Hambantota Education Support Improvement Project
Through the Hambantota Educational Support Improvement Project (HESIP) in Sri Lanka, IRD is working in the Hambantota district to: distribute daily 12,000 sachets of Ultra-High Temperature (UHT) milk to young children in 37 schools; work with communities to improve school infrastructure, particularly water and sanitation systems; and promote improved health and hygiene among students.
This program targets students living in rural areas and strives to enhance their educational environment for improved learning. The daily distribution of 200-ml sachets of milk improves the children’s ability to concentrate on their studies, reduces the number of children fainting and provides an incentive for parents to continue to send their children to school during the harvest season.
Unfortunately, many of the schools lack sufficient water and sanitation facilities or have crumbling walls and roofs. IRD is working with school staff and community members to identify the most-needed repairs and provide the resources necessary for improvement.
HESIP, a health and hygiene program, also includes testing and treatment for parasitic infections to help kids stay healthy and remain in school. IRD recognizes that healthy children are better able to engage their studies.
Following the tsunami, IRD provided 12,000 school kits and other supplies through the support and donations of North West Medical Teams and American schools. IRD is hopeful that this program makes it possible for more students to remain in school and obtain an education that will enable them to grow strong and experience an improved quality of life.