Who we are
History of the Organisation - “Children are our future world”
Eastern Self- Reliant Community Awakening Organisation (ESCO) is implementing development activities over two decades in the Eastern province – Batticaloa, Trincomallee and Ampara and it has been committed to rebuilding the lives of children and their families affected by the war & conflict. Children are especially vulnerable and have often lost a secure and loving environment due to the war & conflict. They have lost family, cultural identity and a sense of future. They are also at risk of many forms of exploitation.
Therefore, ESCO has given more importance for child development programmes among others. The organization ESCO was set off based on the ReddBarna (Save the Children-Norway) INGO’s programmes for the first time in Batticaloa as of 1998 and has been registered as a nongovernmental organization at the divisional secretariat of Koralaipattu in 1999. ESCO has commenced its development activities by supporting 75 affected children who lost both parents (separated children) by war and conflict.
The project activities have been extended to Koralaipattu North and South covering 375 separated children and their carers later. Around year 2000, it broadened its programme supporting children of single parent’s households by conducting, counselling programmes and providing livelihoods for those households. During 2002, ESCO initiated programmes under “Rebuilding Lives” for single parents and their children and with this extended to work on “Empowering New Beginnings” for widowers whose wives were drawn by the tsunami tidal waves in the most significant areas – the prominent beach Pasikudah and worked on Alcoholic Anonymous. Issue of relief items for the Tsunami victims in Batticaloa, Trincomalee and Amparai has supported more than 5000 families. From 2000 to date, ESCO has supported for the establishment of 100 children clubs in Batticaloa district. Moreover ESCO has formed Sustainable Agriculture Rehabilitation Committee and in 2009 the Women Economical and Development Organisation funded by European Union through Oxfam GB. ESCO was registered (Reg No: BT/RVSS/2009/03) at the district level in the same year 2009.
Children are the future we try to save theme
Holistic approach to development and empowerment
All our programmes are designed to be holistic including psychosocial assistance, economic upliftment and community development. We believe this holistic approach leads to improving the social and psychological environment for children affected by the pro-longed war & conflict and tsunami disaster.
Types of the Projects implemented by ESCO
ESCO worked the programmes on; Empowering children and young people to become as child rights advocates and ensuring their meaningful participation in decision making process, Mental health well-being program for children and adults – formed child volunteer groups to identify the mental health issues and created linkages with mental health units for referrals, Safe labour migration programme in collaboration with the ministry of foreign employment & Bureau of foreign employment, Infrastructure development programmes – EUACAP, EIDHR, Community policing programme, Empowering the quality of lives of the women headed families – psychosocial and economical support, Life skills development programme with women headed families, Prevention and reduction of alcoholism, Rebuilding lives and empowering new beginnings – widower, Health and hygienic programme – Mobile medical clinics and health & hygienic programme, Setting up water supply systems – for under privileged villages, Immediate relief and rehabilitation – DRR.
These programmes have been funded by Save the Children, UNICEF, UNDP, OXFAM, DDC, ACTED, NTT, Diakonea, War Child Holland - WCH, Basic Needs – Sri Lanka, HDI, Swiss Agency for Development & Co-operation and NRC.
Target groups & stakeholders of ESCO
In the 18 years of our journey, we have been working with different target groups such as Children & Young people including separated children and single parent’s children Youth, Women – Women headed families & vulnerable families, widowers, Civil society organisations (CSOs) – community leaders and members of the CSOs - Village child development committees and State actors affiliate with our projects’ objectives. We implemented the projects in collaboration with the stakeholders such as Ministry of foreign employment, Divisional Secretariats, Department of education, Department of Health, Department of Probation and Child Care services, Department of Police, Department of agriculture, and Department of agrarian.
Key achievements of the programmes
Functioning of community based structures such as 89 Village Child Development Committees – VCDCs, 26 Child Volunteer Groups – working with mental health issues, women CBOs, 06 Arts Clubs and 06 resource centers of children and young people – performing crews to conduct innovative creations, story & script writing, 100 children clubs, working with mediation boards, reformed and strengthened civil protection committees and working closely with Department of police, Supported for the development of government structures - Child protection units at 06 divisional secretariats and also at district secretariat, information centres at 14 divisional secretariats, Model police station in Valaichenai, Prepared & published Child Rights Awareness Music Video Album highlighting child rights violations and issues, Street Dramas & Arts Clubs – They are continuing the awareness creations at community/ division and district level. District Children Parliament Event – Child rights advocacy programme.