The Human Development Plans within ‘Shelter for All’ National Housing Programme Launched in the District of Hambantota
In line with the insightful Housing concept of Shelter for All launched by the Honorable Minister of Housing and Construction Sajith Premadasa, fifty five Model Villages have already been inaugurated in the District of Hambantota since this government assumed office. Of them twenty five of the Housing Projects were constructed under the leadership of the Urban Settlement Development Authority (USDA). This Authority also administers its social empowerment programme inspired by ‘self-help’ in all the housing projects. The overall work plans relating to these projects, both with regard to physical and human development sectors are nearing completion with the beneficiaries entering into a new phase of human development.
The plans carried out are as follows:
1.0 Child Development Programme
- Art Competition
Maximizing their potential in drawing and painting, 425 children belonging to these new Housing Villages took part in the competitions organized by the USDA. Of them, 119 children qualified themselves to enter the second phase of the competition, thus enabling them to take part in the final competition held at the Vihara Maha Devi Park, in Colombo.
- Cultural Programmes
The children of the settlements took part in religious programmes such as Christmas, New Year, Independence Day etc., with a deep sense of conscientization anf feeling for the community.
These programmes enabled children to exchange knowledge that they possess and furthermore establish Resource Centres to pursue subject based programmes. These have been instrumental in enhancing knowledge in specific fields that interest them.
This programme instilling in children the need to save for the future was inspired by the Self-help programme rooted in empowerment and was carried out under the guidance of the Bank of Ceylon with the first steps taken to establish Childrens’Accounts.
2.0 Community Development Programmes
The purpose of this programme is to encourage recipients to grow fruits and vegetables that can be used on a daily basis and to make their environment more pleasant by growing flowers and foliage.
The purpose of these programmes is to further strengthen the home economy by enabling women to use their skills in sewing and tailoring of clothes. The infrastructure needs of these disadvantaged people came to be looked after with the provision of sewing machines free of charge and with concessionary loans. Accordingly, on six occasions 379 sewing machines were distributed with a special training programme organized by Singer Limited to instil confidence in them.
3.0 Youth Programmes
These programmes were meant to develop vocational skills in youth belonging to the Model Villages. The programmes were carried out in collboration with the Technical and Vocational Training Authority and the Technical Colleges in the area.
These programmes were planned in order to motivate youth to be interested in their physical developnment and also to make them engage in sports activities to ensure that their leisure time is productively spent. A further intention was to develop leadership capacities in them through such interactivity.
4.0 Health and Personal Hygiene Programme
These clinics look after vision based health conditions free of charge and approximately 1245 persons with such conditions have benefited from a total of seven clinics held throughout the year.
This lead to the provision of 103 water filters distributed through three programmes organized within the Divisional Secretariat areas.
This was a programme specifically targeted at families without toilet facilities, and through this scheme the families in need were granted equipment and financial support to obtain their requirements.
These programmes that have been launched will be continued throughout the year with a sense of consistency, with due recognition granted to community organizations, children and youth associations established through systematic mobilization.