When a financial visionary and a technology guru join forces to make a difference, lives change for the better. SDF’s CEO Mr Nilantha Jayanetti wanted to bring high quality technology exposure to young adults in his hometown of Kethsirigama in Ampara district, in rural Sri Lanka. He provided accommodation on his property to start the program and joined forces with Mitra’s Dammika Ganegama who brought the technology knowhow, and, crucially, a source of highly skilled and dedicated volunteers to run the life-changing Inspire project.
Dammika sourced equipment, much of it funded with donations from supporters of the project. With his guidance, Rusiru Samarasinghe, the lead of the programme designed and developed the programme with the support of Mitra’s expert volunteers.
The programme includes a 4 week induction course and a 3 month certificate course, with students offered a 6 month internship with Mitra if they pass.
The induction course includes:
Communication Skills including English, Workplace Etiquette, Soft Skills
Computer Skills including Hardware, Software, Networking, MS Office, Best Practices
The course is run in English and Sinhala initially gradually moving entirely to English.
22 staff from Mitra volunteered to teach on the program, which had a starting induction group of 20. 16 students completed the induction program, with 12 continuing to the Certificate course. If they all pass, Dammika has said they can expect an internship at Mitra, with exposure to a fast paced work environment, experienced IT professionals and high profile projects.
This project will not only help provide more career choices for the participants, but it will help Sri Lanka to become a nation of innovation, adding to the smart worker pool we already have.
Rusiru said, “What was so overwhelming was the enthusiasm and commitment of the students. They were really engaged and completed all their assignments on time. I really felt we were making a difference to their lives. I am also so proud of the commitment and dedication of the amazing Mitra and SDF volunteers.”
The scale of the support from SDF and Mitra staff has been outstanding, with many giving their own time to teach on the program. Nilantha and Dammika may have provided the spark, but the knowledge, experience and dedication of Mitra’s technical staff lit the fire.
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