Nawagattegama's Community News

Thanks to the generous support of donors, we’re making great progress toward the well-being of children and their families. These are a few of the areas we focused on in the past year: 

The Nawagattegama community is located about 130 km from Colombo, the capital city, in Sri Lanka's “dry zone. The area is characterized by frequent drought. Average annual temperatures range from 28℃ to 34℃. These dry conditions make life very difficult for community members, nearly all of whom live off the land and grow crops that rely on rainfall. Some farmers have access to irrigation for their crops but many do not.

Heavy resettlements in this area about two decades ago boosted the population significantly, and there is not enough water to meet basic family and farming needs, even for those with access to irrigation. Almost 90% of families lack a safe water supply and only 27% have latrines. This means that children's health is at risk from waterborne and hygiene-related diseases, such as diarrhea.
Child Protection
  • 1 child parliament is empowering young people to advocate for their rights and participate in community decisions
  • 1,069 young people are participating in community decisions and advocating for the protection and wellbeing of children
  • 1,543 community members learned about child rights and protection issues to help ensure children's safety and participation
  • 500 children participated in campaigns to educate the public about child rights and safety
  • 87 children received guidance on their spiritual journey to discover, understand and grow their relationship with God
  • 111 children are getting extra help to improve their reading and writing through camps and classes
  • 256 children were trained in essential life skills such as critical thinking, self-esteem and communication
  • 458 parents learned about the importance of education and how to support their child’s learning
  • 464 children are developing vital language and motor skills, setting a solid foundation for their education
  • 7 schools were renovated to create a safer and stimulating learning environment for students
  • 138 people are better equipped to protect themselves from disasters and respond to emergencies
  • 11 savings groups are helping children and adults save money and access loans to grow businesses or cover basic expenses
  • 161 people received vocational, business and finance training, improving their opportunities to earn a steady income
  • 216 farmers learned techniques to improve crop and livestock production to better provide for their children and families
  • 23 farmers received livestock, seeds or tools to improve productivity and help meet their family needs
  • 232 people are part of savings groups, helping them meet their financial needs and access small loans
*Results achieved from October 2017 to September 2018

Explore Nawagattegama

current conditions

To protect the privacy of children, this map shows only the general area of the community, not the exact location.

The needs in Nawagattegama

Poor education
Despite a national literacy rate of nearly 91%, rural areas like Nawagattegama lack school facilities and resources. The district is considered one of the most marginalized in the country. Qualified teachers try to avoid coming to rural areas like this, so those who do teach are often not well trained.

Existing preschools are not able to meet children's needs, and basic teaching and learning materials are needed in almost every school. Getting to school can be difficult for students as well.

Opportunities for secondary education are severely limited. Few parents were able to complete formal education themselves, and it is often difficult for them to appreciate the value of schooling for their own children. This is especially true when financial constraints demand that more family members contribute to household income.

Health Care
Government health care services available are insufficient to meet the needs of community members in Nawagattegama. There is only one rural hospital in the area, and it lacks necessary equipment. This means that many people must travel long distances to receive medical attention.

Maternal and child health clinics are few and far between and poor nutrition is common, due to harvests that have been affected by drought.

Water and Sanitation
People's health in Nawagattegama has been further undermined by unsafe drinking water, which leaves children in particular prone to waterborne diseases. The community also lacks proper sanitation and hygiene practices and facilities, which increases the risk of contracting preventable illnesses.

Economic Development About 96% of community members work as subsistence farmers, but they face many obstacles that prevent them from enjoying good harvests. Few have the entrepreneurial skills training they need to effectively market their products, while poorly maintained roads and transportation services make it difficult for them to get their produce to market in the first place.

Alternative income-generating opportunities are virtually non-existent in Nawagattegama, which limits families abilities to provide for their needs. Families often do not have enough to eat, let alone a surplus of agricultural product to sell for income.
Read More

Life cycle of a sponsorship community

Nawagattegama,  is in Phase 2

PHASE 2: Evaluate and grow

We monitor progress and make adjustments to meet goals. More community members become involved, lead projects and gain ownership of their success.