Gender Equality & Youth and Children
Although Sewalanka has a 'community development' approach to poverty reduction, we recognize that communities are not homogenous. Men, women and children face different issues and sometimes require different interventions. Our programs are designed to improve the conditions of the most disadvantaged members of communities and provide a forum for their voices and ideas to be heard. Strengthening the participation of women and youth ensures that our programs are more responsive to the diverse needs within a community and that they draw on the insights, strengths, and capacities of all community members.
Through our work, we try to create a society that supports the equal participation of women and men in decision-making processes, ensures the wellbeing, rights and development of children and addresses the needs of its most vulnerable members.
Gender, youth and children is a cross-cutting issue that we try to incorporate into all of operations and programs. Based on community interest, the following initiatives have been developed with a specific focus on gender or youth concerns:
Coordinating specialized livelihood support programs for widows and women-headed households
Facilitating meetings and exchange programs between women's organizations
Organizing awareness programs and referral systems on gender-related issues, particularly alcohol abuse and domestic violence
Fundraising for initiatives that focus on empowering rural women (e.g. the "Women of Sri Lanka" fundraising calendar)
Developing district training programs for preschool teachers
Creating safe spaces for abused and abandoned children in Ampara, Batticaloa and Vavuniya
Coordinating special educational or travel opportunities for disadvantaged youth
Supporting children and youth groups to develop community initiatives
Providing residential training programs for rural youth at the Islander Center
Leveraging international awareness days to communicate information about issues that affect women and children