The Kirimetiya Tea Estate project began in early 2016, funded by Shining Light Chidlren’s Trust (SLCT). SLCT works in partnership with Women’s Development Centre to achieve their goals. When SLCT first arrived in Kirimetiya, they realized that without a nursery program, many children were accompanying their parents at work in the fields. When children were left home alone, there was a fear of them being abused. Children were enrolled straight into Grade 1 without any previous schooling, and because of this, Grade 1 teachers were unable to follow the regular syllabus, focusing instead on nursery level activities.
SLCT recognized that every child has the right to a proper education, and thus, the nursery program was in the works. The first step in the process was to find and train teachers to facilitate the classes. They selected 2 women who had completed their A/levels, and sent them to a Tamil medium Early Childhood education program.
The nursery program in Kirimetiya officially began on International Women’s Day, March 8th, 2017.
The first step in the process was to find and train teachers to teach the nursery level classes. As majority of the land on the estate is owned by the government, the villagers were only able to offer a spot in the temple grounds. This proved to be difficult because every time there was a function in the hall, the nursery set up was removed and needed to be reset. Now, Kirimetiya must decide where they want to build a nursery with the funding from SLCT.
They have approached 2 ministers from government about having access to more land. Each minister granted the approval of 5 perches, giving the community a total of 10 perches to build a nursery structure.
The next step is to secure official ownership documents, so that they can begin building on the land legally.