Testimony of Sanusanth's internally displaced family

War Child Holland Sri Lanka Jaffna IDEAL schoenen

Photo: Jeppe Schilder

Sri Lanka’s civil war saw more than 70,000 people lose their lives. Another 800,000 people were forced to flee their homes.

Sri Lanka is now moving towards stability - but problems still remain. Vital infrastructure assets such as schools and roads remain in disrepair. A series of natural disasters have delayed reconstruction efforts.

The structures that should serve to keep children safe also need to be rebuilt. Children are exposed to a number of threats to their safety and wellbeing - including drugs, alcohol and the unwanted attentions of criminal gangs. War Child works to repair child protection structures and support children to build their emotional resilience.

“"They still often talk about the war.”"

Sanusanth (14): “I learned about the war through my mother and grandmother. Our family was displaced from Kankesanthurai 20 years ago. Some of our relatives went abroad as refugees. Our parents came to Jaffna and settled here. They still often talk about the war.”

“Our teachers also talk about the war. They explain how they were able to study under very difficult conditions and achieve things with their lives - even in the middle of war. They tell us that we should also be prepared to face difficult situations in life. They provide us with good guidance in that way.”

“In the I-DEAL sessions we are taught almost everything. We practice listening skills and learn about other people by taking part in discussions. We have also learned how to build relationships with people we don’t know.”

“Today we learned about our strengths and weaknesses. We used the word ‘happy’ to end that session.”

“Our teachers explain how to achieve things - even in the middle of war."