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Japan to Support Resettled Children in Kilinochchi

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The Government of Japan will provide US$ 86,358 (approx. Rs. 14.7 million) for “The Project for Constructing School Buildings for Resettled Children in Kilinochchi District” through its Grant Assistance for Grassroots Human Security Projects (GGP). The grant contract was signed on 18th July 2019 at the Ambassador’s Residence in Colombo, between His Excellency Mr. Akira Sugiyama, Ambassador of Japan and Mr. Jesurasa Amirtharaj, Program Director of the Humanitarian Development Organization (HDO).

This project aims to provide sufficient and comfortable educational environment for the children through construction of two school buildings at Vembodukerny C.C.T.M School in Pachchilaipalli Division, Kilinochchi District. At present 214 students of grade 1 to 11 are studying at the school, however several classes are being conducted outside due to the shortage of classrooms. As the resettlement progresses following the completion of mine clearance in the area, the population will grow in coming years. In 2019, 77 families are expected to resettle in the area near the school. The new buildings will provide secure classrooms for the returned children, enabling the school to have a separate classroom for special education unit as well as to expand its capacity to accommodate students up to grade 13. The Government of Japan also supports the mine clearance operations in the area through GGP, and this project will complement its overall assistance to the communities which have been massively affected by the long lasted conflict.

Commenting on the provision of this grant, Mr. Amirtharaj stated that “the school is located in the war affected area of Kilinochchi District. In 2000, people were displaced and they started to return after the war. There are many capable students; currently however, due to lack of classrooms, some students have no choice but to study under trees. This is very hard to conduct classes on rainy or harsh sunny days. Due to the splash on the war there are students with special needs, i.e. autism spectrum, are returning this village. They need a special classroom with facilities designed for them, which will be provided by this project. We will be also able to increase the number of students attending the school and give studying opportunity for many children who are prevented from enrollment because of the shortage of classrooms. The students and staff at Vembodukerny C.C.T.M School as well as the surrounding villagers, past pupils and well-wishers are very delighted and sincerely thank the assistance provided by the Japanese Government through the GGP to implement the proposed project to develop the school in our area.”