RoseJet powers up K2K kids education

As the 2012 school year enters its final months, it’s time for Rose Charities Sri Lanka to begin implementing its K2K (Kid to Kid) or JET Scholarship Program for the 2013 school year. So far, 16 students from the Natpiddimunai, Annamalai, and Pandirupu areas have been identified as needing special help and support. These 16 students, ages 6-15, come from families which have been severely affected by tsunami, war, or other hardships. All are missing at least one parent, and all face great obstacles to receiving the basic necessity of a proper education.

Rose Charities has worked with community support workers, local public school administrators, and the divisional secretary’s office to identify those children with the greatest need. After background checks and verification was conducted by RCSL, 16 students and their families were brought together for a meeting on August 30th with Rose Charities Sri Lanka CEO Anthony Richard and Rose staff who implement this program. Each of these 16 students will receive continued financial and material support provided by generous overseas donors participating in the K2K program. Initially, this will include a school supply package consisting of pens, pencils, a geometry set, textbooks and exercise books, and a backpack. In addition, an educational savings account has been opened for eight of the older students with an initial deposit.

CEO Anthony Richard talked with the families about the importance of saving for a child’s educational future and of the great empowerment and success that can be attained with a quality education. He also stressed accountability for both students and parents in keeping Rose Charities up-to-date so that it can provide continued support, and in ensuring that the funds donated to the K2K program are making a real and lasting impact on children’s lives.

More information on the K2K program can be found here:
We wish these students the best of luck as they enter the 2013 school year, and we look forward to many future successes!

International Womens Day !

Rose Charities Celebrates International Womens Day.. !

Sri Lanka:   Young Women’s Clubs –  8 villages,   Girls sports programs ,  Women’s University Scholarship Program,  Women’s Livelihood Groups (Women’s Support and Women’s Vocational Training.

Pakistan:   Frontier Primary Health Care support of  Traditional Birth Attendant training program

Cambodia: ‘Access for All’  program for disabled womens education, support and vocational training

Afghanistan:  Tabish-Rose Charities Training Women’s Health and Computer training program’s

Guatemala:  Safe Motherhood women’s birth attendant and women’s health programs

Zambia:  Womens income generation programs

Haiti:  Women’s neonatal nursing training

World Birth aid pack
saves countless lives

We also wish to laud the women’s programs Rose  has been privileged to have supported, partnered  or planned with, in the past (and perhaps the future too!)  including  the Lumbini Program for training of Women Village Eye Screeners   and the remarkable  ‘WBDI’ Organization in Samoa,  the One in Three Women Organization (Seattle) and  World Birth Aid (Seattle)


Haiti Cholera Relief 2010.
Dr Amy Osborne

The organizers of Rose Charities also pay tribute and gratitude to the professional women volunteers (nurses, physicians, counselors, logisticians etc) who have contributed over 50% of involvement, organization and sustainability of emergency relief and ‘post-relief’ operations Rose Charities and close partners AMDA have played over the years.  Their magnificent work has helped tens of thousands of victims in many parts of the globe.

Hurricane Katrina 2005
R.N.Kirsten Reems
2004 Asian Tsunami Sri Lanka
R.N.Mary Spencer
Japan Eathquake/Tsunami 2011

Rose Charities Canada’s 2nd Project Presentation Forum. Vancouver

The ‘BC Place’ Sadium formed an
impressive backdrop to the meetin

The 2nd Rose Charities Canada Project Presentation Forum held at the Creekside ‘Olympic Village’ Community Centre in Vancouver attracted around 80 persons and represented a spectrum from those with close Rose involvment to those just curious to know more about Rose projects. Food was ‘pot-luck’ which resulted in a groaning table of delicious food and an drinks were available at a small donation bar.

Topics demonstrated the wide range of Rose Charities Canada involvment areas, both geographical as well as sectorial. Sadly, time, and the quantity of projects permitted only short 5 minute presentations, but this tight schedule also allowed a mid period for refreshments and all-important networking .

Rachel Greene (Rose Charities NY)
presents on Social Networking

Special guests were Rachel Greene and Clare Seekins of Rose Charities USA, who presented the work of Rose Charities NY with their digital art program for reservation youth in Idaho, as well as a talk on social media. 

The evening was deemed interesing and enjoyable by all.

Presentations consisted of ..

  • Rose Charities Canada Admin (Maggie Francis, Josephine de Freitas)
  • Rose Charities USA project (Idaho First Nation Youth Project) and Social Networking (Rachel Greene, Clare Seekins – both Rose Charities USA)
  • Mayan Project (Education) (Dr Ellen Coburn)
  • Safe Motherhood Guatamala (Annette Borkent)
  • Malambo Grassroots (Jocelyn Banyard)
  • Rose Charities in Haiti (Linda Warner)
  • Brighter Smiles Uganda (Drea Burbank)
  • Rose Charities Vietnam (Louis Lap Nguyen)
  • Education Generation (Mila Lukic )
  • Rose Charities Cambodia (Dr Will Grut)
  • Volset Uganda (Roger Huyghe)
  • Stand Tall Education Uganda (Nicole Schouela)
  • Hands up for Africa Kenya (Colin Harivel)
  • Rose Madagascar (Dr Emma Noble/Luke King)
  • Rose Sri Lanka (Mike Ramanaden)
Rose Charities Canada’s Louise Aaronson and Pricilla Yogendran
take refreshments between presentation

Books for School Children Sri Lanka

With the association of Dr. Jogarajah of Loyal Publications, Colombo a book containing ten years of past Grade 5 Scholarship Examination published by Loyal Publication have been issued to a number of students who will sit for the Exams in August, 2011.
The Scholarship Examination (also known as the Grade 5 Scholarship exam) is a highly competitive Sri Lankan examination conducted by the Department of Examinations of the Ministry of Education. It is optional for students to undertake it during the final year of primary school (Grade 5 (usually ages 9-10)). Based on the results of the exam, students could transfer to prominent national schools. This Exam is a means for gifted students from villages to move to better schools with government scholarships. Annually based on demand for individual schools, cut-off marks are set by the Ministry of Education. In recent years the exam has become extremely competitive.
Every parent likes to enroll their child to a popular good school in major cities. If they fail in the first round to enter their child to Grade 1, then their next goal would be to get a good school by preparing their child to obtain a high mark in Grade 5 Scholarship examination. In this Examination, students get direct raw mark, unlike other examinations. Therefore Grade 5 Scholarship exam may be the hardest exam in the Sri Lankan school system, considering the age of the candidates.
Rose Charities Srilanka, under its Primary Enrichment Program helps students who are from areas of poor income generation and do not have the resources and access to gain practicable knowledge to prepare them for exam by conducting Enrichment classes after schools. RCSL is not only focusing the Grade 5 students but also preparing grade 4 students in advance to sit for the Grade 5 Scholarship Exam in the year after.
In 2010 Scholarship examination, according to Ceylon Daily News (26 September 2010), 267,750 of the 315,000 students sat the Grade 5 scholarship examination and obtained 70 marks or more. Out of these 16,000 students gained admission to popular schools in the country. Students who obtained best marks will get into following popular school in major Cities in Sri Lanka.
Like last year, in 2011 RCSL is implementing the Primary Enrichment Program in 14 schools in the area with a total of 410 students in grade 5 and 11 schools with 314 students in grade 4. Our Primary enrichment classes for grade 5 came to completion in June, 2011. As a part of this enrichment classes some of the students who were unable to afford for educational materials were issued with past paper books.
# Schools Name
1 Kalaimagal Vidyalayam, Veppayadi.
2 Sri Sakthi Vidyalayam, Navithanvely
3 Annamalai Maha Vidyalayam, Navithanvely.
4 Kannagi Hindu Vidyalayam, Karaitivu
5 Saraswathy Vidyalayam, Neelawanai.
6 Maha Vishnu Vidyalayam, Pandiruppu.
7 Kalaimagal Vidyalayam, Vellavely.
8 Vipulananda Maha Vidyalayam, Malwatta.
9 G.T.M. School, Puthunagar
10 English Language Institute, Kalmunai
11 Vinayagar Vidyalayam, Addappalam.
12 Kanapathipuram Vidyalayam, Malwatta
13 At-Risk Students from Various Villages

Womens groups, meetings, bus-rides – Sri Lanka: Amanda Yogendran writes..

It’s been a busy couple of weeks for us at the Rose Charities Sri Lanka office. The Women’s Sports Meet was a great success as women’s groups from Kalmunai, Pandarippu, Natpaddiumunai and Karaitivu came to participate in a fun day of team building games, skill competitions and social activities. Prizes were handed out to winners while everyone enjoyed a fun-spirited afternoon at the Rose Sri Lanka Head Office.

In the traditional English class, staff are learning how to construct an argument, an important skill in all languages. To display what they have learned, we conducted a class debate between women staff and men staff. The topic was “Women need to have a profession, participate in the work force and the duties at home should be shared between husband and wife.” The girls’ team supported the statement while men were against. It turned out to be a heated debate, demonstrating strong debating skills on both sides. The men of the office stated safety is an issue for young girls and women, especially after dark, limiting a woman’s working hours and freedom to leave the house. On the other hand, the women argued that the more women become professionals the more likely women’s safety will become a priority in society. It was clear that this debate is an important issue among young people in Sri Lanka. Many of the women staff members voiced strong opinions on this issue, attitudes that were certainly formed well before the debate assignment.

Sonia and I spent the weekend at Arugam Bay surfing, swimming and enjoying the beautiful Sri Lankan beach. On our way home, we opted to take the public transit to Kalmunai. About a half hour outside of Kalmunai, a woman boarded the bus with bags of flour and many supplies. She had gone to a neighboring town to purchase ingredients and supplies. As she turned around and saw Sonia and I on the bus her face lit up as she recognized us from the Rose’s Women’s Meet last week. She then exclaimed to the entire overcrowded bus that we were from Canada working in Kalmunai for Rose Charities, an organization that had lent her money to start her small business. As soon as she said the word “Rose” we could see that many people recognized the name and looked at us with gratitude and excitement.

As a token of her appreciation she handed us two small bags of kurakan flour, a type of flour used to make string hoppers and puttu (my favorite Sri Lankan meal). She then quickly jumped off of the moving bus with her luggage and gracefully placed the heavy bags of flour on the crest of her head. As the bus pulled away we watched her balance the bags, weaving in and out of street traffic and into a side street.

The last week has demonstrated the strength, generosity and intelligence of the Sri Lankan people, especially the women. Whether at the Women’s Sport Meet, in the office among the staff or on the bus, we can’t help but appreciate the independent spirit of all of the women we meet.

New education focus in S.E.Sri Lanka

On Wednesday we traveled 45 minutes out of Kalmunai to an area called Vellaveli where Rose is planning to start educational and support programs next month.

Vellaveli is a cultivation dependent area located on the border of the Batticaloa and Ampara District. Though Rose Sri Lanka does not work in the Batticaloa district, Rose came to Vellaveli after it was severely damaged in recent floods. Once controlled by the LTT (Liberated Tamil Tigers) during the civil war, Vellaveli and surrounding areas have gone through decades of isolation. This was apparent when we came across a broken bridge entering the village (see pictures below). Luckily there was a new bridge built that we could take, but during the floods, this was the bridge that the Rose staff crossed in order to deliver relief materials to people without food, shelter or clothes. Call it extremely dedicated or just plain crazy, perhaps Anthony and his team are little bit of both. It was also clear that the needs of the people outweighed the relief workers’ fear.

Even after the floods subsided, the needs in this area were vast. As a first step, Rose carried out a systematic pre-assessment survey among families in order to first develop baseline statistics of the population and second determine the most immediate needs of the people in this area. What they found through this process is an overwhelming number of widows and school drop outs in Vellaveli, particularly young boys, an effect of the civil war.

The purpose of our visit to Vellaveli was to meet with the Divisional Secretary of the Pallewatta District (the district that Vellaveli is in) to discuss the potential programs and workshops that Rose will carry out. This meeting demonstrated the importance of a cooperative relationship between NGO’s, government and multi-national organizations as we discussed collaborating with the Pallewatta Divisional Secretary who is working closely with the UNDP (United Nations Development Programme).

Using the baseline data and in the meeting, Rose identified the need for women’s groups, mother and child nutritional workshops and a drop-out educational support programs. These programs will start early May and will be the first of many RCSL programs in the area. Vellaveli is just an example of Rose identifying and addressing the need in a specific area while at the same time building strong partnerships with other organizations.

ECCE (Early Childhood Care and Education) with Rose Charities Sri Lanka

The more we visit Rose’s programs, the more we realize how far-reaching Rose Charities Sri Lanka really is. Since 2006, Rose Sri Lanka has directly supported isolated and marginalized Tamil, Sinhalese and Muslim communities. In 2011, Rose is addressing educational needs in 9 different districts, covering a large part of not just Kalmunai but the Eastern Province.

On Thursday morning P. Latha, the sports coordinator and P. Kanalakannan, the health and nutrition coordinator took us to Chalambaikrany, a dominantly Muslim area. We visited three preschools, Zahira Preschool, Iemam Hasal Preschool and Mega Preschool where we were welcomed by teachers, parents and children. At Zahira Preschool we met a teacher that had won the ‘Best Preschool Teacher’ award from Rose in 2009. She seemed to take pride in not only her award but her children’s progress. The children were lined up in a semi circle around the teacher, some of the most well behaved 3 year olds we’ve ever seen.

At Iemam Hasali Preschool, we walked in to find children playing with red paint and crayons. There was red paint on their hands, faces and uniforms just as much as their papers. It was exciting to see the children given so much creative freedom and thoroughly enjoy their extra-curricular activities. Rose provides the preschools with art supplies and encourages teachers to balance behavioral development with fun, stimulating activities like art and singing. While in Kalmunai, Sonia has been spending time with preschool teachers to share teaching methods and improve English skills. Singing songs like “Eyes, ears, mouth and nose” and “The Hokey Pokey” has not only been fun but is an effective way to teach 3 year olds about anatomy.

We got to Mega Preschool at around 11:00 am, just as students were getting ready to go home. While the children were gathered together with their Rose backpacks, mothers and fathers came to collect them. The teacher at Mega Preschool shared that parents are increasingly supportive of early childhood development and extremely helpful to the teachers inside and outside the classroom. A mother was practicing the English words that her child had learned in class until he worked up the confidence to come up to us and introduce himself in English. I’ve never been more pleased to be asked “Hello, how are you? What is your name?”

We also learned that the Sri Lankan government has recently agreed to contribute milk packets to each preschool child as a snack. This contribution is the start of a cooperative relationship between Rose Charities and the Sri Lankan government to improve early childhood education in the Ampara District.

Early childhood education is one of Rose Charities’ central programs, with 14 preschools running across the Ampara District. However the program does not only improve access to early education, Rose is constantly working to improve the quality of education in each preschool. Now with government support, perhaps Rose’s model in Ampara can be applied throughout Sri Lanka in future years.

VIBE Center Sri Lanka

The Vancouver Board of Trade in conjunction with Rose Charities Sri Lanka has built an education and technology center for the town of Kalmunai.  After the 2004 tsunami a fund was established by the Vancouver Board of Trade and the funds collected donated to Rose Charities Sri Lanka to help with and augment their community programs  (see

The decision was made by Rose Charities Sri Lanka Program Director Dr Yoga Yogendran, in conjunction with Mr Frank Borowicz, Governor of the Vancouver Board of Trade, to found the facility. The VIBE Center will be one of the first international facilities of its kind and will be equipped with the technology to enable people in remote rural communities to engage in on-line learning and knowledge management through the VIBE e-learning portal, in conjunction with the local Chamber of Commerce. It will also be on of the first learning centers through which a unique new kind of on-line specialized English language training developed by “KnowledgeOne”  (a Vancouver group) will be made available.

The formal opening of the VIBE Center will be at the end of November.

Rose Charities Sri Lanka was registered in Sri Lanka following initial emergency relief,  medical and counseling  teams were sent from Canada.   Mr Anthony Richards,  now Chief Executiver Director of Rose Charities Sri Lanka traveled to Sri Lanka from Canada with the first emergency team and has devoted his life ever since to the building up of Rose Charities Sri Lanka. Projects now include, education, health, peace-sports, micro-credit, income generation and community development. The VIBE Center will be a huge step forward for the Kalmunai Community, one of the worst affected by the tsunami in Sri Lanka