The three decade long Sri Lankan civil war has taken a large toll on every aspect of the lives of Tamil people. Tamils living in the war-affected areas have had their lives shattered, and have been scrambling to piece their lives back together since the end of the war for the past six years.
As Nelson Mandela stated, “education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” Education can change the world and it can most definitely build back the shattered lives of the people in post-war Sri Lanka. This is a mending waiting to take place gradually with the support of the Tamil population around the world.
Most of us have been supportive towards people back home who have been dealing with post-war trauma and life situations. I would like to take this moment to thank all of those individuals and organizations who have reached out to those in need and lent a helping hand.
One organizations that has been keen about rebuilding our community back home – especially through the education and well-being of the children of post-war Sri Lanka – is Children’s Technological Education Network (also known as Children’s TEN). Children’s TEN is a charity organization founded in 2011 by Yogi Yoganathan and currently being run by Ashwin Vadivelu.
Children’s TEN understands the importance and power of educating young children of a war-affected community to help pull these communities back together with greater vigor. These minds hold the pain of war that took many things away from them including education, which drives the ambitious hunger for a better, more developed community. When long awaited access to education is given, their passion and ambition will be so great that they themselves will redefine this shattered community into a much more sumptuous one.
It is this access that Children’s TEN hopes to provide to these communities: access to education, access to basic educational and developmental infrastructure and materials, access to organized play, and access to a better community. Children’s TEN drives community development through monetary and volunteer support in building educational infrastructure like classrooms, providing educational materials such as books, stationary and teaching aids, building play and developmental infrastructures like basketball court and chicken coops, and rebuilding community through assisting in flooding repairs.
To provide services to children in need, Children’s TEN conducts several fundraising events such as pub nights, talent shows, baking events and basketball tournaments. The upcoming basketball tournament will be held on April 2nd at Columbia Ice Fields at the University of Waterloo. They require the support and involvement of as many individuals willing to better the lives of these children.
For every community that has been robbed of their rights and resources, intellectual tools can best help to reconstruct them more than anything else. An approach taken through educated means is bound to bring slow but long-lasting, effectual results rather than any other costly means. As George Washington Carver advised, “education is the key to unlock the golden door of freedom”.