I met many Tamil children and youth during my volunteer placement in Sri Lanka. They came from all parts of the north and east of the island, and were residing at an orphanage and community centre in Batticaloa. They were working hard to build a better future for themselves and their communities. The Church of American Ceylon Mission supported them with their day-to-day needs. It wasn't long before I realized how the children and youth were severely impacted by the Indian Ocean tsunami in 2004 and by the civil war through the decades. Despite years of trauma, hardships and impoverishment their resilience spoke volumes about their potential. Their will to persevere in the face of some of the most difficult times of their lives gives hope for a much more promising future. The journeys of Thusha, Meekarupini, Anukuvi, Sivatharsini, Pratheepan, Dilaxan and many others resonated with me deeply.
This fund is an effort to respond to an immediate need identified by the community; scholarships for higher education. In spending time with the youth, I also came to understand their appreciation and commitment to pursue higher education. They are gifted in so many ways. They have spent months and if not years preparing for university entry exams, learning English, honing new skills and building on their strengths. Typically, funding remains a major barrier toward their success. Financial support such as loans remain out of their reach.
By supporting this fund, the children and youth, will be given many opportunities to learn, grow, belong, thrive, and lead in their communities. In the immediate future, the fund will allow them to attend university, college or vocational school. Their pursuit of education and growth is intrinsically connected to the future of the Tamil community in Sri Lanka.
Your donations will provide:
-> Scholarship to attend university, college, or vocational training in Sri Lanka or India (e.g. course fees)
-> Purchase school materials (e.g. books, lap top, backpack, special equipment etc.)
-> Receive tutoring support to prepare for national exams and university entrance exams
-> Help meet special needs in preparation for university or college (e.g. travel, registration fees etc.)
The Girls Education Fund will support youth requiring immediate assistance and have the greatest need. Your donation will go a long way in directly helping to build a strong future for the youth and the communities they are committed to serve. Some snapshots of their potential and aspirations...
Mekarupini is a bright and mischievous 19-year old with a good sense of humour. Meka has two younger siblings. She is passionate about art and nature. Meka is currently doing an intensive English language course and is preparing for her AL exams (equivalent to high school). She dreams of pursing an undergraduate degree in Tamil Literature in India.
Dilaxan is 20 years old. He recently completed a year of vocational studies in computer hardware at St. John’s Vocational Training Centre. He comes from a community badly affected by the war and has endured a great deal of personal turmoil and violence. Dilaxan is keen on studying English and Math to prepare for a higher level of vocational training at the German Tech institute in Kilinochchi.
Sivatharsini is 27 years old. She may be a familiar face. Sivatharsini is a subject in the "Daughters of Eelam" film. A survivor of the tsunami and the civil war, she is actively involved in community building, and volunteers for many youth programs. Sivatharsini is currently pursuing her Masters level education (MSc.) in Medical Microbiology at the University of Peradeniya in Kandy. She hopes to complete her degree pending funding.
-> 100% of your donation will be directed to youth scholarships.
-> The funding will be made available to youth with the greatest need.
-> You will receive updates on the journey of the youth supported by this education fund as
they become available.
-> Donations over $2500 will be eligible to name 1 Scholarship in your liking.
(e.g. The Jeyakumar Family Scholarship, Deepan-Sivapriya Scholarship, Vanni Scholarship).
- Ahrani Manickam