Early childhood education is the foundation on which a child’s future is built. From 0 to 8 years of age, children learn and develop the skills and behaviors that will take them into adulthood. This period is crucial for children’s brain development and impacts their wellbeing, learning, and success throughout life.
We are always looking to have a positive impact on the lives of the local communities we serve and strive to support vulnerable families struggling to provide education for their children. That’s why we partnered with the Shanu Foundation Sri Lanka this year to build a preschool in the city of Mannar, Sri Lanka. Through our collaboration, we are looking to promote early childhood education and provide local children with a safe space to grow and thrive.
How the humanitarian crisis is affecting Sri Lanka
A year after Sri Lanka defaulted on its debt of over $56 billion, the humanitarian crisis is still hitting the population hard, pushing more and more people into poverty. Children are the ones who suffer the most from the situation, being more vulnerable to the effects of poverty than adults. Sri Lankan kids are currently faced with dire challenges like hunger and undernutrition, violence, exploitation, and unequal access to health services. The crisis causes families to struggle to put food on the table in communities throughout the country, with our partner Save the Children reporting that poverty is forcing half of Sri Lankan families to reduce the amount of food for their children. Besides the most immediate effects, this grim situation also affects children’s future hopes and opportunities, negatively impacting their mental and physical health, social development, and access to education and higher-paying jobs, ultimately perpetuating the discrimination and harmful circumstances they faced in their earlier years throughout a kid’s lifetime.
The opening event: a new preschool for the Mannar community
To give children immediate support in their education and better hopes for their future, we united with the Shanu Foundation to give the Mannar community in Sri Lanka a sorely-needed preschool. Rising to the challenge, the whole community came together to make the project possible. After months of hard work, the construction was completed, and on October 10 and 11, our Ria team was there with the Shanu Foundation and representatives of the local government to celebrate the opening of the preschool. We had the chance to meet with some of the beneficiaries of the project and witness firsthand the happiness the school brings to the local families, who can now rest assured that their children will be well cared for in the new preschool’s safe environment.
Our partnership with the Shanu Foundation
This was not the first time our team joined forces with the Shanu Foundation. Back in 2021, we supported a livelihood program for women and the distribution of more than 100 bicycles and 1,000 backpacks and stationery for children in Sri Lanka.
This year, like in 2021, our team in France took ownership of the project and directly coordinated with the foundation by funding the construction of the new school.
We feel honored to partner with the Shanu Foundation again. The organization works hard to create better opportunities for the education of children and for the empowerment of women-led households and families, as well as the families of people with disabilities.
Through our Corporate Social Responsibility projects, we help provide children at risk with the tools they need to build a better future. Children everywhere have a right to quality education. With partnerships such as the one with the Shanu Foundation, we are ensuring continued education and support for children at risk. This in turn helps build social and economic well-being for the whole community, giving them the tools and environment to grow up healthy, safe, and well cared for.
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