The Moratuwa Project
Smallternative is assisting Moratumulla Day Care Centre, which was established in 1979, and operates out of the Moratumulla Methodist Church, Moratuwa, Sri Lanka is designed to lift a slum community out of poverty through a holistic program focused on the education and health care of the young and most vulnerable. During the past 31 years, it has carried out its mission of providing the education, food, medical facilities and care for the children belonging to families primarily living in a slum area called Samarakoon Estate in Moratuwa. Many have escaped the poverty trap but unfortunately they have been replaced by others
The Childcare Centre
The project has several components. In 1979 the childcare admitted 93 children and so far around 4,400 children have been benefited from this Centre. Unfortunately numbers are limited and so the most deserving children are selected by panel interview irrespective of their religion or race, followed by inspection of the actual living conditions and environment. There are children whose parents have abandoned them and left them with grandparents who have taken the responsibility of looking after the children but are struggling to provide for them.
Initially it is focused on children who have reached the age of 4. They are cared for and educated from 7.30 am to 4.30 pm on weekdays. Nursery education is provided in the morning session. Breakfast, lunch and evening tea is provided. In the afternoon they are given a time to sleep and also to play games in the grounds. Regular medical checks, uniforms and books are provided along with a variety of extra curricula activities. After 2 years there is the opportunity to be selected for a further 3 years. (Years 1 to 3). They are provided with lunch and educational assistance in the afternoon from 1.30 to 4.30 p.m. Regular medical examinations and school books are provided along with sports events, concerts and excursions. When the children reach levels 4 & 5 in day school they receive some additional help in Mathematics, Sinhala and English.
Special attention is given to differently abled children
Educational and other assistance are provided for 3 days a week from 1.30 pm to 4.30 pm for special needs children. They also participate in special sports competitions, concerts and have excursions.
There is an Annual medical camp, which is provided free of charge.
Examination of patients by panel of doctors working on a voluntary basis and issuing of medicines free of charge. Most of the medicines are provided free of charge from Drug Authority and companies, the balance of medicine cost is paid by the Centre.
Self-Employment Training courses
Patchwork, Dressmaking, Cookery and Sewing classes for mothers of the children of DCC is provided to help make an economically sustainable community in the slum. This is also extended to others showing interest but not having children in the program.
To develop the family life and social life awareness programs are held and counselling sessions to rehabilitate the parents who are drug addicts.
Tuition fees for GCE (O/L) & (A/L) students who have begun their education at the DCC and have progressed to suitable levels is also provided.
Improving living standards
Recognising the importance of hygiene in having children attend school regularly each family with a child in the program is provided with materials to build a toilet and support and expertise given in its construction.
Every child deserves a chance