'LG Ambassador Challenge' - rural development project
The ground-breaking initiative to uplift rural communities, and help in the development of villages – The LG Ambassador Challenge – commenced its four selected community projects.
With the partnership of world-renowned electronics giant, LG, and trusted Sri Lanka conglomerate, Abans Group; along with Korea Friends of Hope International, Sri Lanka (KFHI), this massive programme gave Sri Lankan youth the opportunity to bring forward solutions to the issues in their villages.
The first selected village problem came from the Sasthrikoolankulam village in Vavuniya, which is inhabited by over six hundred families. These people are unable to get unpolluted, clean water for their daily needs.
They stated that the water currently consumed by them is very unhealthy and poisonous for consumption. This issue has caused serious kidney problems amongst the villagers. This project titled ‘The Drop of Life’ will see the provision of a RO water purification/filtration system plant which will be constructed in their village, so they may get purified, clean water for their daily consumption.
The Handagiriya village’s public midwife centre was the second selected problem, where the midwife centre is beyond any kind of usable condition. Pregnant mothers and children below 5 years are unable to attend their check-ups and get the right advice and medicines for themselves and for their unborn children.
The current building is highly damaged and the walls are close to falling apart, putting every expecting mother and young child at high risk. The toilet facility at this building is also unusable. This building does not have electricity or a proper place to store the supplements provided by the government for children and mothers. Therefore, most of the products go to waste and have to be discarded due to the lack of any storage facility.
This project named ‘Nurturing the Future Generation’ will see the renovation of the building to include a meeting place for the midwife and mothers with their children, plus safe storage and sanitary facilities.
The third selected village concern was reported from Ampara. According to the villagers of the Muwangala area in Ampara, students who come home from school and are interested in sports, spend their time in a temporary ground as a way to practice their volleyball skills. Young people who are engaged in agricultural activities also come to play and release their day-to-day pressures and stresses in the sport. These people are forced to play with two temporary headlights on the playground due to lack of resources.
Due to the high level of danger during night-time sports, the youth have brought the damaged nets of the fishermen from the Kalmunai area and repaired them to cover the area around the field. By initiating this project, titled ‘Uplifting the Youth for a Better Tomorrow’, over 2000 people in two neighbouring villages will be highly benefitted and this will be a great opportunity to bring value to the youth of the village, by preventing them from engaging in dangerous and harmful activities such as drug addiction and alcohol abuse, cyber bullying and such.
They can turn towards more constructive means of expressing themselves and keeping fit, especially in this time when physical diseases are high amongst young children and youth, and they are more likely to fall prey to mental illnesses. The villagers can learn teamwork and coordination, while helping each other to lead a happy and healthy daily life and create a routine that will cause less stress.
This will be vital in creating the next generation of youth who are mentally and physically strong and sound, and who will add value to the development of their village and the nation’s future. Thereby, a volleyball court and changing room with storage and washroom facilities will be constructed in this project.
The final chosen village concern came from the Batticaloa district, where the villagers of Sandiweli (over 8000 families) face an extremely life-threatening situation because they cannot travel to the next village, forcing them to cross the large river in an electric boat. The boat carries a capacity of 80 persons per trip, on a regular basis.
Therefore, school children, teachers, farmers, patients, and the rest of the villagers must travel to the next village without any safety measures, which places their lives in great risk on every journey. According to the villagers, these people are unaware of the safety measures and the process that needs to be followed in order to ensure that their lives are not in danger. This village faces the river, which gets flooded severely when it rains heavily.
Hence, the villagers requested for life jackets as the first step in offering some kind of protection on their daily boating travels, as it is a huge life threat when crossing the river on the boat, especially during the rainy season, when the river floods and the people are at high risk. They have also requested for safety boards to be put up, in order to create awareness among all the people.
This project named ‘Every Life Matters’ will see the provision of life jackets and safety boards to put up near the river.