Mandate: To carry out the social obligations of the Christian Community within the socio – economic – political – cultural context in which we live.
Aims and Objectives:
a) Carry out relief, rehabilitation and Development work among the most deprived and under privileged.
b) Capacity building through Social Mobilizing, Awareness and Training programs for the Parishes, Diocese and vulnerable Communities.
c) Capacity building on Disaster Risk Reduction and to prepare a contingency plan at parish and diocese level to minimize the impact of Disasters
The BSR has been actively engaged in several community activities and events throughout the year with committed members on the board. The BSR assisted the Communities and individuals through Relief, Rehabilitation, Medical assistance and development activities. The board also carried out awareness raising, social mobilizing programs and trainings to enhance the knowledge and skills of the Church and Communities.
The BSR is designing a plan/program for the parish and diocese following on the Disaster Risk Reduction Training which was held during the years 2011 – 2013. The trained participants will be the focal resource persons for this disaster risk reduction journey at diocese level.
The BSR has been de- centralized in April for more effective work among the church and communities especially to assist immediately and effectively during emergencies. The de-centralized boards will be called “Regional BSR” (RBSR) and there are four Regional BSR’s Colombo, South, North and Nuwara-Eliya (the Eastern region comes under Nuwara-Eliya). All projects and programs will be carried out by the Regional BSRs and only major disasters will be dealt by the Central Board in Colombo with cooperation from RBSRs.
Relief and Rehabilitation
During the past year we have faced numerous challenges due to disasters in the regions. The BSR has been assisting the parishes and communities through relief and rehabilitation work in those regions. The parishes in the regions with the assistance of the BSR provided cooked food, dry rations, and non- food relief items to the affected families as an immediate response. As a recovery measure the parishes helped the affected families by providing kitchen utensils, mosquito nets and re-building damaged houses.
Relief Assistance was provided to the people who were affected by Natural disasters. The Country faced heavy winds and flood throughout the year 2013 and considerable amount of people were affected through these disasters. The BSR identified needy people and assisted them through food and Non food relief items.
Mylambaweli preschool, Batticaloa
The preschool is catering to an average of 50 children by providing education and nutrition programmes. The Preschool structure was upgraded to enhance facilities for the Children and staff. The Pre School is serving deserving Families who find it difficult to cater their Children on pre education.
The preschool is managed by the St. Johns Church,Valachchennai. Christ Church, Galkissa is assisting this project by providing financial assistance to run the school.
Gomarankadawala Educational Project:
Gomarankadawala is a border village about 30 km from Trincomalee in which the BSR has been conducting an Educational Programme in the Medawachchiya and Kiwlekade Schools for underprivileged children for a period of about five years. Our main target for the last two years was to continuously support a group of student in one class till they sit for the GCE O/L examination. We started this group in Grade 4 because we want to see at least a few students get through the GCE O/L. In addition to this, the BSR provides assistance to students who are in the low literacy bracket to improve their reading and writing skills in the above schools. Taking into account the community life and health of the students, BSR has just started a toilet project in three nearby villages on a request made by the parents.
Awareness and Training
Due to an increase in child abuse in the country, discussions were held to address the issue and prevent abuse. As an initiative, a letter to the churches and a flyer was distributed to raise awareness at Parish level.
DRR training and followup
A comprehensive training on Disaster Risk Reduction was provided to the clergy and laity from the regions from September 2011 to February 2013. The participants were awarded and recognized as the Diocese of Colombo DRR resource persons to work among the communities to reduce the risk of disaster and prepare the parish and communities to face and manage disasters. The DRR core team is in process of designing a plan for the Diocese concentrating on the following areas.
1.Provide training to the laity at regional level
2.Implement a Diocesan level contingency plan for disasters
3.Carry out awareness programs, training and projects at community level with regard to disaster risk reduction.