Japan to Support the project for Improving Facilities of Special Needs Children’s Center in Buttala
The Government of Japan provided a grant of US$ 83,692 (approx. Rs. 15 million) for “The Project for Improving Facilities of Center for Disabled Children in Buttala, Monaragala” through the Grant Assistance for Grassroots Human Security Projects (GGP). The grant contract was signed on 30th November 2020 at the Ambassador’s Residence in Colombo, between His Excellency Mr. SUGIYAMA Akira, Ambassador of Japan and Mr. Wickramage Nalin Vipulendra, President of the Surangani Voluntary Services.
Given that 2 percent of children aged between 5-14 years have some form of disability and are excluded from mainstream education with participation declining with age, the Government of Japan remains steadfast to help the country achieve inclusive education through enhancements to ancillary services so that no one is left behind.
The Little Tree Special Needs Children’s Center in Buttala is home to 35 differently abled children and youth aged between 4-21 years and has provided educational opportunities and vocational training since its inception in 2010. It is also the only institution to offer a dedicated service for the entire Monaragala district. Surangani Voluntary Services started this center in response to requests from parents in Buttala where there had been no educational service for children with special needs back then.
This project aims not only to enhance educational facilities and uplift the quality of the vocational training environment but also to include the provision for a collective organic farm, sanitary facilities, a sick room, and a school van to increase attendance of students with special needs.
Upon receiving the grant, Mr. Vipulendra in his remarks stated;
“The Little Tree Special Needs Children’s Center since its launch has grown leaps and bounds especially with the support of the Japanese people. The Government of Sri Lanka is focusing on supporting persons with special needs and we at the center continue to work with the objective of improving the quality of services provided especially, since both parents and children rely on us wholeheartedly. As a consequence of this valued service, we have not only attracted the attention of the community which holds this center in high esteem, but also observes a recent influx of student enrollment which has been recognized by government officials. It was also an honour for the parents to have met with H.E. the Ambassador at the center on his last visit in September to see the activities carried out in the snack processing factory and the resource center which intends to generate education and employment opportunities for the children. We are undoubtedly grateful to the people of Japan for their continued support and pledge to provide high quality of services towards this worthy cause.”