Chankanai'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 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.
Health and Nutrition
  • 114 trained individuals who provided psychosocial care and support in communities (at the community level, measured in every six months)
  • 1 health facility was improved based on the community scorecard
  • 68 mothers or caregivers attended mother support groups
  • 50 households are rearing backyard animals for family consumption
  • 210 parents or caregivers participated in early childhood care and development, health and nutrition awareness
  • 142 children were enrolled in healthy nutrition programs
  • 2 groups addressed nutrition-related issues
  • 406 youth were trained in nutrition and nutrition-related topics
  • 55 school-aged children were trained in nutrition and nutrition-related topics
  • 3 community-based organizations developed a disaster risk reduction plan
  • 51 adults learned better ways to collectively produce, harvest or process the products they sell, helping them earn more to support their children.
  • 1 community council initiative was held to support business owners
  • 135 small business owners attended business management training, so they can learn skills to help them operate a business and earn a sustainable living.
Water, Sanitation and Hygiene
  • 706 people participated in hygiene training, campaigns or committees, learning habits to stay healthy and clean, such as washing their hands.

*Results achieved from October 2018 to September 2019
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.
  • 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
  • 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 suffering from acute malnutrition in 2016 significantly decreasing from 16.0% in 2013, this condition is called wasting and can impair the imune system, leading to increased severity of infectious diseases
  • 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.
  • 25.0% of families were using improved drinking water sources in 2017 increasing from 6.0% in 2013, decreasing the risk of waterborne diseases\
  • 91.0% of families were using improved sanitation facilities in 2016 increasing from 68.0% in 2013, decreasing the risk of diseases

Explore Chankanai

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 Chankanai

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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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.