The e-Village concept initialized with a pilot project in a small village in the North Central Province of Sri Lanka – Mahavillachchiya. The village, with limited access to resources and few opportunities for its youth benefited greatly when ICT was introduced. Through dedicated teachers, individuals and organizations, the village youth were empowered with the knowledge and skills needed to access the means for a better quality life. An example of the impact the partners contribution and efforts have made on the village was secondary level students were commissioned to design websites and were earning more than their parents who are mostly farmers.
ICTA replicated this successful model in other villages across the country. Villages with limited resources and opportunities for their youth were identified, and provided with ICT facilities for e-learning, e-commerce, and other services. ICTA worked in collaboration with partners to bring in a greater resource pool of expertise and services, to develop the village and allowed for innovative social mobility amongst the members of the community.
The primary objective of the project was to demonstrate the effective contribution of an IT infrastructure in the accelerated socio-economic development. To provide increased opportunities for growth and a better quality of life for citizens in rural communities, particularly the youth, by using ICT as a tool and enabler for development.
Ketawala ICT& English Centre
An ICT & English Centre was established, as a result of the collaboration between the Information Communication Technology Agency (ICT Agency) of Sri Lanka, LearnAid and the KshasthriyaRajaputhraWeerasinghe Foundation (KRWF) of Mawathagama.
One of the responsibilities of ICT Agency was the implementation of the e-Sri Lanka Development Programme. The ICT & English Centre was a constituent element of the Ketawala e-village that established under this programme.
The objective of the project was to expand access to ICT, particularly by the youth in the rural community of Ketawala and its environs. It was also expected that there will be enhanced interaction between Tamil and Sinhalese communities living in the locality as the setting of the ICT Centre require the users to share the resources that was made available. Although the main beneficiaries of the ICT and English Language Centre were children studying at KetawalaVidyalaya, MuwankandaSaraswathi Hindu Vidyalaya, and Gonagaladeniya Primary School, school leaving youth as well as the parents of the children given access to the facilities.
The ICT & English Centre was built in a 20 perch block of land that has been donated to the project by the village temple. The site was located 6 Km from Mawathagama and was in close proximity to the Ketawala School.
The construction of the building was financed by LearnAid with private funds donated by Kuwaiti philanthropists. KRFW managed the project under the overall guidance and supervision of ICT Agency.
- Increased access to information and knowledge for children and adults
- Increased awareness on the benefits of ICT and increased participation of villagers in ICT based activities such as e-commerce, e- learning etc.
- Multi media library services to the community
- Gradual dispersion of ICTs to neighbouring villages
- Skilled trainers at village level
Empowered rural communities through access to information