Sarvodaya-Fusion in collaboration with ICTA & Facebook Launches #StayHomeStory Competition. On 13th April 2020

Sarvodaya-Fusion with The Information and Communication Technology Agency (ICTA) and Facebook, launched today the #StayHomeStory competition on their Facebook and Instagram pages, with the aim of spurring all communities to be creative and productive regardless of their ages during this lockdown period. Social Media users can enter this competition through the hashtag #StayHomeStory by sharing your story of staying at home in a creative manner.  Individuals or family units can select a medium such as paintings, short videos, cartoons, photographs, and animations, and they can post their entries on their own timeline using Facebook and Instagram platforms with any hashtag #stayhomestory/#ගෙදරකතා /#வீட்டில்தங்கும்கதை on or before 15 May 2020.   

All entrants to the competition will be rewarded with a data pack. Entries will be grouped into Art, Video and Photography categories, and gifts will be awarded to the final winners of the best contents from these groups.

“Through this campaign we are hoping that the creative process will spread positivity, reduce people’s stress levels and lead them to be more productive,” said Ms. Maithree Malwattegoda, General Manager, Sarvodaya-Fusion.  It will also give an opportunity for people to engage and express their solutions and activities that they have adopted at home, to overcome difficulties faced by them.”

Sri Lanka, as well as the world is currently undergoing an unprecedented crisis battling to control the deadly virus Covid19.  We have learned that here in our island, lifestyles of people including children have become disruptive and frustrating, as they are confined to their homes with little or no social contact.  “It is true that there is physical distancing under the ongoing curfew, but we hope the social interactions online will make them feel less isolated,” Malwattegoda said

The other aim of this campaign, is to reach the offline community and encourage them to become familiar with the use of digital means to communicate by sharing their stay-at-home experiences,” said Mr. Sameera Jayawardena, Head of Transformation, ICTA. “The ultimate goal being to create a more digitalized community of Sri Lankans, competent in using digital technologies to carry out their daily tasks.”

In addition, Sarvodaya-Fusion and ICTA intend to make use of these public engagement platforms to educate communities and address concerns people have on the epidemic.

කොරෝනා ආපදාව අතරේ අන්තර්ජාල හැකර්ලා ඔබවද ඉලක්ක කල හැක!

කොරෝනා ආපදාව අතරේ අන්තර්ජාල හැකර්ලා ඔබවද ඉලක්ක කල හැක! ඔබ මේ ගැන දැනුවත්ද?
Cyber crimes have not diminished amidst the rapid spread of the #Coronavirus. Be alert, do not open attachments or open links unless they are from reliable sources as they could be malware.
#නොමගනොයමු #SriLanka

 

https://www.facebook.com/photo?fbid=3533140006714859&set=pcb.3533149716713888

Sarvodaya-Fusion’s ThinkFirst Campaign Wins Top Honor at the SLT Zero One Awards

Sarvodaya-Fusion’s #ThinkFirst Campaign, launched after the Easter Sunday Bomb attacks to minimize hate speech, misinformation and fake news, won the coveted first prize in the Best Digital Integrated Campaign of Sri Lanka Telecoms Zero one Awards, held in Colombo on 4 March 2020.

“The Campaign reached over 700,000 people within 12 weeks, educating and informing them of key issues through a series of trilingual picture posts and was able to spread positivity at a time when the country needed all ethnic groups to stand united,” said Dr. Vinya Ariyaratne, President, Sarvodaya Shramadana Movement.

The creative visual content was new on Sarvodaya-Fusion’s Facebook page and was something novel to the online community too. Even at the start of the campaign user engagement increased from 3800 to 9500 users per day.

“We as an organization felt compelled to carry out this campaign to educate users and to stem the online hate speech and fake news,” said Ms. Maithree Malwattegoda, Campaign Manager, and General Manager at Sarvodaya Fusion. “The Team gave much thought to designing and wording the picture posts to have maximum impact.”

With the success of the first phase, the second phase of the campaign focused on educating users on how best to safeguard their own security and privacy, from varied risks that are rampant on social media platforms.

The attention in the third and final phase shifted to minimizing the hate posts circulating at the time of the Presidential elections. Here the imperative was to educate and empower youth voters and to alert online users on the circulation of misinformation and fake news. Sarvodaya-Fusion’s aim to spread positive messages and raise awareness was successful with Page views increasing by over 216% compared to the previous month. Further, post engagement rate remained high and reached nearly 200,000 youth, with the majority in the 18-34 age groups. Users viewed posts daily around 15,000 times. Some posts were popular and was viewed by nearly 50,000 online users.

“The evolving digital sphere presented a challenging opportunity for Sarvodaya-Fusion to carry out this campaign to educate our users at a critical time,” said Malwattegoda. “We are both honoured and humbled to receive this award and will continue to keep training our users to be digitally savvy.”

Currently, Sarvodaya-Fusion has an expanding engagement with Sri Lankan youth. Data gathered during the campaign reveal that majority of users are Sri Lankan Sinhala and Tamil speaking youth in the 18-34 age group.

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Telecentre Family project

Project year : 2005

Total no. of beneficiaries:
Objective: To expose rural communities to ICT through skill development and application of ICT to their development work

Telecentres act as a shared space, located in rural landscapes. Thus enables the rural community to interact with digital equipment, usually with the assistance of the trained staff. There are multiple models in terms of information being channelled from telecentres to the rural communities. Direct community interaction with telecentres is the most common form. Although such interaction is widely popular with the children and young people of the target populations, many different models have emerged to build the missing link: the interaction of rural adult communities. This project allowed to assess how an individual or a community travels through the journey of e-empowerment.
Telecentre Family project
Project Year : 2005
Objective : To expose rural communities to ICT through skill development and application of ICT to their development work
Telecentres act as a shared space, located in rural landscapes. Thus enables the rural community to interact with digital equipment, usually with the assistance of the trained staff. There are multiple models in terms of information being channelled from telecentres to the rural communities. Direct community interaction with telecentres is the most common form. Although such interaction is widely popular with the children and young people of the target populations, many different models have emerged to build the missing link: the interaction of rural adult communities. This project allowed to assess how an individual or a community travels through the journey of e-empowerment.

Sarvodaya-Fusion partners with Open University of Sri Lanka and NIBM to offer advanced ICT education to rural children

In line with its mission to offer valuable Information and Communication Technology (ICT) education opportunities to rural youth, Sarvodaya-Fusion recently partnered with the Open University of Sri Lanka (OUSL) and National Institute of Business Management (NIBM) to facilitate advanced ICT learning opportunities to students across the island. The Letter of consent with NIBM and the Partnership Agreement with OUSL was signed and exchanged ceremoniously in Colombo with the patronage of the heads of the two institutes Prof. S. A. Ariadurai, Vice Chancellor of the Open University of Sri Lanka and Dr. D. M. A. Kulasooriya, Director General of National Institute of Business Management.

The Guest of Honour at the occasion was Professor Rohan Samarajiva, Chairman of LIRNEAsia and Information and Communication Technology Agency of Sri Lanka (ICTA), while the keynote speaker of the evening was Dr. Vinya Ariyaratne, President of the Lanka Jathika Sarvodaya Shramadana Sangamaya. Among the other invitees were the academics and senior members of OUSL, NIBM, Industry and Ground partners.

Sarvodaya-Fusion partners with the Open University of Sri Lanka with the mutual interest in expanding the occupational skills of the youth through vocational and tertiary courses using Open Education Resources (OER) developed and made available under Commonwealth of Learning (CoL).

“Since inception we’ve been able to make momentous changes in the way the ICT education and digital literacy help rural children to develop skills necessary for the 21st century. In the year 2008, at a time when ICT literacy was relatively low in Sri Lanka, we introduced ‘Fusion Education’ as the Sarvodaya-Fusion education unit, mainly targeting marginalized youth and providing them basic computer education. Today we offer them advanced academic and vocational training opportunities to be gainfully employed and achieve sustainable development”, commented Ms. Maithree Malwattegoda, General Manager of Sarvodaya-Fusion, in her opening remarks.

The partnership with NIBM opens up a pathway to those students who have completed the Diploma in Computer Science offered by Fusion Education to pursue a range of Graduate programmes related to multiple fields in ICT, at a discounted rate.

Delivering the key note address Dr. Vinya Ariyaratne, President – Lanka Jathika Sarvodaya Shramadana Sangmaya, said, “While urban children have begun to hone their digital skills in readiness to be part of the fourth industrial revolution, children in rural area are still lagging behind. This status quo is the result of lack of opportunities. Our new partnerships with these reputed educational institutes will pave the way for children across the nation to perfect their innate talent and pursue success in the ICT field.”

Having developed a well proven model for educating and training rural & Semi-urban student masses and establishing a sustainable Grassroots educator network, the organization strongly feels that these two strategic partnerships will pave the way to many youth to obtain industry recognized qualifications and certification which will lead to direct employment opportunities. It will further enable them to gain access to higher learning opportunities attached to these renowned educational bodies going up to graduate and post graduate programmes in varied disciplines as per one’s choice.

“Sarvodaya-Fusion is doing valuable work in helping the future generation of Sri Lanka to discover their innate talent and become digital leaders. Our country is blessed with talented youth. Sarvodaya-Fusion is involved in building bridges to help youth in rural areas to reach the global IT arena,” commented Prof. Rohan Samarajiva, Chairman of LIRNEAsia and ICTA.

With its undying efforts, Sarvodaya-Fusion will continue to venture into newer opportunities and partnerships to empower communities with supplementary knowledge, skills and resources on par with industry standards, which bring in economic and social uplift keeping in line with national development goals.