NLF Success Stories | PALM Foundation | Promoting Language Rights to protect Health and Safety through Art and Posters

PALM Foundation works with Co-existences committees to initiate a COVID Prevention Art and Poster

Campaign

NLF Partner, Palm Foundation, is working towards building national integration and reconciliation amongst plantation and rural communities, by promoting Language Rights and creating access to Language Learning. Working under the theme ‘Promote Language Rights towards Human Dignity’ Palm Foundation is actively engaged in advocating the implementation of the Official Languages Policy amongst key plantation sector stakeholders and improving the bi-lingual communication skills among the men, women and youth in villages and plantations in Nuwara Eliya district.

The PALM Foundation has been working in the Walapane, Nuwara Eliya, Ambagamuwa areas of the Nuwara Eliya District to build awareness and understanding about Language Rights. One of the recent PALM activities engaged the children and youth clubs in the villages and plantations to practically demonstrate the importance of respecting Language Rights in the dissemination of important information. An art and poster campaign was launched by Palm Foundation in collaboration with the co-existence committees of these areas. The bi-lingual posters drawn by the children and youth consisted of health and safety messages for the prevention of covid 19. Displayed in common places of the villages and estates such as community halls, temples, kovils, pre schools and schools, the posters drew the attention and engagement of the grama niladharees, religious leaders and elite groups within the communities. This voluntary activity initiated through the co-existence committees to protect their communities from Corona virus not only effectively demonstrated the power of language to ensure the well-being of a society, but it created appreciation about the importance of community engagement and initiative to drive national integration.

A key focal area of the project activity has been to establish 3 Coexistence Cluster networks in these localities at divisional secretariat level. Building the capacity of these networks to lobby and advocate for language equality enhancement through established governance structures is important to building community engagement and initiative. Palm Foundation will continue to support Sinhala, Tamil and English language education sessions in the 3 DS secretariat divisions and have already worked to improve the availability of library facilities in these remote areas to build bilingual literacy.