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Gods Own Children – January 2009 Newsletter
Dear Donors and Well Wishers, On behalf of the Children, Volunteer Staff and Teachers of Gods Own Children Special Needs Schools, we wish you, and your families a Prosperous New Year 2009.
By: Dr. B. Anandkumar, Justice of the Peace
REPORT ON INAUGURATION OF SEWING CENTER - PHASE 1 OF EMPLOYMENT TRAINING CENTER FOR DISADVANTAGED YOUTH
We are pleased to inform you that the Sewing Center (In Sangarapillai Road, Manipay) was inaugurated, on the 14th of December 2008. There was an official opening ceremony at 3pm, where the following Guest of Honors, graced the occasion - Reverend Father Anthony Pillai - Parish Priest, St. Anthony’s Church, Manipay, Mr. Mathivanan - Manager - Union Assurance, Jaffna, Mr. Sarma - Manager - Bank of Ceylon, Manipay, Mr. Yogenthiren - Regional Manager and Engineer - Sri Lanka Telecom, Jaffna, and Mr. Thangarajah - Head of Lions Club International, Jaffna District.
We are extremely delighted that we were able to inaugurate this project. We have been planning this project for quite a long time now. However, we were unable to implement this Project all this while, due to lack of funds.
As you know, we have 350 plus children in our Special Needs Schools. We anticipate more enrolments in the New Year. Some of the existing students will be leaving our school in a few years time ,and when they leave school, we need to ensure that they are properly trained and take up gainful employment. When these children become responsible youth, they must learn to be independent and manage their own lives. We, as their guardians should encourage them to have a wholesome and complete education, and then train them for gainful employment. We should be practical and pragmatic, because we cannot expect many of the children to gain admission to University.
It is with this objective in mind that the we started the Employment Training Project. Currently, we are going to admit girls from poverty stricken families, and train them in Sewing. We are also planning to start Centers in Point Pedro and Ariyalai, where there are hundreds of poverty stricken youth. The current Employment Training Center is located at Sangarapillai Road, Manipay, and we cannot expect, Youth from faraway Ariyalai and Point Pedro to travel to Manipay to attend the Training Program daily.
We also hope to expand our Employment Training Center to include a Workshop Based Training Center for young men, Training In Poultry Farming, Animal Husbandry, Agriculture and Home Made Edible Products & Bakery.
The Employment Training Center is a very important venture, because we must not let our people depend on subsidies the whole time. We have to encourage them to be independent and earn their own living. Mr. Sarma - Bank of Ceylon, Manipay promised us that he will provide the Youth with loans for starting self employment ventures after they complete any of the Training Courses at our Employment Training Center.
We now appeal to all our Donors and Well Wishers to promote our cause among your contacts, to raise funds for the following purposes.
1. We require funds for the operating cost of the Training Center. This includes - Rent, Salaries, Electricity and Cloth and Accessories.
2. We require funds to start up a Workshop at the same premises.
3. We require funds to start up a Poultry Farming Project at the same premises.
4. We require funds to Purchase Sewing Machines and all the above 3 requirements, for two more centers planned for, in Point Pedro and Ariyalai.
You might wonder why we are so ambitious for expanding this Project. IT IS BECAUSE WE REALIZE THAT POVERTY CAN BE ELIMINATED ONLY THROUGH EDUCATION AND TRAINING. We can operate schools and give the children handouts and subsidies, and when the children graduate from school, they will still depend on the handouts and subsidies because they wont know how to move forward. THE ONLY WAY TO ENSURE THAT THESE CHILDREN WHO SUBSEQUENTLY BECOME RESPONSIBLE YOUTH, IS TO ENSURE THAT THEY RECEIVE SPECIALIZED EMPLOYMENT TRAINING AND GIVEN THE NECESSARY SUPPORT, SUCH AS , A LOAN TO START THEIR OWN SELF EMPLOYMENT PROJECT.
PLEASE ADOPT AN ORPHAN FROM JAFFNA
As per instructions from the GOC Chairman, a Team from Gods Own Children Foundation met the Mallakam District Judge, Honorable Ms. Sarojini Ilankovan and the Court Registrar and Staff, regarding the Orphan Children under the care of the Court (Judiciary). Currently, there are , approximately 70 Children under the Care and Supervision of the Mallakam Courts at the Inuvil Hospital.
The objective of the GOC Team’s visit to the Mallakam Court was to obtain permission to canvass for the adoption of Orphan Children in Jaffna. The Court Staff were extremely cooperative and helpful and have given us the guidelines to be given to any interested persons who wish to adopt a child from Jaffna.
Gods Own Children and its Volunteer Staff are more than willing to act as an intermediary and facilitate the process. Our main interest and objective is to ensure that these unfortunate children of Jaffna obtain loving foster parents and a good home. OUR SERVICES WILL BE ENTIRELY FREE OF CHARGE.
If there are any persons, overseas, who are interested in adopting a child, the following documentation is required.
1.Certified Copies of Birth Certificates of Foster Parents.
2. Certified Copy of Marriage Certificate of foster parents.
3. Certified copies of Income Details(Salary Slips / Bank Statements)
4. Certified 10 years Police Report of both Foster Parents.
5. Certified Medical Certificate that the parents are in good health.(Forbidden - AIDS/Tuberculosis)
6. Certified Medical Certificate that the Foster Parents are unable to have a child of their own. (Comment by GOC - In some cases, even parents having their own children could adopt).
7. A Character Certificate for each parent from a Religious Organization (Church for Christians, Temple for Hindus or Even any other Social Service Organization)
Since, the Foster Parents might not want to visit Jaffna, due to the prevailing conditions, the Judicial Case could be transfered from the Mallakam Courts to the Colombo Mount Lavinia Courts, if a request is made to adopt a child from Jaffna specifically. Gods Own Children will provide all the relevant assistance. At one point the Foster Parents need to visit Colombo, Sri Lanka.
Those who are interested in providing a meaningful life to an unfortunate Child from Jaffna, and also wish to have a bundle of Joy from Jaffna, in your home, please do not hesitate to contact Dr. B. Anandkumar. All information will be maintained strictly confidential.
MILESTONES IN 2008
2008 has been a reasonable good year for GOC, and we have been able to achieve some major milestones due to the generosity of all our Donors.
Milestone 1 - Opening of a Special Needs School Siththankerny.
Milestone 2 - Commencing a Nutrition Project for all our children, Kind Courtesy of the IMHO.
Milestone 3 - Conducting an Art Exhibition in Jaffna and Colombo, Kind Courtesy of the European Union.
Milestone 4 - Inauguration of a GOC Chapter in Canada. (By this, Donors in Canada would be able to obtain Tax
Milestone 5 - Inauguration of a Sewing Training Center - Phase 1 of Employment Training Center for Youth.
FUTURE PROJECTS - 2009
We expect to implement the following projects (Subject to availabilty of funds) in 2009.
1. Opening a School in Puththur (A very backward area)
2. Opening a School in Chullipuram (A very backward area)
3. Expanding our Employment Training Center Schemes to Point Pedro and Ariyalai, and also to include other Employment Training Courses mentioned earlier.
We appeal to all our Well Wishers and Donors, to continue assisting us, enabling us to uplift the lives of the unfortunate children and youth in Jaffna.
Volunteer Committee - Gods Own Children Foundation.
Gods Own Children Foundation: http://www.godsownchildren.com/
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Gods own Children Foundation was formed by a group of dedicated special education professionals who are committed to the welfare of special needs children of the Jaffna Peninsula.
The GOC foundation operates non fee levying special needs day schools which care for, and teach intellectually & Physically challenged children in the Jaffna Peninsula - currently we operate schools in Ariyalai , Point-Pedro and Siththankerny.
Special Needs is a term to describe a child who has physical or intellectual disabilities or is at risk for developing such disabilities and who require special teachings and care services or treatment or a combination of some or all in order to attempt to provide a worthwhile future for the child.