Nov 22 2016. view 500
Today on the Buzz!!!! with Danu, I speak to a very passionate person who is working with no gain to uplift the lives of people in Poonakary, Appé Lanka, a rural development project which is initiated by Awakening Lanka and endorsed by the Ministry of Rehabilitation and Resettlement. These people have had some difficulties with their life, but they still remain hopeful, and that’s what's beautiful about them, although they have been severely affected by the civil war and are still struggling to regain a sense of normalcy in their lives. From this December 2016, a two-year fundraising drive will be initiated by Appé Lanka to support and sustain its work in the North of Sri Lanka. And the big day is on the 8th and this is also to keep as a project which will give these people a new means of hope to see life in future.
Today, I speak to this wonderful, passionate and driven lady, Shaan Corea who is their founder / director.
Full Name: Shaan Corea
Idols: I don’t have any idols, but my Lord and Saviour is Jesus Christ
Passions: To be in water
Tell me about Awakening Lanka Private Limited. Why was it founded?
I believe that every citizen in our country should be given every opportunity to realize their full potential. Unfortunately this is not the case. I started Awakening so that we could provide people with the knowledge and information they need to make informed choices, the training they need to be gainfully employed so that they can live in dignity and have hope of a better tomorrow, deal with the trauma they have faced during the war and be overcomers, and to help people build lasting relationships based on respect and trust.
I have been involved with people empowerment and decimation of information for the last 25 years. I had always used media as a way to do so. With Awakening I want to take it to another level - the grass route level and work with people one on on and be a positive part of the empowerment process.
Tell me about Appé Lanka.
The mission of Appé Lanka is to identify six relatively unknown districts in the North and East of Sri Lanka and equip the householders to become self-reliant, self-fulfilled and to live in dignity while contributing positively to their families, society, and country, starting with Poonakary.
Tell me about yourself.
For past 25 years I have produced approximately 600 educational awareness programs that have been telecast on national television. The most noteworthy been the series I produced on maternity health, childcare and home emergency for Pears Baby products. I was happy that the incidents of birth defects due to mothers contracting rubella during the first trimester of pregnancy had reduced after that program was telecast on TV. The series on career guidance produced in partnership with John Keells CCR foundation and the National Chamber of Commerce was well received and was what motivated me to take the livelihood development program to the grass route level. This series made me realize that it is very important that people be gainfully employed where they live. The series titled “They can also contribute” produced with Employers Federation and Handicap international has had lasting impact on our society on many levels. The response we received after telecasting a series on “the English Language” highlighted that yes, educational programs on the English language should be broadcast on national TV, yes AV material should be used as teacher aids but it is of paramount importance to work with people in every village teaching them the English language on a one to one basis.
Why have you specifically chosen Poonakary?
Very simple. It was a forgotten place.
What made you start all this?
I believe the greatest asset that Sri Lanka has are its people. I believe if every person in Sri Lanka realizes their full potential we will be a great country again.
What is going to make December 8 special?
The pilot project is over but the journey has just started. On December 8, people will recognize that when people come together with compassion and love and give themselves sacrificially; lives are impacted positively and transformation for the greater good takes place.
How can one get involved?
Everyone can get involved in so many different ways; they can contribute their time, their abilities, and their resources. Please email us on email@example.com and we would love to talk with you.
What are the objectives you are focusing on?
Giving them what you and I take for granted. The ability to be able to get up in the morning and switch on a light, to be able to study under a lightbulb and not have a kerosene oil lamp next to you, to be able to be gainfully employed near your home town, to be able to travel to school and back, and hospital and back easily, to have access to information and knowledge to make informed choices; to just simply live in dignity and have hope for a better tomorrow. This is what we are focusing on.
For those who don’t know Poonakary, tell me what a day looks like for people from that area.
Not having the things that you and I take for granted and find it impossible to live without.
What would you say is their biggest challenge?