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Taking Care of 50 Vulnerable Sri Lankan Children

by The Sunshine Charity
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
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
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
Celebrating Sri Lanka
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
Preparing for the Big Day
Preparing for the Big Day

When we refer to early childhood education, its importance is often related to children growing up under normal circumstances. Very rarely do we relate its importance to children living in vulnerable communities. There are many reasons for this. Sometimes, we forget that these children are equally important; sometimes it is because they live marginalized, hardly heard or seen so we forget to recognize them. Pockets of programmes take care of their needs but an overall recognition of equal access to child care and education is overlooked. State policies may well be in place but implementing them in total is ignored at many levels.

Providing early childhood education for rural, vulnerable children is perhaps the only way to get out of the poverty cycle. It was a big day therefore for the Sunshine Children when some of them celebrated their graduation. Dressed up in the traditional graduation gown, they were so excited to be presented with the much-awaited graduation certificate. Their next destination – the local primary school. We are told that the children who transfer from the sunshine day care have many advantages. They are confident, cry out for help without being shy, interact openly making friends easily and have the basic skills to help them settle down.

Parents of the children are aware what this means to the family and in particular, the long-term benefits and impact it has on their children. For the children, it was no doubt the biggest day in their early childhood experience and one they will not forget!

Anxiously waiting
Anxiously waiting
Receiving my Certificate
Receiving my Certificate
I will always remember this day!
I will always remember this day!
Santa is here!
Santa is here!

Christmas is fast approaching and children around the world can’t wait to open their Christmas gift usually left under the Christmas tree or brought to their bedside by Santa. There are, however, many children particularly from vulnerable communities for whom Christmas and Santa is only a dream. That dream was made real for fifty-two Sunshine Kids thanks to the generosity of Santa Claus who travelled all the way to visit them in the rural village of Sambalthivu, Trincomalee, Eastern Province of Sri Lanka. For many, it was the first time they met Santa. The kids performed and sang and later invited Santa to share the food and drink that was served. After a wonderfully spent afternoon, Santa was on his way home. For the Sunshine Kids it will be a Christmas they will never forget!

We also would like to thank YOU, our donors who so generously gave to support our programmes and projects. The funding received has helped the Sunshine Day Care Centre to provide so much for the kids. Thirteen years and we are still going strong thanks to YOU!

                          From the Trustees of The Sunshine Charity

                    We wish all our donors, friends, well-wishers and volunteers

                                               Happy Holidays,

                            A Merry Christmas and A Happy New Year!

Awaiting Santa
Awaiting Santa's arrival
Santa
Santa's Suprises
What a fun day
What a fun day
A Christmas Concert
A Christmas Concert
Oh happy day
Oh happy day
I am so happy today
I am so happy today
 

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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
$20,294 raised of $50,000 goal
 
300 donations
$29,706 to go
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