Rays of Hope addresses the painful consequences of child sexual abuse, and works to create awareness on the issues surrounding it. It operates through drama and interactive presentations, speaking directly to children, in their own environments, on what they can do to safeguard themselves, and where they can go for help.
Rays of Hope conducts its education and awareness programs at schools and at our Centers of Hope. Its most recent awareness programs were held on 29 November 2017 at the Center of Hope in Mattakkuliya. These programs catered to the 75 pre-schoolers enrolled at Singithi Nivasa, the 135 children enrolled at the feeding program, and the 15 youth who are also enrolled at the center.
The programs held the Center of Hope in Mattakkuliya took on added significance in light of the fact that a majority of the children served there come from broken or dysfunctional homes. More often than not, these children are exposed and vulnerable to abuse, due to the lack of responsible parental care over their lives.
The children who participated in this program heard – perhaps for the first time – that there was such a thing as a “bad touch” and that they had every right to protect themselves from those who did not have good intentions towards them.
Child sexual abuse is not easy to talk about, but our children are worth the trouble it takes to educate society and provide protection.
This particular program was also significant because it included a number of new volunteers who signed up to be part of what the Center of Hope does, at the People’s Church Ministry Fair, held in October 2017.
One of the new volunteers had this to say: “[The program] was a really good experience for me as I love working with kids. It spoke to me personally. I would love to come and serve in more programs in the future. Thank you letting me be part of this.”