On 5th and 6th May, 2006, Sarvodaya Shramadana Movement will host a workshop at its Moratuwa Headquarters for the capacity-building of Telecentre operators from throughout Sri Lanka.
Today Telecentres are spread throughout Sri Lanka connecting the rural and urban areas of the island, linking the rural village to the global village, taking the benefits of Information Communications Technology (ICT) to the rural community and utilizing it to develop their living standards, and ultimately acting as the village’s ICT window and bridging the digital divide between the village and the city. The main strength behind this program are the Telecentre operators who coordinate the activities of their centers and ensure the efficient supply of services to rural people.
On the 26th and 27th of September, 2005, the Sarvodaya Shramadana Movement conducted a workshop in collaboration with Telecentre.org and IDRC to strengthen ICT in the rural areas by building the capacity and knowledge of these operators . The workshop also endeavored to create a Telecentre family by setting up a network between these individuals who are located all over the island. This workshop was attended by all Telecentre operators in Sri Lanka and was sponsored by the Information and Communications Technology Agency (ICTA) and Microsoft.
The theme of the workshop was “Networking Grassroots – ICT for People” and it provided a setting for Telecentre operators from all over Sri Lanka to share their knowledge and experience. The operators were also able to table and discuss the problems they face and get the input of others on how to solve them. They learned how to work as a team to find solutions and most importantly, built their own knowledge and capacity through this. More than 150 individuals attended the event. Among these were not only the coordinators of Sarvodaya Telecentres and Village Information Centers (VIC) from seventeen districts in the island, but also those who run Telecentres set up by other organizations in the country. At the conclusion of the workshop, the participants lit individual oil lamps using a single light to return to their villages with an awareness that they had created links with other operators around the country to form a single network of Telecentre operators.
The workshop to be held in May is a follow-up to this first event. While it has a similar aim of building the knowledge and capacity of Telecentre operators, the ultimate goal is to build a close Telecentre family in Sri Lanka. This is also a part of Sarvodaya’s overall community development goals and will hopes to make a large contribution towards overall development goals in the country.
A special mark of this occasion is the participation of operators from brand-new Telecentres set up very recently. While this is a full residential program, Sarvodaya will provide the participants with all meals and residential facilities as well as travel costs. The International Hostels, Conference Hall, Group Session Rooms, Vishvasamadhi Auditorium, WiFi Hotspots, Multimedia Mobile Equipment, and modern computer facilities available at the Headquarters will be utilized towards this.
The workshop will be attended by individuals from both the governmental and nongovernmental sectors who constantly work with rural folk from more than eighteen districts to supply their daily information and communications need. The major participation is from Gampaha, Kegalle, Mahanuwara, Mahiyanganaya, Badulla, Ratnapura, Nuwara Eliya, Hatton, Kalutara, Galle, Hambantota, Polonnaruwa, Anuradhapura, Vavuniya, Ampara, Kanthale, Kurunegala, and Puttlam.
Information Technology Unit
Sarvodaya Shramadana Movement
No:98, Rawatawatta Road
Tel : +94-11-5550375 / +94-11-2655255
Email : firstname.lastname@example.org