Awareness creation as a critical factor of capacity building

While reaching towards the vision of SAPSRI through achieving the goal we should not forget the main theme of our journey of empowering the marginalized and unprivileged communities in the country. Most of the development attempts launched by the Government and Non- government agencies in the past has proved that they either Public or Private considered that only through increasing the income of these target families the empowering of the target families could be achieved. Most of the development projects were aimed at improving the physical resources of these families. Capacity building is not providing all requirements of the poor families by an outside agency such as sanitation, housing, water, equipment and clothes etc. Once they consumed all these facilities they will have to wait for another funding agency to continue the life style. Only through providing the essentials of these families by outsiders actually what we have done is we converted them to be dependent of others. I have a very recent example for this. SAPSRI has distributed houses for Tsunami affected families soon after the Tsunami. Las week one grandmother, mother and 5 children came to our office and requested another house for them as the given house is not large enough for this family to live as they have 5 children. If we give them another house they will come again the number of members in the family is increased of when they get married. They were not aware about the housing scheames of the Ministry of housing. What we should do is to guide them for the available resources.


Having experienced the outcome of these unsuccessful capacity building attempts implemented by various funding agencies in Sri Lanka South Asia Partnership has launched an attempt to identify the causes which affected these families to become poor or unprivileged. Following the Great theory of Cause-Effect preached by Lord Budhdha 2600 years ago and practiced by Ishikawa in Japan in 1960s as fish-bone theory to find out the causes for being behind the other countries in the world market we also tried to find out the causes for the poverty or the dependency. What we have come up is that although there are many sources for the general public to get assistance for their day to day activities and to get uplifted their lives in the public sector it-self the poor public are not aware of them. They do not have enough capacity to reach the available resources targeted for them as they do not have the awareness not only of the resources and the services available for them but also the way they should get ready for reaching these resources.

Having realized that the lack of awareness is as a root cause for being in the poverty or unprivileged we as SAPSRI has launched a new development melody to empower the disadvantaged and unprivileged or poor public through sharing the awareness of the prevailing sources and the services in the public sector with them. Although most of the services of the public sector organizations are available in their web sites our target families are not capable enough to reach these sources. So we as an organization who really interested in developing the capacity of the poor public have thought of publishing a book including all such services and the ways of reaching them and to distribute among the public freely. Our project has few steps to be completed.

  1. Collection of the available services in the public sector, qualifications needed to reach such services and the way of reaching the services.
  2.  Typing them in an accepted format.
  3. Obtaining the concurrence of the respective authorities.
  4. Printing the book
  5. Launching the book
  6. Distribution of the book.

Still we are in the first stage having collected more than 90% of the information. I have thought of using this article as an open invitation to all organizations to send us valuable such information they have to build the capacity of the target families to teach the available services in the country either in the Government or Non-Government sectors.

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