Chankanai

The needs in Chankanai

Education
A primary concern in Chankanai is education. Children often get off to a difficult start, as there are few preschools and qualified teachers in the area, and community members lack understanding about the importance of early childhood education and development.

In elementary and secondary grades, instruction is arranged by the Ministry of Education, however teachers are often assigned to subjects that don't match their qualifications. In addition, a lack of resources and teaching aids negatively impacts students learning.

Classroom activities are not monitored by either school management or parents, and students lack guidance in pursuing their goals. Child counseling services are not available in the community, leaving children with little academic support.

Health Care
The physical health of children, mothers, and families in Chankanai is another issue. There is a high occurrence of malnutrition, especially in families headed by single mothers, as they must return to work shortly after giving birth. This reduces the available time to breastfeed their infants. Not eating properly during pregnancy also contributes to low birth weights. During the rainy season, dengue fever is common, and many children and mothers battle anemia throughout the year.

Child Protection
Child protection and wellbeing is problematic in Chankanai. Unemployment and addiction lead to negative behaviours like neglect and domestic violence, impacting children in particular. In environments where they are not properly fed, clothed, loved, and cared for, children do not find peace and happiness.

Community understanding about children's rights is low and children are often vulnerable to harmful practices. Children's physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual wellbeing is often threatened. Children are also at risk of child labour, which is often dangerous or degrading.

Discrimination based on class, ethnicity, and gender make children, and especially girls, vulnerable. An increase in gender-based and domestic violence in recent years has perpetuated the same cycle of poverty and addiction among the community's youth.

Water and Sanitation
Children are highly vulnerable to waterborne diseases like diarrhea, primarily because of poor community hygiene practices. A lack of information also contributes to the improper use of toilets and overall poor quality of sanitation facilities, increasing the risk of illness.
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Chankanai's Community News

Thanks to the generous support of Canadians, we’ve started work to improve the well-being of children and families in this community. These are a few of the areas we will focus on this next year.


The Chankanai community is home to almost 50,000 people and is located along Sri Lanka's coast. Although there is ample rainfall in this area, the soil doesn't absorb water, causing floods. Flooding not only affects farming and travel to places like school, but also increases the risk of waterborne diseases. A lack of access to clean drinking water also contributes to poor health.

Unemployment is a major issue affecting families and children. Barriers to education and a lack of job opportunities have resulted in drug use, parental absenteeism, domestic abuse, sexual violence, and poor health. Instead of spending their limited income feeding, clothing, and caring for their children, parents are held captive by their addictions. As a result, many children lose interest in school and social activities and become malnourished and vulnerable to diseases.

Civil war damaged the courts and justice system in Chankanai and skewed community values. As a result, violence and crime have grown, forcing children into drug trafficking, early marriage, and teen pregnancy.
91.0% of families were using improved sanitation facilities in 2016 increasing from 68.0% in 2013, decreasing the risk of diseases
25.0% of families were using improved drinking water sources in 2017 increasing from 6.0% in 2013, decreasing the risk of waterbourne diseases
  • 94.0% of adolescents knew about the services to receive and respond to abuse, neglect, exploitation or violence against children in 2017 increasing from 77.0% in 2013, to keep themselves and others safe
  • 76.0% of families had sufficient diet diversity to keep their families healthy and decrease the risk of malnutrion in 2016 increasing from 48.0% in 2013.
  • 100.0% of children 12-59 months old were vaccinated to protect themselves against diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough and measles in 2017 increasing from 94.0% in 2013.
  • 13.0% of children were too underweight for their height, as a result of intense malnutrition in 2016 significantly decreasing from 16.0% in 2013.
  • 1,750 young people are leading or attending child parliaments to advocate for their rights and influence local decisions
  • 18 child parliaments are empowering young people to advocate for their rights and participate in community decisions
  • 15 community groups are engaging with local authorities to advance their rights and create positive changes for children
  • 35 children with disabilities were supported with medical care, accessibility upgrades and equipment
  • 80 children received the resources they need to learn including school fees, supplies, books and uniforms
  • 30 preschool children are developing vital language and motor skills, setting a solid foundation for their education
  • 66 teachers and volunteers learned child-friendly teaching methods to improve the quality of education for children
  • 3 schools were renovated or furnished with educational materials to provide a better learning environment for students
  • 71 parents and caregivers learned how to provide proper nutrition to their children and protect them from diseases
  • 89 malnourished children were enrolled in nutritional programs and monitored to ensure they are growing healthy
  • 19 health workers and volunteers were trained to provide quality health services, especially for women and children
  • 154 people received vocational, business and finance training, improving their opportunities to earn a steady income
  • 5 farmers learned techniques to improve crop and livestock production to better provide for their children and families
  • 355 gardens are in place to help families, community groups or schools provide nutritious food for children
  • 100 individuals including children have safe water for drinking and cooking thanks to new or repaired water sources
  • 1 water source is providing access to safe water and protecting children and families against waterborne diseases
  • 265 people including children are benefitting from latrines and have better access to sanitation
  • 53 latrines in homes, schools or the community are providing improved access to sanitation for children and families
  • 465 children and adults learned about the importance of water safety, proper sanitation and hygiene to stay healthy
Education
To ensure children can access and benefit from quality education, World Vision will assist the community to:
  • Improve children's access to basic education, with a focus on literacy and numeracy skills.
  • Increase early childhood care and development opportunities to nurture the physical, mental, and social growth of young children.
  • Ensure that girls and boys alike can receive a quality education in an inclusive and non-discriminatory learning environment.
  • Develop community support systems to empower children to excel in school.

Health Care
With the partnership of Canadian sponsors and the community, World Vision will work to:
  • Improve the access of children and their families to essential health services.
  • Promote proper nutrition and health care practices among families to avoid preventable diseases.
  • Increase access to food and proper nutrition for families, especially expecting mothers.

Child Protection
To ensure children and youth enjoy a safe and protected environment, World Vision will work to:
  • Ensure that girls and boys have their rights respected and valued.
  • Strengthen children's committees and train children to know and protect their rights.
  • Establish community-based protection systems and provide families with access to support services.
  • Equip local partners with tools to better care for and monitor vulnerable girls and boys.

Water and Sanitation
In partnership with families and sponsors, World Vision will work with the community to:
  • Promote proper hygiene practices among families to avoid the spread of waterborne diseases. Improve community members access to clean drinking water and safe, hygienic sanitation facilities.

Explore Chankanai

current conditions

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

Life cycle of a sponsorship community

Chankanai,  is in Phase 1

PHASE 1: Building the foundation

With local leaders, we assess the community's needs and resources, plan projects to provide long term solutions. Sponsorship and development opportunities begin.