Nawagattegama's Community News

Coronavirus (COVID-19) impact on World Vision operations

In support of public health recommendations outlined by the World Health Organization, some sponsorship program activities have been temporarily suspended due to COVID-19. Activities may include sponsor queries and correspondence, sponsor visits, gift notifications and gift deliveries. These temporary suspensions may affect the information you receive from us in the coming weeks and months.  
Learn more about our response to COVID-19.

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
  • 14 community groups and individuals worked together on advocacy efforts, encouraging the government to address child protection and safety issues.
  • 1093 girls and boys are now registered in children groups
  • 130 children took actions to help end violence against girls and boys, raising awareness in the community about protecting children from harm and abuse.
  • 37 orphans and vulnerable children, aged 0-17, received free basic support
  • 32 mothers and fathers regularly attended parent support groups, learning how to improve their relationships with their children and each other.
  • 452 parents attended training to learn how to discipline their children without physical violence, so more girls and boys are safer from abuse.
  • 235 people got information about World Vision and how it operates, learning its priority to keep children safe and how to share feedback or concerns.
  • 11 community partners and groups made contributions that improve the well-being of children, helping to build a safer community for boys and girls.
  • 36 local reading materials were developed and distributed in the last 6 months
  • 500 parents and caregivers attended training on the importance of literacy for children, increasing the support girls and boys have in learning to read.
  • 273 parents, caregivers and community members were trained to increase their participation in children's education
  • 7 Preschool teachers received preschool diploma qualifications from an accredited institute
  • 81 teachers completed training on teaching children literacy and numeracy skills, improving how they teach students to read, write and use numbers.
  • 8 reading clubs meet minimum standards, helping children to read and develop good reading habits.
  • 5 literacy group coordinators scored 80% or above in their training, improving how they educate boys and girls on reading and writing.
  • 33 primary teachers were trained on essential life skills
  • 23 teachers were trained to provide inclusive, special needs education to children with disabilities
  • 1 early child care and development management committee was established to monitor the quality of early child education centre
  • 4 initiatives taken by school attendance committees to reduce irregular attendance
Health and Nutrition
  • 4 groups addressed nutrition-related issues
  • 470 school-aged children were trained in nutrition and nutrition-related topics
  • 10 schools with an up-to-date disaster preparedness plan, so that students are better prepared for and protected in emergency situations.
  • 6 disaster risk reduction plans were implemented by the community
  • 76 farmers have adopted improved cultivation methods
  • 6 community-based organizations developed a disaster risk reduction plan
  • 100 households incorporated disaster risk reduction measures into their livelihoods
  • 52 households increased production volumes
  • 2 service providers were strengthened to deliver business support
  • 91 producers were linked with local markets
  • 47 families started a small business, so more girls and boys can have their basic needs met by an increase in their family's income.
  • 76 community members are now accessing business development services
  • 42 women and men are active members of a local savings group, helping them to become more financially stable.
  • 1 community council initiative was held to support business owners
  • 72 small business owners attended business management training, so they can learn skills to help them operate a business and earn a sustainable living.
  • 192 adults learned better ways to collectively produce, harvest or process the products they sell, helping them earn more to support their children.
  • 19 local communities with an up-to-date disaster preparedness plan, helping ensure that more girls and boys will be prepared for and protected in a crisis.
  • 14 farmers received seeds, livestock, tools or agricultural equipment, helping increase their production, income and support for their children.
Water, Sanitation and Hygiene
  • 512 students who attended health and hygiene training now actively practise good hygiene habits, so they can better protect themselves from diseases.
  • 4 local level advocacy initiatives were conducted
Community Development
  • 2 partners completed micro projects to address child well-being issues

*Results achieved from October 2018 to September 2019

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.
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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.