Dr Johann Hesse, the Head of Cooperation for the European Union Delegation to Sri Lanka and Maldives, accompanied by Programme Manager Mr Chandana Hewawasam, visited project interventions in Wilgamuwa DSD, Matale implemented by ADRA., These interventions aim to support children’s nutrition, household food security, and public health.
Through ADRA, the EU has assisted over 800,000 individuals through two projects: ACCEND (Assisting Communities in Creating Environmental and Nutritional Development) and AIM-RECCEND (Addressing the Immediate and Medium-Term Needs of the Rural and Estate Communities in Creating Environmental and Nutritional Development). These projects have contributed to improved health, nutrition, water, sanitation, and hygiene in vulnerable communities in Matale, Monaragala, and Nuwara Eliya Districts.
During the visit, the EU Delegation visited the Weheragala Preschool in Wilgamuwa, Matale, where they participated in the school dairy supplementation program supported by the AIM-RECCEND project. To symbolize their support, Mr. and Mrs. (Dr) Hesse and Mr. Hewawasam presented a glass of milk to the preschool children. The project supports local farmers in Matale and Nuwara Eliya districts with dairy cows and has established sustainable systems and linkages to provide over 200 preschool children with a cup of milk each school day to enhance their protein and nutritional intake. The delegation also visited a farmer who supplies milk to the school and shared samples of yogurt produced by his family using machinery provided by the project. The AIM-RECCEND Project primarily focuses on supporting vulnerable communities and families affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and economic crisis. It addresses nutrition by establishing Nutrition Home Gardens and supplementing school feeding programs. Furthermore, it improves government health and education facilities to ensure access to clean water, hygiene, and sanitation, thereby building healthy and resilient communities.
Throughout the day, the EU Delegation visited the Ladiyangala Primary School, where the EU funded a deep borehole water system powered by solar energy. The teachers expressed their satisfaction with the continuous water supply provided by the project particularly during this drought season caused by insufficientrainfall. The delegation also visited the homesteads of beneficiaries in Aliwanguwa GN Division, who have been supported in creating nutrition home gardens that produce a variety of organically grown vegetables. These farmers, along with their neighbors, contribute their excess produce to the Medakanda Preschool to support their school feeding program for little children.
In the face of a multidimensional economic crisis in such rural communities, the EU, with the support of development agencies like ADRA, aims to create environments where children and families can be resilient in the face of challenges.
The Addressing the Immediate and Medium-Term Needs of the Rural and Estate Communities in Creating Environmental and Nutritional Development (AIM-RECCEND) Project is a 12-month project funded by the European Union, implemented by the Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) Sri Lanka in the most vulnerable estate and rural communities in Matale, Monaragala and Nuwara Eliya Districts contributing to the resilience and recovery from crisis and shock through improvement is water, sanitation, hygiene, health and nutrition.