In 2014, ChildsPlay International was invited to Mahavilachiya, a village in Sri Lanka that was bordering the violent Tamil conflict.
Although the violence had ceased, the traumatic effects on families and children were still visible. ChildsPlay International partnered with Nanda Waninaika, who runs a school and multidisciplinary collective, to reintroduce the children to play, creative activities, and games.
Our projects in Sri Lanka are just one example of how ChildsPlay International is making a difference in the lives of children around the world. We believe in the power of play, including storytelling, song and dance, and creative activities to empower children, activate their creativity, and help them heal from traumatic experiences.
The program included drawing, painting, traditional singing and dancing, storytelling, and discovery of local folklore through village elders. These activities were not just for fun, they were a form of empowering education. The children were able to learn and express themselves in a safe and supportive environment.
Parents and teachers were excited by the children’s positive change and uplifted spirits, and vowed to continue the activities in coming years. This commitment to continue the activities shows the lasting impact of ChildsPlay International’s work in Sri Lanka.
A Journey to Alawa.
Alawa is a remote village of hills and valleys, rice paddies, lotus ponds and daily rainfall, populated by parrots, monkeys and elephants. We spent several weeks at the Nugewalla monastery, where young novice monks are inducted and trained. The young men’s lives are very challenging, with a strict discipline of prayer, chanting, meals, and meditation. We were welcomed by the senior monk, who was 80, and had preached Buddhism around the world. The youngest novice was 9, and had not yet been formally inducted.
Through days of 24/7 interaction, our visit became rewarding for everyone, with two very different worlds drawing from each other.
We have created a short film that showcases our work in Sri Lanka. The film gives a glimpse into the lives of the children we work with and the impact of our projects.
Song and Dance are expressions of emotions and in Sri Lanka, dance is part of the tradition and rich culture on the island. Each dance represents something, has a deeper meaning and often coincides with a change of seasons, festivals, and traditional celebrations. The girls practiced and performed a number of dances, the most spectacular being the harvest dance with sieves.
ChildsPlay International does not share our mailing lists or member information with any agency or organization. We will only use your contact information for the purpose for which was submitted, such as sending announcements, replying to inquiries, and processing memberships and responding to requests about our programs. You can change or remove your information from our list at any time by contacting us at Office@childsplayintl.org.