The violation of child rights is highly prevalent in Sri Lanka, especially among low income households or in households and households in which one or more family members are users of alcohol or drugs. The meager incomes, further drained by alcohol and drug use, result in children being deprived of basic needs such as proper nutrition, education, and housing as well as adequate clothing, and healthcare. Furthermore, children from abusive homes suffer severe physical and psychological damage that can have lasting consequences. Because of the lack of awareness, many children continue to live in an environment which is detrimental to their physical and mental health. Healthy Lanka seeks to improve this situation be implementing programmes to uplift the health and wellbeing of children. The programme seeks to educate both, children, and parents on the importance of good health and hygiene as well as the development of children into confident and capable citizens of the country.
Children as Contributors to the Community
As children are among the worst affected by alcohol and drug use on the part of the adults in their lives, Healthy Lanka seeks to train children to speak on behalf of themselves. Our specially trained volunteers work to make children aware of their rights and train them to act to ensure that their rights are fulfilled. In helping children to develop leadership skills, confidence, and other capacities that would enable them to live independent and fulfilling lives, Healthy Lanka has developed a manual for child clubs containing a curriculum that includes topics on physical and mental development, health and hygiene practices, leadership training, first aid training, and drug and alcohol prevention.
Children as Social Activists
Our Child Badge Programme for alcohol and drug prevention reaches children in communities and trains them to be social activists able to conduct prevention activities in their homes and neighbourhoods. Children who participate in the programme are required to follow a short course on alcohol and drug prevention designed by Healthy Lanka and its partner organisations at the end of which they are awarded with badges and certificates. The children then function as prevention workers in their respective communities.
Special Programmes for Parents
Healthy Lanka conducts awareness programmes for parents to educate them on the needs of their children. Topics discussed at these programmes include Children’s Nutritional Requirements, Providing Aduquate Care to Ensure Children’s Physical and Mental Wellbeing, The Importance of a Healthy Relationship between Parents to Ensure Children’s Wellbeing, First Aid Training, and Home Based Education for the Intellectual Development of Young Children. Parents are also made aware of the consequences of alcohol and drug use, how to prevent the use of these substances within their homes, and how they can protect their children from substance use.