet with about three to four Sunshine families at their homes or at the school. Listening to their voices matter and acting upon it matters more! Their trust in the organization inspires us to continue our work with particular focus on education and nutrition.

Kala is a single mother and is employed as a cook at the Sunshine Preschool. Supported by volunteer mothers, she attends to the meals provided for the fifty children. “I lost my husband sometime time back. Being a widow, I have to earn for my family of three children. My five-year old daughter Dinya is a student here. This is very advantageous as I can bring her to school, attend to the cooking and take her home when I leave the place. What I earn here is my only source of income. It is a pity that I did not know about the school when my two boys were growing up, so they stayed home without any preschool education. Dinya is fortunate to have this opportunity”.

Education is one of the most effective ways to empower communities but for vulnerable families living in remote areas, access to it has been a huge challenge. Unpresidential barriers from transportation to affording educational and creative learning material have denied their children with early childhood learning which is seen as the foundation for lifelong learning. Children like Francis and Dinya are two children among fifty children who have benefitted from the amazing opportunities offered at the Sunshine day care and preschool.

Mary Remoshan with daughter Francesca
Mary Remoshan with daughter Francesca
Have a sip of Milk
Have a sip of Milk
Udayakala with daughter Divya
Udayakala with daughter Divya
Standing together
Standing together
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Sunshine Kids with Staff, Volunteers & Trustees
Sunshine Kids with Staff, Volunteers & Trustees

Since establishing a day care and pre-school for vulnerable children fifteen-years ago, we have continuously encouraged families served to play a participatory role in the programmes implemented for their children; We have held numerous workshops for mothers on early childhood education and strengthened their understanding on the nutritional needs of their children. Encouraging both mothers and staff to be stakeholders of the programmes implemented, listening to their feed-back and communicating openly all messages have contributed to the transparency and accountability process of the organizational work. Building trust has paved the way for the community to believe that we have their best interest at heart when conducting the programmes. It is all this and more which proved valuable during the pandemic. Finding alternate and creative methods, both staff and mothers played a vital role to make sure programmes continued in-spite of the difficulties faced.  For the trustees, witnessing the proactive nature was rewarding and fulfilling.

Though the day care and preschool was and is the primary project of The Sunshine Charity, broadening its scope of work to include mothers as a secondary target group has allowed for a more holistic approach. We celebrate today the trust placed by the community in our organization, our work and our competency to deliver.

Thank You Community for your participation!

Hearing to a Mother's Voice
Hearing to a Mother's Voice
Listening to the Community's Feedback
Listening to the Community's Feedback
Mother's take a look at their kids Creative Work
Mother's take a look at their kids Creative Work
Fun with a Volunteer Mother
Fun with a Volunteer Mother
Nutritional Needs Workshop for Mothers
Nutritional Needs Workshop for Mothers
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Congratulations!
Congratulations!

Something to talk about – something to Celebrate!  

The Sunshine Day Care and Preschool was placed third in the October 2020 Group Performance Category of Little Minds Strong Values – a unique and creative project initiated by Rotary Sri Lanka to encourage children to be aware of the importance of being civic-minded, respecting diversity and being mindful of having sound values and ethics.

Developing moral and ethical values among children is an important process in Early Childhood Development. What better way to do so than through animated songs that children can emulate! The twenty-nine animated children’s songs in all three languages spoken in Sri Lanka helped the children across the country to understand the meaning of what they were singing.

The children were so happy when they got the news. Their participation in the project will certainly help build the child in them with compassion, respect, kindness, and humility.

Singing together for Unity
Singing together for Unity
I can sing!
I can sing!
And Me too
And Me too
Lets Sing Together
Lets Sing Together
When is the next Competition?
When is the next Competition?
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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
$31,230 raised of $50,000 goal
 
494 donations
$18,770 to go
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