French NGO Solidarité Laïque moving forward with the project “Together for early Childhood in Sri Lanka 2018-2021” [fr]

The French NGO Solidarité Laïque, alongside the French Agency for Development (AFD), launched on December 18th 2018 its program “Together for early childhood in Sri Lanka!”, in presence of :

- His Excellency Mr. Eric Lavertu, Ambassador of France to Sri Lanka,
- Mr. Jean-Philippe Gavois, Cooperation and Cultural Counselor, French Embassy,
- Mr. Martin Parent, AFD Country Director,
- Mr. Alain Canonne, General Director, and Mrs. Judith Chavalarias, Desk Officer, for Solidarité Laïque France,
- Mr. Kithsiri Liyanagamage, Assistant secretary, Ministry of Education, Southern Province,
- Representatives of partner organizations Aaruthal and ACUT,

This project implemented by the French NGO Solidarité Laïque, is a follow-up to six years of activities and almost 1 million euros invested by France through the French Agency for Development. Solidarité Laïque, after acting in Sri Lanka since 2009 with the support of the AFD, has developed an expertise in early childhood issues, especially in post-conflict areas.

The NGO is moving forward to another scale with the project “Together for Early Childhood in Sri Lanka 2018-2021”. Indeed, the first years of activities showed positive results at a local scale: 115 public authorities trained, 320 teachers enrolled in one year diploma, almost 700 people sensitized. This third phase of the program will now contribute to improving the quality and efficiency of the preschool in 5 provinces: North, East, West, Central and South.

Actions will be implemented around 3 main axes:
- Reinforcement of the dialog between preschools actors at local, district, provincial and national levels;
- Capacity building for Preschool teachers;
- Support for a better recognition of Early Childhood Education and Preschool teachers.

Early childhood education is essential for the development of children. It is also a fundamental matter in the empowerment of marginalized families, especially women who face difficult situations. Preschool development is part of the 4th Sustainable Development Goal related to Education.

In Sri Lanka, less than one in two children between 3 and 5 are enrolled in preschool (World Bank). By supporting the project “Together for preschool in Sri Lanka”, France, through the French Agency for Development, contributes, in cooperation with the sri lankan authorities and civil society, to ensure that, by 2030, all girls and boys have access to quality early childhood development, care and pre-primary education.
About Solidarité Laïque: Since 1956, Solidarité Laïque fights against exclusion and strives to improve access to quality education for all. The association, made of 50 members, is present in France and in more than 20 other countries. Its member associations, cooperatives, foundations, mutual insurance companies and trade unions work together based on shared values such as secularism and the fight against all forms of exclusion, while actively contributing to upholding the fundamental rights of any individual, regardless of their origins, convictions and social situation.

In Sri Lanka, Solidarité Laïque aims at granting access to quality education to all, with a focus on pre-School education, by promoting exchanges of good practices between civil society actors and in cooperation with public authorities.

About Agence Française de Développement (AFD): AFD is an inclusive public financial institution and the main actor in France’s development policy. It makes commitments to projects that genuinely improve the everyday lives of people, in developing and emerging countries and in French overseas territories.

AFD works in many sectors – energy, health, biodiversity, water, digital technologies, training – and supports the transition to a safer, more equitable and more sustainable world: a world in common. Its action is fully in line with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Through its network of 85 agencies, AFD operates in 109 countries and is currently supporting over 3,600 development projects. In 2017, it earmarked EUR 10.4bn to finance these projects.

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Online 24/12/2018

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