To see Sri Lanka , as a country where all citizens experience and enjoy equal opportunity and peace and vulnerable groups in the community make contributions towards development of the Nation, successfully exercising their lawful rights and lead a dignified life.
SWOAD will continue to work with the socially and economically disadvantaged and conflict affected communities irrespective of their ethnicity, gender, age and religious and political identity and help them in further improving and sustaining their quality of life.
Social Welfare Organization Ampara District (SWOAD) was established by Mr. S Senthurajah in 1995 to work with socially and economically affected communities irrespective of their ethnicity, gender, age and religion and political identity and enabling the people to exercise their rights to live with dignity by initiated projects in 7 Divisional Secretary’s divisions in Ampara District.
SWOAD plays the key role in the advocacy and member of district networks to influence policy changes for significant and wider impact on poverty reduction. Currently SWOAD has 64 staff (28 male, 37 female) with a management structure to implement the projects and programs in the district.
SWOAD has an independent governance body that provides policy direction, strategic guidance and the overall supervision of all interventions.
SWOAD is working in Ampari district in 58 villages in 07 DS divisions with Sinhala, Muslim, and Tamil communities with the prime focus on vulnerable, marginalized groups and affected communities. While continue to work on community development and empowerment initiatives, at recent times, the major focus of the programme has been centered around both conflict and tsunami affected communities focusing on relief, return, rehabilitation, reintegration and longer term development. SWOAD has provided its service for the above vulnerable communities /families to improve their socio economic situation and most importantly to exercise their rights and perform their duties. Multiple projects supported and financed by several funding agencies and donors have provided SWOAD with rich knowledge and purposeful experience. The lessons learnt and the best practices have enabled SWOAD to have specific focus as well as to implement projects effectively and comprehensively.
SWOAD has established divisional offices in all the 07 divisions. SWOAD also has constructed 5 functional vocational training centres and its head office is located in Akkarippatu. 8200 families are registered as members and SWOAD has taken initiatives to get tangible changes within these families . SWOAD continue to deliver services with the active contribution and engagement of committed, skilled and trained staff, having extensive experiences for the period of more than 10 years (28 male and 37 females) in different sectors.
SWOAD is committed and continue working towards community development and empowerment, through a systematic process that evolved, streamlined and strengthened over the period of time. SWOAD has established village based structure to mobilize the communities and to implement project activities and other regular interventions. .As to this date SWOAD through a participatory process has formed and established self reliance groups. Each self reliance group consist of 15 to 20 members and each village has 14 to 20 self reliance groups. SOWAD continues to work with such active groups in 58 working villages and this process has identified 829 leaders from the groups.
Existence and active function of such small groups have led to the formation of 58 CBO’s (Community Based Organization). Each CBO established 07 member working committee and all the divisional level CBOs together had formed divisional committees. On the next level the 07 divisional level committees together had formed the district Governors board. Formation of such groups had taken place over the period of 12 years through hard work, commitment, continuous engagement and well thought and designed empowerment process. Function of such structure is effective and massively support to address the social issues in different levels. Training needs of such groups are identified and provided on regular interval. Coaching and monitoring are part and parcel of such process.
17 village development officers (VDO) (all of them are female staff) are appointed to work with such community structures. These VDOs do keep regular contact with the groups as well as with families, coordinate village level activities, maintain network with different stakeholders and support and guide groups to implement the activities at the village level. Divisional Information officer (DIO) is coordinating all the VDOs in the division level and supported by the Community development officer(CDO). They all are supporting the people to address their issues and needs.
SWOAD has provided their service for last 17 years with the collaboration of nearly 20 funding agencies including UN agencies, European Union and several INGO’s and significantly in collaboration with the different government institutions and departments. Both past and previous projects and interventions of SWOAD are multiple mainly focusing on community development activities such as Child protection, Water and Sanitation, women empowerment, peace building, advocacy, psychosocial activities, health, nutrition, infrastructure awareness program for social issues. Also under the economic development projects, SWOAD works on livelihood projects, Saving and credit, NVQ standard vocational training for youths, marketing facilities, awareness programmes and financial linkages trainings .Under the environmental protection programme. SWOAD implements organic farming, tree planting, climate change, awareness on water management, and other sharmadhana (community manual labour) activities.
Successful implementation of the above projects and activities are further supported by the SWOAD established effective coordination mechanisms and network with relevant government officers at different levels namely; the Government agent of the district ,Divisional Secretaries, planning officers, child protection officers, security forcers, officers of departments of health, agricultural , Probation officers, Women development officers, Samurthy development animators, and Gramaservakas.
After Tsunami attack , the people had lot of psychosocial problems and they were supported with our trained staff and many affected women formed in groups and our staff facilitate them to get the support from the group. They help each other. We also work in the Tsunami camps to support the people in need of this type of support. We were able to create child friendly space with the support of UNICEF and the children enjoy in the center and supported. We are providing micro credit to the economically poor people and they are also given support to get the marketing facility and other technical support to improve the quality production. Nearly 6000 families were supported and generate a reasonable amount of income for their livelihood. These women are engaged in 32 different income generating activities now. We also work with migrant family children care project in Vinayagapuram. We support the single parents, care takers at their home to take care of the children education , health, and safety. Hundreds of Children got the benefit from this project.