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A lesson worth learning

Seeing children going to school is one of my treasured sights. In a welfare camp, children might think that it is more a blessing than a right to be able to go to school.

Today I visited Arunachalam Tranistional Relief Village to witness how our emergency education programme is running to benefit of thousands of children. I am a firm believer in education being more than just a right listed in the UN Convention on the rights of the Child. For children in this welfare village, it has given them an opportunity to look forward to life, make new friends, forget about what they have gone through in the last few months and catch up on lost time while feeling safe from the war.

My colleagues Ketheesh and Senthil, who have made all this possible, were telling me how they support the government of Sri Lanka to do all this in the first phase of the emergency.

It has been a long journey, from the time of the Asian tsunami in December 2004 to the emergency in the east of Sri Lanka, for all government and non governmental organizations to make education a high priority during emergencies.

It is so rewarding to see so many children proudly carrying the school bags provided by Save the Children. I did not witness a single child without a smile on their face in that temporary learning space. 

But the lesson I learned while seated on the mat with the children is that they all want to forget the past and look to a better future. A lesson for all adults well worth learning.

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