The core concept of the project is to provide a satisfactory livelihood for the people by establishing high living standards where the community can enhance their skills and their environment and live with pride and dignity.
The project will ensure sustainability and will be implemented considering the following areas of development that have been identified to compliment each other to provide an integrated approach to human wellbeing:
The main objective of the Na Sevana Project is to directly impact the community of not only Sooriyawewa, but also the Hambantota District targeting different groups addressing their relevant shortcomings. They include school children, underprivileged persons and youth whose education has been disrupted. The programme also intends to educate adults on self-employment particularly women and provide the farming community in the region with a clear understanding of proper applications with the introduction of technology to agriculture.
Cultivation of rare rice Varieties of sri Lanka
Many varieties of rare rice that were part of the normal diet of our ancestors are not being consumed in the present day. The agriculture farm intends on growing and marketing these varieties that are now rare. A six acre area of paddy land has been set aside to grow four rare types of grain identified by the Agriculture Department.
These varieties have a high qualitative value with benefits for ailments and will be grown organically (organic farming). Although the harvest is less, its price is far greater in comparison to the common varieties. Furthermore there is an opportunity to supply these to the western market in packet form, where there is a demand identified for products of this nature.
Identified rare rice varieties to be grown:
Suvandal – Maturity (65 days), Kanimurunga (3 months), Paccapermumal (3 months), Heenati (3 months), Sulai (3 months)
1. ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
Towards economic development fields such as agriculture, animal farming, motor mechanics and cottage industries will be focused on. The programme also intends to economically uplift the settlementsin the Sooriyawewa Zone.
Development focuses on educating farmers and introduction of technology to agriculture from preparation of soil, planting, sowing seeds, fertilizer preparation in their own homes, methods of pest control to continuous irrigation in order to reap a fruitful harvest and to maximize the harvest seasons.Packaging and storage and correct methods to take products to the market is another focus of the programme, to make their agriculture based lives efficient.
Cultivators will be educated on how to harvest fruits and vegetables causing least damage through introduction of appropriate technologies (for example, plucking of ripe mango without causing
damage). Furthermore, tomato, an easily perishable but widely consumed fruit has a high demand during its season when the market price drops but its harvest season ends in a matter of weeks. However with the introduction of proper storage methods such as cold storage utilities tomatoes can also be provided to the market off-season generating a substantial income to the grower.
Thus the programme aims to ensure that a healthy harvest reaches the markets. Furthermore, rural farmers would not be able to reach markets in Colombo, thus through this programme farmers will be provided with options in their vicinity to sell their goods.
Agronomy of Fruits and Vegetables
Crops such as mango, papaya and bananas that are suited to the climate of Hambantota will be cultivated. Proper training will be given to the farmers on planting, taking care of crops, harvesting of the fruits and vegetables and their storage. By training the individuals who work at the farm, the project intends to improve the 'shelf-life' of the fruits and vegetables.
Na Sevana aspires to teach farmers the appropriate techniques of rearing an animal including maintaining cleanliness, feeding and milking them. With proper knowledge of livestock maintenance and equipped with experience on the profitability of keeping livestock, the project hopes that the local community will be motivated to choose livestock breeding as a livelihood for themselves and for future generations.
In this region each household has a land area of about a quarter acre enough to accommodate an animal each. Thus a cow can be provided to each farmer who can then be educated on rearing and maintaining a hygenic environment for livestock. It would become a resource to the family as the nutritional value of their diet may be hampered by economic or climatic factors. Thus each individual would learn how to maintain a barn, milk cows using machinery and store milk. Excess milk can be provided to the centre and distributed to outlets.
Furthermore dung will be used to produce biogas, which can be utilized for cooking and the excess can be provided to the agro farm compost reserve.
Livestock and Dairy Farms
Dairy farms will commence along with the cultivation of crops. The dairy farm intends to encourage the local community to consume fresh milk. Fonterra Brands Lanka is sponsoring 25 milk- cows for this purpose, and these cows will be kept in the dairy farm barn.
Special consideration has been given to climatic conditions and thereby milking cows from Pakistan the climate of which is comparative to Sri Lanka, will be imported by Fonterra Brands Lanka. A five acre pastureland will be created for the cows. School children too can visit such places on educational tours.
Administration office - for maintenance of the various buildings in the Institution Sales outlet - to enable a point of purchase for wholesalers and consumers Storage facilities - cold storage amenities to reserve products for longer periods
• Sales Outlet
A major cause of rural poverty is the lack of avenues for marketing of the products of the farmers. To counter this, an effective marketing network will be put in place.
• Acquisition of Cold Storage Facilities
As part of the expansion, cold storage facilities are to be put in place to preserve goods such as dairy products and fresh produce. Different forms of produce that are to be cultivated at the Agriculture centre and the model farm, can be preserved and marketed after being stored for a certain period of time. This helps Na Sevana to maintain supplies for longer periods of time and to assist in maintaining and controlling market prices, which will favour the farmers. Additionally, the milk collected from the Na Sevana dairy farm and purchased from local farmers will subsequently be used to produce various dairy products such as yoghurt, curd and will be kept in cold storage until they can be retailed in Hambantota and other urban markets.
Cottage Industry Hayleys Pvt Ltd Coconut Fibre Extraction
Hayleys Pvt Ltd intends to install machinery needed for coconut fibre extraction. The raw material needed, for example, coconut husks, will be sourced from in and around the Hambantota area. The extraction process using automatic and hand operated machinery will provide jobs and daily 7500 husks will be extracted for coir and coir products. The fibre production can be used for yarn making and the balance is to be sold to Hayleys. Additionally, the fibre pith or the coir dust can be converted to fertilizer and can be sold to organic farms. This industry will create many employment opportunities for women, such as spinning of coir.
Locals from the District and students who attend the free programmes at the Vocational Training Centre will offer their services at the dairy and agricultural farms on a volunteer basis.
Labour for dairy farming and agriculture will be drawn from the economically underprivileged of the region. They will be given wages, thus enabling them to improve their standard of living.
A diverse range of subjects including language, information technology, driver training, motor mechanics, coir work etc, will be introduced under vocational skills making certain that the employability of these individuals increase. As a secondary phase, training in electronics and air conditioning will be introduced.
The Community University intends to provide tertiary education to the school dropouts in the area. The syllabus will enable students to follow an academic programme of study with emphasis on theory while practical training will be segmented in to the curriculum. The practicality of the programmes will help individuals gain immediate meaningful employment in vocations such as Tourism.
The Vocational Training Centre & Community University for the purpose of educational development will require the following support:
• Site offices - for construction work and maintenance • House for service operations • Vocational school building – this building will include a computer unit, a driving school, areas or centres for motor cycle repair, bicycle repair and an area to carry out electrical training and motor mechanics training
Building complex for the Community University
• Board and lodging for students • Formulation of adequate syllabi by experts • Curriculum and Faculty
2. KNOWLEDGE AND SKILLS DEVELOPMENT
The programme intends to provide knowledge, competencies and skills necessary for carrying out successful vocations thereby improving the employability and abilities of the community. This entails the proper delivery of knowledge of specified subjects like agriculture, dairy farming, cottage industries and motor mechanics etc. The benefits of this will proliferate in the form of a nuclear development for example a core group will benefit and will progress to ancillary groups. The developed skills of individuals can be applied in their relevant industries and will positively affect its productivity and thus the individuals personal development.
Primarily Na Sevana will both harness the existing skills of the unemployed workforce and bring new skills to the area through extensive training. In doing so, it will allow each person to build his or her skills and diversify as well to empower the District's youth by creating opportunities for future employment and sustainability. Particular attention will be paid to persons dropping out of the formal educational framework. Progress of these individuals will be ensured through:
Vocational Training Centre and Community University
• Candidates for the training programmes will be selected through an interview process. • All lectures will be focused on practical use. • Hostel facilities will be made available for students requiring accommodation. • Free vocational training will be provided for approx 300 individuals per year • Night classes will be conducted to accommodate family commitments.
The Vocational Training Centre will be governed by a Board of Advisors and an Administration Office will be established to ensure that daily operations are carried out smoothly.
Dropouts from the local formal secondary educational institutions will be offered vocational training programmes to help them acquire employment. Candidates will be accepted through successfully attending an interview. Hostel accommodation will be provided to candidates who are unable to travel to the Vocational Training Centre on a daily basis. Training provided at the Centre aims at not only providing technical knowledge relevant to the subject, but also training students on discipline,positive moral and ethical matters. All programmes that are offered will be free. Candidates are expected to contribute by working in the agriculture and dairy farms.
A classroom equipped with model engines, gearbox/clutch and working transparencies House for service operations Computer based training systems for technical training Training vehicles 32-seater bus, dual-purpose van, three-wheeler and a motorcycle for training purposes Three qualified driving instructors through RMV
RMV Certification: All the students who complete the training programme will be directed to the standardized driving test at the Registrar of Motor Vehicles (RMV). All successful candidates will be awarded with a DIMO Drivers Training Certificate. It is believed the programme formulated by the DIMO Automobile Training School currently operating in Biyagama, has effectively improved road safety and confidence among both drivers and the general public. Introducing the same curriculum in Hambantota will also provide job opportunities for the public in Hambantota and abroad. The training provided (theory and practical) will be conducted by certified instructors from the RMV.
DIMO Driver Training Centre
The DIMO Driver Training Centre will provide theoretical and practical training in driving to improve driving standards and thereby prepare candidates for gainful employment locally and overseas.
The main objectives of the Driver Training Centre is to provide specialised training with particular emphasis on road safety, instilling discipline and confidence. First preference will be given to candidates who have already obtained a driving license from RMV but lost touch due to a lack of practice. In addition, internationally accredited and recognized drivers will be provided with opportunities for the global job market.
The driving school will comprise of road tracks with a range of heavy and light vehicles for use. The training facility will also accommodate 48 trainees at the driving school. Furthermore participants in the programme will also be taught motor mechanics to give a comprehensive education to create value added employees.
With free lessons, food and accommodation provided, the returns for the programme will be generated from the participants who will be expected to work on a volunteer basis in the agro farm situated near the school. They will be taught home- gardening and cultivation which they can engage in on a shift basis during free time.
With a diversified set of skills, those who pass out from the driving school will have better prospects with employers and thus earn a higher income. The training would importantly instill discipline, enabling them to engage in a number of roles at their place of employment and become valuable and loyal employees.
mLearning allows students and lecturers to connect to live real time, 100% interactive virtual classrooms from anywhere in the world, where they can participate in the lectures as they would in normal classrooms. The virtual classroom will reduce costs incurred both by students and education providers and provides those in need of learning, the opportunity to do so without any hassle.
With a 100 seating capacity, virtual learning can be conducted through arranged sessions. Women can attend during their free time and learn crafts to produce pan and idikola products (reed), lace, wooden spoons or coir mats. These lessons will teach women to produce items that possess an attractive finish and are marketable globally.
Following several sessions of learning, they will be paid an amount to purchase necessary tools giving them the opportunity to produce products to the required standards. Once they meet the required criteria, the products will be purchased from them and sold at stalls in the shopping area near the learning centre.
Similarly the farming community too can benefit from the learning centre by attending sessions during their free time to gain know-how on cultivating alternate crops such as banana, better methods of harvesting, packaging and transporting methods and incorporating technology at different steps.
Mobitel mLearning Initiative
Located adjacent to the DIMO Driver Training Centre, the mLearning programme will teach youngsters basic computer knowledge and English as well. The purpose of Mobitel's mLearning initiative is to provide rural communities in Sri Lanka the opportunity to achieve a qualitative improvement in their livelihoods through education at community level. Mobitel will sponsor infrastructure for educational programmes focussing on the following: agriculture, animal husbandry, rural industries, rural engineering, family welfare, gender welfare, youth welfare, child care, nutrition, English and ICT. Each of these areas of education is to cater to the total community, and is specifically targeted at children engaged in fieldwork after school and would find free time in the evenings to attend lessons. Other target populations include farmers, artists, women and in general the youth.
All herbs that are grown will be used for Ayurvedic treatments which will be available at the Ayurvedic Medical Treatment Centre. There is also an agreement with the Centre of Indigenous Medicine of Sri Lanka where herbs that are grown at the Garden, such as katu wel batu and aloe vera will be supplied at a subsidised price. At present coriander is not grown extensively locally and is imported from India. Coriander that is being used at present have reduced essence, whereas grown locally, its original richness can be retained.
Additionally, at present five acres of white sandalwood is being cultivated along with the required water supply in place. It is being carried out in collaboration with Sadaharitha Plantation Ltd as an exemplary cultivation and is a source of high quality timber.
Ayurvedic Medical Treatment Centre: The Centre will provide physical revitalisation. Aiding treatment for various ailments and providing physical wellness, the treatment centre will be made available to the locals of Hambantota, all Sri Lankans and foreign visitors.
The following infrastructure - needs are to be made available for the Physical Health Development aspect of the Project;
Site offices - for construction work and service operations Ayurvedic Medical Research Centre
3. HEALTH AND WELLBEING
An integral component of the project is to ensure and support the physical health of individuals of the community and of those who visit the Na Sevana Community Development Project. The use of indigenous therapy has diminished from the current system of things due to globalisation and modernisation. Na Sevana aspires to promote indigenous therapy by:
Establishing a garden of Medicinal Herbs and Ayurvedic Medical Treatment Centre
The project intends to cultivate medicinal herbs, which are fast vanishing or are under threat of disappearing from our land. The medicinal herbs produced through these ventures will be supplied to the Ministry of Indigenous Medicine at concessionary prices.
Medicinal Herb Garden: Every type of indigenous medicinal plant will be grown within a 30 acre area. All indigenous plants that are grown in the Medicinal Herb Garden will be named and tagged with relevant information such as name, scientific classification, indications, its medicinal property, section of plant used, its region of growth and other necessary information. By doing so, farmers and visitors to the Medicinal Herb Garden will have a comprehensive understanding of Sri Lankan indigenous herbs. Particularly school children can visit the garden on educational tours, walk along the paths provided and learn about the indigenous plants. They can develop awareness on indigenous medicine and become knowledgeable about the regions of the country that these plants can be grown.
International Meditation Centre
In the vicinity of the chalets the International Meditation Centre will be built on the lakefront of Sooriyawewa (Sooriya Lake). Eco-friendly wooden constructions will reinforce a sense of tranquillity and help induce spiritual wellbeing. The hall will allow group meditation for a large assembly.
Seven or ten day programmes will be conducted on Vipassana meditation, the times and dates will be made available online for those interested in enrolling in the programme. Learned Buddhist monks will be available to offer spiritual and meditation guidance and discourses on Buddhism. During the stay, organic food will be provided to the participants who will bear the cost of food and lodging.
The DIMO Training Centre that provides training in driving will include a fitness centre/gym. At this centre, training for karate and other disciplines will be provided to learn self defence which will lead to improved mindsets and discipline of the community while inhibiting violence in the society at large. DIMO will provide qualified trainers and gym equipment required for the facility.
4. SPIRITUAL DEVELOPMENT
Construction of Chalets
At one end of the herbal garden along with the lake frontage, individual chalets similar to boutique hotels will be ideal for individuals seeking rest, relaxation and spiritual growth. While hotel facilities are lacking in this region, the chalets can provide accommodation for visitors who arrive here on cricketing tours and visits to the harbour or airport as well. Online booking facility will also be available. The chalets will cater to families or elderly people to stay in comfort and relax amidst tranquil surroundings.
Food will be provided to the guests from the agriculture and dairy farms. An Ayurveda therapy spa will be situated nearby with medicinal boats made from herbal plants and trees to offer therapies for physical wellbeing. The income generated from the paying guests will not only help with the upkeep of the chalets but also generate an income for the Na Sevana Community Development Project.