IODR moved to the North of Sri Lanka in 2009 to bring its expertise and to provide sustainable projects and programmes which focus on the empowerment of women in rural communities, who were struggling to lift themselves out of poverty. These projects and programmes form the rehabilitation and engagement project. The project includes all the services and facilities provided at the Southern project in Weligama, including:
• A new school
• Community empowerment facilities to build empowerment in boys and girls and enable mothers to go out to work
• A sports complex
Since 2009, IODR has been carrying out a series of short and medium term projects to assist the rehabilitation of the Northern community members. Rebuilding the North is not an easy process, however with so many basic needs of Northern community members unfulfilled, action must be taken quickly.
The Weligama Education, Welfare and Education Centre is our building block in the North. The community in Weligama were in dire need of rehabilitation, in order to be able to rebuild their lives post tsunami. IODR recognised this and planned WEWEC so that it would provide education and medical care without creating a burden on the community itself.
We envisage the IODR Oval in the same way, but with a clear focus on empowering the community and in particular, the significant population of women and girls.
In addition to the IODR Oval in Oddusuddan, IODR have contributed towards the improvement of similar grounds in Jaffna, Kilinochchi and Mankulam.
Achievements in the North thus far...
IODR Oval has welcomed nearly 500 children between the ages of 13 and 19 since January 2013. Coaching lessons for cricket, football, netball, volleyball, hockey and other activities to encourage participation and engagement have already begun and we are confident that with tournaments taking place with teams from all over Sri Lanka taking part, our goals for reconciliation are well on the way to being achieved.
The work however doesn’t stop here. It is essential that entire families become involved, and our goal is to empower women from the local community. This will be achieved through education in every sense for them but to begin, IODR needs to raise funds in order to build this centre.
With an unrivalled range of events, from major sporting events- Olympics 2012, Rugby World Cup 2014, Ashes 2013, Champions League, Premiership Football, polo, tennis and hockey to theatres, festivals, arts, heritage and museums to name but a few- IODR can provide opportunities for client engagement across a diverse spectrum of events. Moreover IODR can create events to personalise engagement if appropriate: Strictly Come Dancing Live, The Generation Game and The X Factor.
With respect to employee engagement, there are myriad opportunities to encourage local and/or international involvement, from mentoring to volunteering (on site or virtually), to joining various challenges – cycling around test cricket grounds, walking with Sir Ian Botham from North to South Sri Lanka (160 miles over 8 days), building projects, teaching and many more.
Read more from the opening of the IODR Oval.