With the onset of the pandemic, the education of children has faced with numerous difficulties. According to the global statistics and reports from UNESCO, the closure and clock down situations have badly affected the usual education pattern of children, prompting many disadvantaged and vulnerable children to move away from the formal school education system.

Further to that, many children find it difficult to pursue their studies due to the downturn economic conditions and job losses of their parents. Caritas field visits to the grass roots level communities and interactions with the children have revealed immense difficulties and mental stress that the children are undergoing due to the present social and economic context born out of the pandemic.

As Caritas Sri Lanka witnessed, the pandemic has created a human, economic and social crisis.

Hence, Caritas Sri Lanka having implemented many educational support programs previously, initiated an online “Origami and STEAM Workshop” for children under the project titled, “Supporting Primary Education of Poor & Vulnerable Children” in the Southern province of Sri Lanka. Under this, 3 Origami workshops and 3 STEAM workshops were held within a span of 3 weeks in the month of September and October this year.

Origami is the art of paper folding, which is often associated with Japanese culture. In modern usage, the word “origami” is used as an inclusive term for all folding practices, regardless of their culture of origin (Japan).

STEAM is an educational approach to learning that uses Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts and Mathematics as access points for guiding student inquiry, dialogue, and critical thinking.

Rev. Fr. Herman Fernando, the Director and Mr. Chandima Pereira, Education Programme Coordinator, Caritas SED Galle spearheaded the initiative in close collaboration with the Caritas Sri Lanka National Centre Team.

A group of 176 children from the following eight schools participated in the workshops.

  1. Thissamaharama –   Nedigamvila Junior School
  2. Kirindagama –    Kirindagama Primary school
  3. Abesekaragama –    Abesekaragama Maha Vidyalaya
  4. Rotawala –    Rotawala Primary School
  5. Bunadala –   Bunadala Primary School
  6. Weligama –   Wanigasiri Primary School, Batawala
  7. Magedara –   Magedara Maha Vidyalaya
  8. Kandewatta – Kandewatta Al Ameeran School