- ‘Vinivida’ was organized with the aim of enhancing good health and well-being of the patients, those who are receiving daily treatments from Madulkelle Divisional Hospital
- The project was organized by a team named ‘Seekers,’ a group of first year university students at the Faculty of Management and Finance, Colombo University
Community development is a vital process where people come together to take action on what is important for a particular community. At its heart, community development is embedded in the belief that all people should have access to health, well-being, wealth, justice and opportunity. In societies, there are some people, some groups and some communities, those who are excluded and oppressed by the way society and structures are organized.
In this backdrop, the project ‘Vinivida’ was organized with the aim of enhancing good health and well-being of the patients, those who are receiving daily treatment from Madulkelle Divisional Hospital. The project was organized by a team named ‘Seekers,’ group of first year university students at the Faculty of Management and Finance, Colombo University. According to the records gathered by the team members, approximately, around 30,000 individuals depend on this hospital daily for various medical needs. In the hospital, there are around 50-80 in house patients and 250 OPD patients.
In a recent interview with the Daily Mirror, the team members highlighted that a large number of waste matter such as general waste, clinical waste, plastic and glass have been collected daily and the hospital did not have a proper waste disposal system. In the project, the team had implemented a proper disposal system at the hospital.
When Daily Mirror questioned about the reason behind the selection of this kind of a project, the team said that their intention is to implement a sustainable project for a long term, which would benefit a vast community.
“This waste management system will create a healthier environment within the hospital and will ensure the betterment of all the patients as well as the community at large,” one of the team members said.
During the project, the team had completed several activities at the hospital premises in the recent past; such as colour washing the OPD building and the surrounding area, construction of the waste storage house and the clinical waste burner.
“The project had assisted the hospital staff in proper waste disposal which is identified as one of the major current threats in the world,” they said.
The team had also initiated numerous fund-raising programmes at the Colombo University and in Kandy district to make awareness at large to the community, on proper waste disposal and benefits. When Daily Mirror questioned the young team members about their ideas on Community development projects based in Sri Lanka they said that there is a considerable improvement in community development projects at present in society, with much focus on the wide stakeholders.
Providing collective answers with regard to the culture and the community development in our country, the team members said that Sri Lanka is a country known for its generosity and there are numerous community development projects taken up by various individuals and organisations.
“It can be also evident that there are problems in executing such projects and the sustainability of the project,” team members highlighted.
The team also mentioned that as a society we have to develop a proper framework to implement community development projects in Sri Lanka and it has to be started from school level. “Students in schools should be encouraged to give back to the community and the community development projects should be evaluated and appreciated,” they said.
Sharing their thoughts of the ‘Vinivida’ project they said that through their community development project, they were able to cater awareness to one of the most critical issues in the current context of the world; the garbage issue.
Team also stated that assisting to uplift the condition of the hospital serves the wider community and it helped to enhance team work and also provided them a good practice in managing tasks and funds.
Community development is essentially based on the values of human rights, social justice, equality and the respect for diversity. A great achievement can be done by a series of small things brought together and the small example given by these young university students can be made to change the future society.