SRI LANKA: Learning Center for Girls

Formed in 2001, the VISIONS leadership program was intially a summer camp conducted by volunteers from around the world teaching English, computer and leadership skills in Sri Lankan orphanages (children’s homes) in Batticaloa, Trincomalee and Jaffna. Operation USA is supporting the construction of The Visions Learning Center, which will be built adjacent to the Kalagam Girls School in Colombo. This new building will allow for the institutionalizing of ongoing Visions Summer Programs.

The Kalagam Girls School educates hundreds of Tamil girls every year, and has recently absorbed a large number of displaced young girls from the North East. This multistoried learning center will house a Visions office, ample space for student groups and activities from the adjacent school (Saiva Mangaiyar Vidyalayam), halls for special trainings and English classes, a computer lab, a multimedia room and a Montessori nursery. Over 400 refugee children from the Northeast will benefit from this project, as well as countless other disadvantaged and deserving youth and teachers in Colombo.

UPDATE: Field Report, January 2010
Operation USA recently visited the site of the nearly complete Visions Learning Center in Colombo, Sri Lanka.

Started in 2008, the center now has five completed floors, and is expected to be complete by summer of 2010.

Built as an addition to the Kalagam Girls School in Colombo, the Center will provide additional space for a computer center, leadership training, arts education, and a space for cultural activities. The Visions Center will provide leadership training programs for young girls affected by the tsunami and the conflict, many of whom live in regions where access to education is inconsistent. The center aims to provide a permanent base in Colombo for ongoing Visions training programs across the islands.