The Ministry of Social Services has initiated several programs to develop the living standards of the victims of the conflict lasted for thirty years in the North and the East.
These programs have been created to support the vulnerable groups of the community such as persons with disabilities, single parent families and elders. The following are some of the programs.
A hand to self employment
Under this, a program on awareness on micro- enterprises and self employment opportunities has been launched to empower single parent families in these areas. The ‘Single Parent Families Empowerment Program’ has provided Rs. 3, 543, 000.00 to 325 families in the North while seventy four families in the East have been provided with Rs. 728, 000.00 to set up self employments. In addition, 477 applications for financial assistance for self-employment from the North and 290 applications from the East have also been received to date which are being processed currently.
In parallel with this, National Counseling Center of the Social Services Ministry has initiated programs such as preventive counseling, treatment counseling and capacity building counseling for the people in these two provinces, with the aim of reduction of school drop outs, domestic violence, crime rate and the improvement of mental health and social integration in the resettled areas among the affected persons. These programs will give priority to single parents with children. The programs have benefitted 70, 891 individuals from IDP welfare centers and resettlement areas in Northern Province and 32, 230 individuals in the Eastern Province so far.
Social care; a safety net
Another program has been set off to assist vulnerable groups through Social Care Centers. According to that, 54 Social Care Centers in the Northern Province and 49 Social Care Centers in the Eastern province are in operation currently to provide an integrated Social Care package to act as a safety net to the vulnerable persons including the war affected. The Ministry in collaboration with UNICEF assisted a considerable number of single-parent families in the North and East, through these Centers, were supported by providing financial assistance for Self Employment and for empowering them.
The ministry has also raised the human development in the field of Social Care and Social Protection. Under this, the National Institute of Social Development (NISD) of the Ministry of Social Services conducted training programs which include the fields of Counseling and Psycho-Social Intervention, Child Protection and Women Empowerment.
With the aim of assisting elders, the ministry has provided Elders Identity Cards to facilitate transactions of business at public and private-sector institutions on priority basis, purchase medication at discount-rates, higher interest rates for deposits in Banks etc.
Life goes ahead with rehabilitation
Community Based Rehabilitation Programme is another plan comes under the initiative of the ministry to assist the people in the North and the East.
Under this, a total of 1323 and 192 people from North and East Provinces respectively, have directly benefitted through initiatives such as rehabilitation at home level, integration in to society, referring to pre-schools, special schools, therapy treatment and Vocational training in both the Northern and the Eastern Provinces.
Funds not an issue anymore
In addition, the ministry is providing housing assistance, Rs. 3000.00 monthly livelihood assistance. Also, assistive devices, such as spectacle, wheel chairs, crutches, commode-wheel-chairs and tricycles have been provided based on individual requirements.
Self Employment Assistance programme for persons with disabilities, awareness programs for capacity building of community leaders and volunteers are also being provided under these programs of the Social Services Ministry.
In addition, financial assistance; Rs.1000.00 has been provided to elders over 70 years. Currently, a total of 34,053 individuals from the Northern Province and Eastern Province have been included under this program to-date. This is an ongoing programme.