Another installment of 'Girls Go Green’, conducted by Nelum Yaya Foundation, was successfully held in Mihinthalaya, Anuradhpaura on 8th April, 2018.
This is the second installment of an island-wide program conducted by Nelum Yaya Foundation aiming to eradicate rural poverty, child poverty and period poverty. A pilot project of the same was conducted in Polonnaruwa in last month.
'Girls Go Green’ marked a historical turning point as the first program of its type held in Sri Lanka to eradicate rural poverty and to introduce eco-friendly sanitary alternatives.
The entire program consisted of two main parts with an attendance of total of hundred persons. The first part was dedicated to addressing ‘period poverty’. Nelum Yaya Foundation stresses that period poverty is still a fresh and an alien topic to Sri Lankans, albeit economists and sociologists around the globe has recognized ending period poverty as a crucial factor in eradicating rural poverty.
Hansini Sampath delivered an introduction to Nelum Yaya Foundation and the timely importance of a project of this nature. Thereafter, Thushara Manoj conducted the first session on social restraints concerning poverty. Radhika Gunarathna, through the second session, explained the environmental damage caused by commercial sanitary products and emphasized the need of seeking an eco-friendly alternative. Subsequently, free, reusable and eco-friendly sanitary products were distributed amongst rural women from low-income families and school girls.
It is worth mentioning that Nelum Yaya Foundation does all this social work with no expectation of benefits whatsoever.
The second part of 'Girls Go Green’ program was dedicated to raise awareness on dengue prevention. This segment was conducted for dengue prevention week and posters and handbills issued by the Ministry of Health were distributed.
This specific segment was conducted to commemorate the first anniversary of the untimely death of Romali De Silva, who died of dengue in Asiri Central Hospital on 7th April, 2017. The protagonist of ‘Manda Numba Giye Punchi Sawiye’, a true story presented by Lanka News Web, was also Romali De Silva. Until her very last moment, she was given treatments meant for gastritis instead of dengue and received a hospital bill for 7 lakhs. Her parents and family friends, through Romali De Silva Memorial Foundation, joined hands with Nelum Yaya Foundation to perform a great social service in memory of her short but meaningful life, which was similar to a Haiku poem.
Nearly 40 persons including Romali’s parents, brother, relatives and family friends had travelled to Mihintale from Colombo, specifically to take part in this program.
The program was concluded with a delightful performance by two girl children and another child from Anuradhapura, who suffer from physical complications. They represented Muthuhara Children’s Society and had previously achieved all-island victories as well. The performance was so charming that it brought tears to the eyes of the spectators and opened their eyes to see everyone’s personal and common responsibilities to uplift humanity.
The second installment of ‘Girls Go Green’ was sponsored by State Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Corporation and Romali De Silva Memorial Foundation.
Photography: Ajith Senevirathna