Jaffna District has seen miserable war for nearly three decades that came to an end in May 2009. The cruel war has made many families to lose their male earning members who traditionally played the role of generating income for the household.
The marked increase in women-headed households (WHHs) is arguably one of the most significant features of post-war Sri Lanka as highlighted by a study on WHHs released last month by FOKUS WOMEN. In Sri Lanka, the proportion of WHHs has been consistently increasing since the 1970s, reaching nearly one-quarter of all households by 2009/10. According to the most recent Household Income and Expenditure Survey (2012/13), out of 5.2 million households in Sri Lanka, 1.2 million households or 23% of the households are women-headed.
Recent evidence suggests that Sri Lanka’s 26-year internal armed conflict is an important factor contributing to the upward trend in WHHs, particularly in the Northern and Eastern Provinces of the country. Currently, there are 58,121 WHHs in the Northern Province alone and studies show that members of these households face profound, multi-faceted vulnerabilities, many of which were produced by the war but deepened in the post-war period. Undoubtedly there are others, in other parts of the island that have lost husbands and loved ones in the war (i.e. families of soldiers), as well as those with spouses that have migrated out of the country seeking economic opportunities.
The swim against the rough tide is great that many young families have failed to make up. The end result has become a vicious cycle of poverty, unstable future and illiterate children. Although education is supposed to be free in the country the expenses incurred in day to day activities are considerable that the children from poverty stricken families find it hard to bear. Thus, they opt to discontinue from the normal stream and find alternate routes detrimental to the families as well as to the society.
Centre For Child Development (CFCD) is a Non-Governmental Organization working in Jaffna since 1997 with a clear mission to endeavor to provide a secure environment and opportunity for education for each child in the community and develop them into youth with ability, good habits and knowledge. One of the important roles of CFCD has been the provision of a monthly assistance of at least $ 8 per month (Rs 1,000.00) to identified vulnerable children to conveniently continue their education until they complete their secondary education. The support is continued with $ 16 per month (Rs 2,000) when they enter the university.
At present CFCD is supporting 270 children through the Child Sponsorship Program in Jaffna district. The need is much more and there are many children wanting to go to school and continue their studies.
The present hope is to raise assistance to another 314 deserving children from under privileged families in the district that could provide a monthly financial assistance of $ 24 per month (Rs 3,000) for the next five years.
With you help we could archive this goal.