Gopisha studies in Grade 4 at the Navatcholai Junior School in Trincomalee. She enjoys going to school – a privilege many children of her age do not have. To Gopisha, her school is her second home. The principal and teachers check on her wellbeing when she fails to attend school. They go the extra mile to ensure that children are safe both at school and at home. In fact, the school has been a stage for her to exhibit her talents and skills. Just as much as she enjoys drawing, Gopisha performs exceptionally well in her studies too. Gopisha is the Head Prefect at her school and this is one of the greatest achievements in her young life. However, she knows that there is more to achieve.

The school is a haven not only to  Gopisha  but to many other children too. The year 2012 is a truly memorable year for all those who have been a part of this little school. It was during this year that LEADS, through its Child Centred Community Development project, laid the foundation to open the school, renewing the hopes of many children for a brighter future.  Presently it has 85 children and six teachers and has also facilitated the children with the ‘Smart Classroom’ concept.

Expressing     her     gratitude     for     the     many     opportunities   she   has   received   through   her   Alma Mater, Gopisha recalls the very first time she gained awareness on child abuse, a subject she    had    never    heard    of    before.    LEADS    displayed     child     protection     messages and    artwork on the school walls that helped her understand    what     she   should when confronted with any harassment or abuse.  “I am grateful to LEADS for giving us this knowledge on child protection.  I now know that if face any harassment, I inform an elderly person I trust.”

Gopisha   who   is   an   active   child,  is   also   a   member  of  the  Navatcholai  Children’s  Club,  which  was  also  formed  as  part  of  a  LEADS’  intervention.  Through the  club,  she  is  able  to  acquire    new    skills    and    gain    exposure    to    education,  games  and  activities  that  enhance  knowledge  and  leadership  skills.  Making new  friends  and  learning  from  each  other  are  the  things she looks forward to the most. She also finds the  instructions  on  health  and  hygiene extremely   useful   since   it   has   helped   her   in   taking    precaution    against    the    COVID-19    pandemic.

Gopisha   is   ever   grateful   to   her   school   and   parents   for   being   an   invaluable   system   of   support in her journey so far.

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