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Affiliated Associations and Memberships Anuradhapura District NGO Consortium A forum of nearly 73 NGOs working in this district.

. AKASA has been a member since 1998, and has served as its President and as its Treasurer. Disability Organizations Joint Front (DOJF) A national umbrella organization comprising of 21 disability organizations. AKASA was one of the pioneering members, during its inception in 2001, and has served as its Vice President. Rajarata Wanni Alliance An alliance of 20 organizations and an alliance of supporters of severely marginalized persons in the Anuradhapura District. AKASA served as its Secretary-General in 2002-03. National Council for Persons with Disabilities (NCPD) AKASAs Founder/President is a member of the National Council for Persons with Disabilities (NCPD), a policy-advising body under the Central Ministry of Social Service and Social Welfare. She was also a member of the committee that drafted the National Policy on Disability, 2003. The National Sports Federation for Persons with Disabilities AKASAs Founder/President is also a member of the National Sports Federation for Persons with Disabilities, having been a member since its inception, and served as its Vice President from 1990 1995. Swedish Organization of Disabled Persons International Aid Association AKASA has been fortunate to receive considerable and consistent support from SHIA(Swedish Organization of Disabled Persons International Aid Association) over the past 10 years. In addition, AKASA works or has worked with the following international organizations, receiving financial and/or training support as well as encouragement from them: Abilis Foundation (Finland) Basic Needs (Sri Lanka) CARE International (UK) UNHCR The Global Fund for Women (USA) Handicap International (France) DFID (UK) Healthlink Worldwide (UK) Friend in Need Society Sri Lanka International Service (UK) Project Trust (UK) SHIA (Sweden)

SLCDF (Sri Lanka Canada Development Foundation) VSO (UK)

Among local partners, AKASA works closely with the following Governmental and Non- Governmental Organizations and offices, receiving both financial and implementation support: Mahaveli Authority Social Service Department, Central Government Social Service Department, North Central Provincial Council Ministry of Environment, Central Government Ministry of Health, Central Government Jayasilee Trust Fund Rotary Club, Anuradhapura Islamic Rehabilitation Center Thihariya Numerous private citizens

Vision, Mission & Goal

AKASA believes that people with disabilities must enjoy the same human rights as everyone else and the best way to achieve this is by empowering persons with disabilities, through education and economic development.

Vision A society with equal opportunities for full participation is available to all. Mission Support people with disabilities in Sri Lanka in order to protect them from economic, political, cultural and social discrimination. Encourage them to develop their skills, abilities and talents in order to obtain equal opportunities for full participation in society and help them to live as independent, self-reliant citizens of Sri Lanka. Goals To prevent people with disabilities in Sri Lanka from being discriminated against, economically, socially, politically, educationally and culturally. To provide them with equal opportunities in society. To create awareness among the families of persons with disabilities and the general public in Sri Lanka, about the needs of people with disabilities, so that people can begin to understand them and care for them. To help people with disabilities to live an independent life.

History In 1984, Ms. N.G. Kamalawathie, a young Sri Lankan woman from a lower income, rural background, ventured out of her family home to seek a job and independence in the capital, Colombo. A childhood bout of polio had left her with permanent mobility impairment. Hence, she faced many impediments, and often needed to create her own opportunities and cope with various struggles. This led her to campaign for improved public access for people with disabilities, but she found it difficult to get her lone voice heard. Recognizing the strength in numbers, in 1989 she formed the Sri Lankan Federation of Women with Disability along with five others. Inspired after attending the UN Beijing Conference on Women in 1995 and brimming with new ideas on organisation and mobilisation, she established AKASA on the 30th of December 1995, re-organising the erstwhile federation. At that time, it had 36 members. AKASA started by conducting a survey on the opportunities, projects and services available for the rehabilitation of people with disabilities in Sri Lanka. The survey covered 10 Divisional Secretariats in different provinces of the country, focussing specially on areas where community based projects had been implemented. The survey revealed that rehabilitation opportunities were very scarce. Further, community participation, especially of people with disabilities and their family members were neglected, in the implementation of the projects. Women with disabilities in Sri Lanka were often confined to their homes, over-protected by their families yet isolated by a society that stigmatised them. They had few opportunities for economic, social or cultural participation in society and little sense of self-worth. Change begins with self-belief. AKASA embarked on a process of mediation, aimed at a drastic change in the attitudes and behaviour of women with disabilities and female family members of people with disabilities, so that they would be empowered to organise themselves and demand their rights. This would-be organisation was envisaged to become a power block of women with disabilities, and one that would fill the identified void of participation, by people with disabilities, in their own rehabilitation activities and services. AKASA trained 371 mediators in 10 Divisional Secretariats between 1997 1999. Initially all the mediators were non-disabled women, but now, the mediators are a mix of women and men, with and without disabilities. The mediators identified women with disabilities or women with family members having disabilities, and talked to them and their families about possibilities open to them. Gradually this was opened up to men with disabilities and their families too. The survey revealed that the situation for people with disabilities was worst in the Anuradhapura District, especially in the war torn villages. Hence AKASA decided to locate itself here, and opened the project office in Talawa on 1st June, 1998. On the same day, a vocational training centre for young women with disabilities was opened adjacent to the project office. Both premises and the buildings were donated by the Government. The buildings were bare granary storehouses and were converted to office and vocational training facilities, with minimum resources.

From 2004 until early 2008, AKASA managed the running of a residential home, (on behalf of the Ministry of Social Services, North Central Province), for orphaned and abandoned girls and women with mental impairment in nearby Saliyapura until its turn over back to the Ministry last February. In 2007, AKASA joined and participated in a South Asian Project (together with India &Bangladesh) to create spaces to advocate and communicate rights for women with disabilities. Also in the same year, AKASA started programmes and activities for mental health clients in Anuradhapura and Puttalam Districts. Today AKASA has over 3200 members, organised in a bottom-up approach, beginning with small groups of 4-8 members within a village. Up to eight of these small groups within a village form a village group or association. Elected representatives (President, Secretary and Treasurer) from village groups within a Division combine to form a Divisional group or association. AKASA has 13 full-pledge Divisional networks in the Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa Districts of the North Central Province. These groups form valuable support systems, and give its members the opportunities to discuss individual problems, help each other find solutions, organise collective actions, etc. AKASA supports the groups with skill training, a micro-credit fund endowment for self-employment development, and interventions to improve their quality of life. Introduction All over the world, people with disabilities face strong social stigmas and a multitude of obstacles in accessing their fundamental human rights. They are economically, socially, politically, and culturally isolated. Their health and sanitation needs are neglected. Women with disabilities are even more disadvantaged, facing the dual burden of disability and gender bias. This is the situation in Sri Lanka as well. The prevalent belief here is that people with disabilities have no potential to contribute to society, or to be independent. This attitude denies them the education, training and opportunities to utilise, develop and strengthen their talents and potential. According to the National Policy on Disability, 2003, people who have disability are among the poorest segment of the Sri Lankan population. Poverty and societal barriers create a vicious, self-perpetuating cycle. AKASA($ $ &) or the sky in Sinhala is the acronym for Aabadha Sahitha Kanthawange Sangamaya, the Sinhala for the Association of Women with Disabilities. AKASA is a network of self-help groups, devoted to creating opportunities for its members. Although the governing Executive Committee comprises solely of women with disabilities or female guardians of persons with disabilities, AKASA membership and programmes include both men and women with disabilities, and their families. AKASA is based in Talawa, a small town in the Anuradhapura District of North-Central Sri Lanka. AKASA located itself here after identifying this district, through a national survey, as one of the least developed in terms of opportunities and services for people with disabilities. Of the nearly 73 NGOs in the Anuradhapura District NGO Consortium, AKASA is the only one working on disability issues.

Our organization SOS Children's Villages is active in 133 countries and territories. The variety of this international work is brought together by the umbrella organisation SOS Children's Villages International, which unites all of the autonomous national associations.

Organizational structure In all countries where SOS Children's Villages operates, the aim is to form a national association which is its own legal entity, with its own statutes and Board of Directors. Common for all of them is membership of the international umbrella association and the fact that their Board of Directors work on an honorary basis. Each member association is obliged to comply with the international statute of the organisation. Practices in relation to education, childcare, finance and administration are also common to all member associations. Each national association is registered and organised as a foundation, trust, association, non-profit company or society. As a full member of SOS Children's Villages International, they have the right to apply for funding through the umbrella association and request services from the General Secretariat.

Our Vision What we want for the world's children EVERY CHILD BELONGS TO A FAMILY Family is the heart of society. Within a family each child is protected and enjoys a sense of belonging. Here, children learn values, share responsibilities and form life-long relationships. A family environment gives them a solid foundation on which to build their lives. EVERY CHILD GROWS WITH LOVE Through love and acceptance, emotional wounds are healed and confidence is built. Children learn to trust and believe in themselves and others. With this self-assurance each child can recognise and fulfil his or her potential. EVERY CHILD GROWS WITH RESPECT Each child's voice is heard and taken seriously. Children participate in making decisions that affect their lives and are guided to take a leading role in their own development. The child grows with respect and dignity as a cherished member of his or her family and society. EVERY CHILD GROWS WITH SECURITY Children are protected from abuse, neglect and exploitation and are kept safe during natural disaster and war. Children have shelter, food, health care and education. These are the basic requirements for the sound development of all children. Our Mission What we do WE BUILD FAMILIES FOR CHILDREN IN NEED We work for children who are orphaned, abandoned or whose families are unable to care for them. We give these children the opportunity to build lasting relationships within a family.

Our family approach in the SOS Children's Village is based on four principles: Each child needs a mother, and grows up most naturally with brothers and sisters, in their own house, within a supportivevillage environment. WE HELP THEM SHAPE THEIR OWN FUTURES We enable children to live according to their own culture and religion, and to be active members of the community. We help children to recognise and express their individual abilities, interests and talents. We ensure that children receive the education and skills training they need to be successful and contributing members of society. WE SHARE IN THE DEVELOPMENT OF THEIR COMMUNITIES We share in community life and respond to the social development needs of society's most vulnerable children and young people. We establish facilities and programmes that aim to strengthen families and prevent the abandonment of children. We join hands with community members to provide education and health care, and respond to emergencies. Our Values What keeps us strong These are the core beliefs and attitudes on which our organisation has been built, and they are the cornerstones of our success. These enduring values guide our actions, decisions and relationships as we work towards fulfilling our mission. COURAGE: We take action We have challenged traditional methods of orphan care and continue to pioneer innovative child-care approaches. We help children who have no one else to turn to. With a sensitive yet confident approach we are determined to question, learn and take action for children around the world. COMMITMENT: We keep our promises We are dedicated to helping generations of children have a better life. We do this by nurturing lasting relationships with our donors, our co-workers and the communities in which we are rooted. We believe that by making a longterm commitment we have a meaningful and sustainable impact. TRUST: We believe in each other We believe in each other's abilities and potential. We support and respect one another, and build an environment where we can approach our responsibilities with confidence. In an atmosphere of trust we are inspired to share our experiences and learn from each other. ACCOUNTABILITY: We are reliable partners Since 1949 we have built a foundation of trust with donors, governments, and other partners who support us in our mission. Our greatest responsibility is guaranteeing the well-being of children by ensuring high standards of care. In doing this we are committed to using all funds and resources wisely, with respect and accountability. Our Approach We make child care, education, and health care available to children and their families directly. We help families and communities to become strong so they can take care of their children better and organise child care, education and health care. We help to improve the policies and practices of the state.

SOS Children's Villages aims to help improve the situation of vulnerable children in many ways and by working with partners at different levels SOS Family Strengthening Programme Tlokweng (Botswana)- M. Morosini Who we help Sometimes parents are not able to care for their children alone. Sometimes children lose their parents or never knew them. Sometimes not even their relatives can take care of them. These are the children and families we help. Provide stable family environments for children At our SOS Children's Villages programmes the children experience reliable relationships and love once again. They can recover from often traumatic experiences and they grow up in a stable family environment. We support each child individually until it becomes an independent young adult. Keep families from falling apart We strengthen disadvantaged families to prevent crises that can in the worst case scenario lead to children being placed in out-of-home care. SOS Children's Villages supports families so they can once again manage their lives independently and care for their children. Equal rights to education and training We provide equal rights to education and training for children as pre-school care, schooling, and vocational training are the key to a successful future. To ensure that children enjoy these basic rights, SOS Children's Villages has kindergartens, day-care centres, schools and vocational training centres. Lobbying for childrens rights SOS Children's Villages is concerned about all children, particularly those who have no parental care and those whose families have to live in difficult conditions. We respect, promote and stand up for children's rights. We want to use our socio-political work to make decision makers and the public aware of the problems that children face and to call for measures that will promote the well-being of children across the world. In parallel to our lobbying activities, we encourage children to actively take part in the decision-making processes that affect their lives and, if possible, to actually represent themselves. The Child at Risk Unprotected children are more susceptible than adults to the effects of poverty and illness, abuse and manipulation, as well as the repercussions of catastrophes and wars. Their needs as children and their rights to a positive childhood and development are ignored. SOS Childrens Villages is committed to ensuring that the rights and dignity of children are respected. Children who grow up outside of a family are particularly at risk, and their future is one of our very special concerns. We care for children who are without parents and for children who cannot live with their families, and we support children who are at risk of losing their families. We create awareness of this in society by showing precisely what is at stake. Our guiding ideas: CHILD AT RISK Sometimes parents are, for various reasons, not able to care for their children by themselves; sometimes children lose their parents or never knew them. These are the children we help.

MOTHERHOOD We know a child should be at the heart of a secure, loving, long-term relationship with a parent or carer, who provides positive guidance, trust and support. BROTHERS AND SISTERS Our aim is to keep families together. If this is not possible, we strive to ensure that brothers and sisters grow up together, so that they can keep their own shared history and build a shared future. FAMILY All children should live in a family that will support them to reach their full potential. HOME We help families create a loving and nurturing environment where children can always feel at home a place to which they can always return. MOMENTS OF HAPPY CHILDHOOD We make it possible for children to live as children to feel loved, protected, and comfortable enough to build good memories. VILLAGE Each child should have a good place to grow up a familiar environment, where their needs are put first, and where they can build their confidence and learn in a positive, supportive community. CHILDHOOD IN CULTURAL DIVERSITY We work to ensure that every child is able to form his or her own convictions following beliefs, being true to cultural roots and respecting those of others. EDUCATION AND PERSONAL GROWTH Our aim is to enable children to develop into adults who have the skills to take responsibility for themselves and contribute to their communities. Our Principles We believe that a child has the best chances to develop w ell in a caring family environment supported by strong social networks when all our decisions and actions are based on what is in the childs best interests when children are involved in finding solutions to challenges they face in their lives

A caring family environment Our goal is that each child can develop in a caring family environment. The key word being caring. We make it our business that each child has a caring parent or care-giver who can support his/her development. Brothers and sisters should be able to stay together, unless it is not what is best for them. The family should be a place where children feel secure and know that they belong. Strong social networks Children and their families are part of a community. A community can become a social support network. This can have many positive benefits for children and their families. For children in alternative care, who already lack a strong family support system, it is even more important to be part of a community. We work with partners such as governments or community-based organisations to make networks stronger. We help communities take responsibility for the well-being of all children and for the support of their families, including care-givers. The best interests of the child As each child is different and has a different family situation, background and needs, we do not believe in a one-

size-fits-all approach. We look at the situation of each child separately and, together with the relevant authorities, the child and his or her family, decide on a tailored response. Involving children All too often adults assume that they know what is best for a child. Ever more, adults understand that children have the right to participate in decisions that affect their lives and their development. Not only is it a right, but when children and young people are involved in finding solution to the challenges they face, they learn important Three types of intervention SOS Children's Villages aims to help improve the situation of vulnerable children in many ways and by working with partners at different levels. Three main ways can be identified: by making child care, education, and health care available to children and their families directly by helping families and communities to become strong so they can take care of their children better and organise child care, education and health care by helping to improve the policies and practices of the state

Direct services for children and their families Where a childs family or other care givers cannot take care of him or her, or cannot afford to send the child to school or bring him or her to the doctor when needed, or where such services are not available, we work with families to determine what their children need and with local partners to make it possible. Supporting families and communities In order to help families and communities to become strong so that they can take care of their children better, and organise the services that children need, SOS Childrens Villages supports families - incl. care givers -, communities, the state and others to develop the attitudes, knowledge, skills, resources, systems, and structures to protect and care for the child. We do so through skills training, teaching programmes and workshops. Care: Sharing knowledge about child care, parenting and child protection In the area of care, we organise trainings for families, care-givers and for other duty bearers and service providers to share knowledge about child care, parenting and child protection. We help families to be financially self-sufficient by helping them develop income generating activities. One example is increasing their access to job skills through life skills training and through empowerment of care givers. Education: Partnerships at local, national, and international levels In the area of education, SOS Childrens Villages builds partnerships on local, national, and international levels with other organisations to strengthen the abilities of duty bearers, teachers and principals, schools, kindergartens, education authorities and parents. Health: HIV/AIDS In the area of health, we work particularly against the background of the HIV/AIDS pandemic, and put all effort into helping community-based organisations and local governments to respond more adequately to the needs and rights of children and families affected by AIDS. Advocacy: improving policy and practice of the State Through advocacy actions, we aim to improve the overall framework conditions for children whose parents cannot take care of them, or who are at risk of losing the care of their families. We do this by bringing about changes in policies and practices that weaken childrens rights.

We help families care for their children. We provide quality alternative care for children who cannot live with their biological families. We strengthen families SOS Family Strengthening Programmes help keep children in the care of their family. We support disadvantaged families at risk of separation by bolstering their capacity to protect and care for their children. Strengthening safety nets within the community is key. We run over 2,300 programmes that cater to more than one million children and adults around the world. We have an individual plan for every child in our care Children, who cannot be cared for by their biological families are supported by family-based carers either with foster families or within our SOS Childrens Villages. SOS families provide individualised care to promote the development, education and health of each child. In partnership with communities we develop local infrastructure and run kindergartens, day care centres, schools, vocational training centres and medical facilities. We provide over 80,000 children and youth with family-based care. We provide children with a voice to exercise their rights Guided by the spirit of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, SOS Children's Villages advocates for the rights of children and believes that a childs development is best achieved in a family environment.

What you can do With your support we can secure a future for those who are unable to help themselves. Children need our help every day - people in need cannot wait until tomorrow. Sponsor a child Would you like to help orphaned and abandoned children find a new home and a family? Here's how you can get involved: As a sponsor, you will help us make a world of difference to children Sponsor a village Thank you for wanting to sponsor children and hereby giving children a new home and a family. Online donation

Thank you for wanting to make an online donation to give children a new home and a family. The children depend on SOS friends like you! CSR & corporate partnership A socially responsible business model is of benefit to all concerned. Together we can make it happen. Emergencies The victims of a disaster are benefiting from our Emergency Relief. To ensure we can continue with our Emergency Relief Programmes, your donations are much appreciated. Link to our website If you have your private home page or other web page you can support SOS Children's Villages by placing a link to our websites. With this link you can raise awareness of our work on behalf of children in need. SOS Arab Fund SOS Children's Villages has been active in Arab countries and has been present in the Middle East and North Africa for over 40 years. The countries of operation include Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Sudan, Syria, Somalia, Tunisia, and the Palestinian Territories (Gaza and the West Bank)