Prof.S.Raveendranath, Dr.Vinya Ariyaratne and the Special guests welcomed by Sarvodaya staff

The Foundation stone was laid for a new Vocational Training Centre at the Sarvodaya Development Education Institute, Sathurukondan, in Batticoloa. This centre, named Marvell – Sarvodaya Vocational Training Centre, is sponsored by Give2Asia, a U.S. non-profit organization established by The Asia Foundation (www.give2asia.org).

Dr.Vinya Ariyaratne receiving the foundation stone from the Hindu Priest

The Vice Chancellor of the Eastern University of Sri Lanka, Prof.S.Raveendranath and Dr.Vinya Ariyaratne, Executive Director of Sarvodaya were amongst the special guests at the ceremonay. Amidst the prevailing tension in the area, the colourful ceremony was attended by a large number of children, youth and elders from dozens of Sarvodaya villages in the Batticoloa district. The representatives of other development agencies working in partnership with Sarvodaya such as Oxfam, Save the Children, Non-Violent Peace Force (NP), EHED, GVC (Italy), Sewa Lanka, USAID, Unicef, World University Service Canada (WUSC) and religious dignitaries representing Hindu, Muslim and Christian traditions also participated at the event.

Dr.Vinya Ariyaratne laying the foundation stone

The new centre would provide residential training facilities for 60 youth in a wide range of subjects and skills which include information technology, carpentry, masonry, aluminium fabrication, electrical wiring, electronic equipment repair etc., as well as language learning (English, Tamil and Sinhala). The project will boost Tsunami recovery efforts as well as further facilitate Sarvodaya’s integrated approach to addressing deep-seated causes of conflict by economically empowering particularly the un-employed youth in the Eastern province. The 1st Phase of construction is expected to be completed by end of December this year.

Dr.Vinya Ariyaratne with the children from Sarvodaya villages
Meeting at the newly opened auditorium
Foundation stone laid for new Vocational Training Centre for Batticoloa