All the stakeholders of FOYO has suffered the dreadful experiences of the past and have worked tirelessly in attempting to alleviate the suffering of the vulnerable. In the centre of FOYO’s program is to help rebuild the communities in providing well water, schools buildings, education, livelihood and entrepreneur training and providing relief during natural disasters. The livelihood need of the Female Headed House Holds and campaign against social malice such as alcohol abuse that is destroying the social fabric of the local communities will continue to be a focus area for FOYO.
The North East have had untold sufferings caused by the many years of war and is in the process of rebuilding with the help and assistance of donors, diaspora and the government of Sri Lanka. However, FOYO believes that engaging the local community and enhancing their capacity to be involved in the rebuilding the affected areas must be at the center of such rebuilding initiatives. The local victims of war are deeply disappointed that many rebuilding initiatives that are carried out are large scale and more sophisticated that locals do not have the capacity to participate in these. The skills and personnel are brought from other parts of the country denying the locals of opportunities to participate and increasing the rent and living expenses in the local areas. Such initiatives are insensitive to the challenges of social advancement of the war affected communities. The IDP returnees of the recent past account 96.7 % in Kilinochchi and 98.2 % in Mullaitivu respectively (refer NPC Statistics) and lesser percentages in other parts of the Vanni area. Most if not all are highly traumatized by the war and the subsequent security related campaigns of the previous administration and looking forward with a ray of hope in this present condition to try and get back on their feet and advance socially.
FOYO’s capacity to engage, respond must be rapidly improved. We will continue to seek financial and capacity assistance to be able to give voice to the local grass root views of the affected communities and facilitate their engagement in rebuilding initiatives. When a natural disaster takes place in the Vanni areas local organizations such as FOYO are approached by donor agencies to assist with the relief efforts, however, these organizations seldom plan to develop their capacities. The projects have reached the poorest segments of our people energizing their lives and communities through the various sector interventions. Education, economic development, health & nutrition, water and sanitation are the foundations that drive our projects. Bifurcating the sectors are thematic crosscutting issues such as gender, protection, disability, gender, environment and climate change, conflict sensitivity & peace building and disaster risk reduction. My gratitude to our donors, local and central government authorities, local & international partners, FOYO staff and board of directors for playing the key roles in changing the lives of people in all targeted communities.