ECSAT was established by Catherine Liyanage (now McLeod) on 1st April 2005. Originally from the UK, she had worked in institutional settings in Sri Lanka and felt strongly that families should have more options to help them keep their disabled children in their communities. In the aftermath of the tsunami, ECSAT began to grow, helping disabled and non-disabled people recover together. From the very beginning the charity has focused on inclusion, and making sure disabled people are accepted in their communities.
To date, ECSAT has supported thousands of people in the south of Sri Lanka, and in order to promote and support this work Friends of ECSAT UK was set up and registered with the Charity Commission in 2009.
ECSAT celebrated its 12th Anniversary in 2017 by holding a Medical Camp to promote the health of parents and children.
Our Vision: A society in which marginalised people are supported in their own communities in the spirit of equality.
Our Mission: To provide h listic support and capacity building services in the community to marginalised people and their families, enabling them to access their rights alongside their peers.’
Location: ECSAT’s Community Centre is in Galle, the south western part of Sri Lanka and one of the areas badly affected by the 2004 tsunami. ECSAT covers 6 Divisional Secretariats in the Galle District.
School preparation classes ……………..For children aged 3-16 years with all types of disabilities.
Teachers conduct lessons across the curriculum involving language, mathematics, arts and crafts, fine and gross motor skills, environmentaland social and emotional activities. In addition, community events and visits are planned throughout the year to include international events such as World Children’s Day and national holidays such as Vesak. 15 children benefited from these classes in 2015.
School integration: In 2015, 8 children were referred to local government schools, successfully integrating with their peer groups.
This is provided at the ECSAT Community Centre for autistic and hyperactive children. It extends to small group work as the child`s listening skills and attention span increases. In 2015, 25 received one to one support and 18 transferred to small group work for part of their education.
LIVELIHOOD TRAINING:Livelihood training for young adults aged 16-30 with all types of disabilities. ECSAT finds market opportunities and enables beneficiaries to earn an income. There are three levels of skill training:
- Basic skills
- Medium level producing handicrafts to sell locally
- High level producing handicrafts to sell internationally
In 2015, 35 people took part in training to help get their businesses started.
PROJECTS … see —https://www.ecsatlanka.org/projects
KIDS CLUBS: Once we have found children and given them basic social and educational support, we help them to join kids club classes. These classes help them to form friendships, and to start to study as part of a group – skills vital for attending school. Each child has a plan, and for those who are able we also help with the transition to school.
THERAPY &AIDS: Our therapy unit was opened in January 2015. Parents had been asking for some time to have more therapy and support from health professionals in a place they knew and trusted. With the support of local doctors and specialists, we now offer vital services to children on site. We have also gifted countless mobility aids to people in need as a result of fundraising and the generosity of donors.
HOW ECSAT MAKES A DIFFERENCE
IMPROVING INSTITUTIONS = Bona Vista is a residential home for women with learning disabilities. When we first went there, none of the women were allowed off site, and during the day they didn’t do anything productive. We have worked with the women and the home to establish skills development activities and external visits to improve the quality of life of the residents
COMMUNITY OUTREACH = Over the past ten years our outreach work has enabled us to find countless children isolated in their homes because their families simply don’t know what to do with them. Some are left alone all day while their parents work. Our outreach workers provide them with initial support, and help parents understand their options.
ECSART HANDICRAFTS …… We provide training and support for local producers with disabilities, and then help them with sales by attending events and promoting items for sale online in Sri Lanka and in the UK. Our prices are set to ensure producers are paid a fair wage. Take a look at our beautiful products now!
PERFORMING ARTS = ECSAT believes that performing builds confidence and social skills. We hold regular events to raise awareness of the capacity of people with disabilities, and to break down barriers