by Jeff Ratcliffe, ChildFund Humanitarian Response Specialist
I traveled to Northern Sri Lanka this week to look into post-conflict projects our national office wanted to accomplish. The destruction was heartrending as I found people trying to find solutions to the many needs that must be addressed following conflict: food, water, security, jobs and shelter – to name but a few. I was cheered by the positive attitudes of the Sri Lankan people as they work to improve their situation.
I met with youth, teachers and parents to better understand the problems that exist with their schools and how the community is proposing to address those issues. ChildFund is committed to helping after consultation with the Sri Lankan people.
My meeting with the youth was most insightful. I posed this question: “What would you like to do when you grow up?” Several youths mentioned that they would like to be teachers. A few mentioned that they want to work in the market.
One girl, however, shyly raised her hand and did not speak until I called upon her. She said that she would like to be a doctor. To test the young girl’s awareness I asked her what she needed to study to be doctor. She replied that she needed to study science and anatomy.
It is moments like this that give development staff hope. I see that despite the long civil war that Sri Lanka’s youth are thinking about rebuilding their lives—and we at ChildFund will be with them during this difficult journey.