සෙනෙහෙ දිය is a project initiated by the team Los Amigos with the objective of standing together for a positive change and inspiring the ones in despair. The project is based on the Rotary focus area ‘Maternal and Child Health’. Maternal and Child Health focuses on issues concerning women, children, and families. It concerns problems such as access to recommended prenatal and child care and well-being, infant and maternal mortality prevention, maternal and child mental health, and child nutrition. It further provides services such as newborn screening, child immunization, and services for children with special health care needs.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), health is a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease and infirmity. That is the main reason why the team Los Amigos aimed for the physical, mental, and social well-being of the mothers and the children through the project සෙනෙහෙ දිය . The project is focused on ensuring the health and safety of the mothers and the children. Through this project team Los Amigos identified two main issues prevailing in society regarding this topic. They are adolescent pregnancy and mothers in rural areas suffering from the economic crisis. The two benefiting parties from the project are young aged pregnant children and pregnant ladies with poor financial backgrounds.
The 1st phase of the project is focused on adolescent mothers who are under the age of 18. Even though they are expectant mothers, they are still helpless children who lack the knowledge to build up their lives and move forward. They are facing hardships due to the absence of an appropriate way of living and they are living in despair due to their unpromising future. Adolescent pregnancy is a grave issue in Sri Lankan society. Most of the time, adolescent pregnancy is ignored and condemned by society. That is one of the main reasons why these children face difficulties. Hence, the team Los Amigos decided to be an inspiration to these despaired youngsters.
The first phase of the project සෙනෙහෙ දිය took place in an institute in the Embilipitiya area where adolescent pregnant mothers are taken care of. The first phase of the project happened with the participation of Rtr. Nipuna Rathnayake, the Co-Director of the Member Relations Avenue of Rotaract Club of University of Kelaniya, Senior Probation Officer Mr. S.E Artigala, Probational Officer Ms. Udeshika Priyadarshani, and Development Officer Ms. K. H. A. Koshila.
Through the first phase of the project, team Los Amigos donated books and sewing materials needed for the children. The children in this institute are engaged in sewing and we were informed that they lack the required resources to engage in this activity. Thus, we donated the materials required for sewing. We also donated about hundred books for the library which they have in the institute. Reading books can help them to get over most of their problems and to stay motivated. It helps them to enjoy life while learning new things.
Furthermore, a counseling session was done by Mr. W.M Senavirathna, a Nursing Officer from the Embilipitiya MOH office. He talked about the importance of mental health and how to face problems related to mental health. He taught the children how reading can improve their mental health and live peacefully. It was truly an inspiring session not just for the children but also for everyone present there. We are genuinely happy about being able to motivate them and teach them to enjoy life.
Other than these, an entertaining session was done by Mr. Chamal Priadhashana, who is a teacher at Kella Maha Vidyalaya. He is a visually impaired person with amazing musical talent. His mellifluous performances enlivened the event to a greater extent. The main motive for making him a part of our event is to motivate the children. We wanted to let them know that not every person in this world is perfect and that there are people who are facing graver problems than they do. All we have to do is stay motivated and face the difficulties successfully. If we want we can do wonders no matter what challenges we’ve faced in our lives. We sincerely hope that they understood our motive and will live a better life in the future. It is so satisfying to see the smiling faces of the youngsters. It is as if they forgot all the burdens for a moment. Not just the youngsters but also the officers enjoyed our event.
The second phase of the project was a community service-based endeavor to serve the public. The main focus of the project was the sustainability of the public. A lot of parents face grave difficulties due to the current pandemic situation and the economic crisis in the country. That is the reason why the team Los Amigos decided to help eight innocent mothers who are facing financial difficulties. The second phase happened with the participation of Rtr. Kisal Ekanayake, the President of the Rotaract Club of University of Kelaniya, Psychiatrist Mr. Dhanushka Kanchana Jayaweera, and Dr. Sudheera.
Through the second phase of the project, team Los Amigos gave maternity items to a selected set of mothers to ensure the safety and the wellbeing of the children to be born. Through this attempt, we were able to help eight mothers who are facing financial difficulties. Not only this but a counseling session was also conducted by Mr. Dhanushka Kanchana Jayaweera for both mothers and fathers. The counseling session was on maintaining a family and taking care of children. The main motive of this counseling session is to minimize family conflicts and ensure the mental health and well-being of the children and the parents.
Team Los Amigos was able to achieve the main objective of the project which is the sustainability of the public by focusing on the health aspect of the mothers and the babies. It was such a memorable moment to experience, the smiling faces of the parents told a lot of things that words could never express. The second phase of the project ended with huge success, not because of any other reason but simply because the team Los Amigos was able to secure the safety of the mothers and the babies through the second phase of the project සෙනෙහෙ දිය .
The second phase concluded the project සෙනෙහෙ දිය . Through the project සෙනෙහෙ දිය , team Los Amigos was able to serve the public and ensure maternal and child health. We not only focused on physical well-being but we also focused on mental health, which is also important to live a healthy and happy life. We are truly contented about what we were able to achieve through the project සෙනෙහෙ දිය .
~Written by: Rtr. Yashoda Weerasekara ~