Happiness Centre’s for Children of Mullaitivu

Sri Lanka was mired in war for almost three decades, with the north as well as south being affected. The most unfortunate were children, who were born during the war, specially those who from Kilinochchi & Mullaitivu districts. To a child who was born during the war and experiences it in day to day life, war becomes a normal phenomenon, though a traumatic experience. The conclusion of war in May 2009, brought much hope for these children. In mid 2009 a group of philanthropists identified the importance of paying attention to these kids and help them with psychosocial support. Therefore, they conducted various psychosocial programs in the IDP welfare villages in Manik Farm such as, art competitions, kite competitions, sport meets, tours to Colombo & Nuwaraeliya etc.,. The concept of a Happiness Center, in Tamil ‘’Mahilchchi Illam’’ came to into being when they identified these kids require continous psychosocial support as mentioned above. These centers were established within IDP welfare villages under the supervision of school principals and teachers. Each center was equipped with arts and craft material, musical instruments, computers, televisions, and lots of books, which became a refuge for the children to spend their days and capture a bit of lost childhood.
With the commencement of resettlement, such centers were established in Mallawi, Naddanakandal, Mannar, Pooneryn, Nedunkerny and Kilinochchi etc. Two new centers were opened in March this year in Mullaithivu at Silawatta GTMS and Mulliawalai RTMS. To establish such centers the materials are supplied by the donors and constructed by Sri Lanka Army by providing engineering expertise and labor.

These ‘’Happiness Centers’’ in resettled areas have been established within the schools with the permission of respective education authorities and are permanent projects. The center is supervised by school principal and programs are conducted by teachers trained on special education skills.

The centers work in close relation with counselors from the respective divisions in the district as well as the Psychiatrists in the local hospital, which helps them to identify any child who requires counseling as well as therapy.

There is no health without mental health and it is critical we all pay great attention to the wellbeing of children, because they are our future.
If you wish to be a part of this on-going project and are willing to support the endeavour to bring happiness to these children by setting up more happiness centers in North & East of the country, please contact:
Ms Manori Unambuwe:
Co-founder and the project Coordinator of Happiness Centers
Mob: +94777772360, E-mail: manoriu46@gmail.com

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