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Social Cohesion and Reconciliation

Speeches Shim

This women-led food corner in Anuradhapura increases inclusion and incomes.
This women-led food corner in Anuradhapura increases inclusion and incomes.
USAID

Overview

USAID’s Social Cohesion and Reconciliation (SCORE) project strengthens Sri Lankan-led efforts to advance inclusion and resilience. Through a mix of quick-impact and longer-term sustainable interventions, SCORE promotes a cohesive Sri Lankan identity, reduces socio-economic disparities and exclusion, and enhances community resilience. The project works in 13 districts in Northern, Eastern, Uva, Central, and Southern Provinces to strengthen the ability of local governments and community-based organizations to provide critical services, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. Additionally, it connects and empowers youth and women to work across ethnic and religious groups to address issues identified by their communities.

Implementing Partner: Global Communities; Total Estimated Cost: $19.1 million; Performance Period: July 2018 – December 2023

Objectives

USAID’s SCORE project aims to expand citizen-driven initiatives and strengthen local community networks to:

  • Promote a cohesive Sri Lankan identity.
  • Reduce socio-economic disparities and exclusion.
  • Enhance community resilience.

Areas of Focus

  • PROMOTE A SHARED AND INCLUSIVE SRI LANKAN IDENTITY: SCORE helps to expand and strengthen community-driven initiatives and local networks by providing training, capacity development, and in-kind support to address community-identified issues and priorities, and increase participation of local government. 
  • REDUCE SOCIO-ECONOMIC DISPARITIES: SCORE improves economic opportunities for the most marginalized communities and strengthens local governments and community-based organizations to provide sustainable services to these populations, including youth, women, transgender people, people with disabilities, and resettled populations.
  • STRENGTHEN COMMUNITY RESILIENCE: SCORE strengthens the effectiveness, sustainability, and ability of civil society to represent, inform, and serve citizens. The project increases opportunities for youth and women to exercise leadership and promote responsible citizenship. It enhances the capacity of local government institutions and community-based organizations that provide critical services to those in need. It increases access to psychosocial services for those affected by the armed conflict and addresses causes and effects of violent extremism in Sri Lanka. It also provides opportunities for journalists and reporters to work together to improve news quality.
  • EMPOWER YOUTH: SCORE increases access for youth to new technologies, networking, training, and volunteer work to encourage them to become more active citizens and agents of positive change.
  • MITIGATE SPREAD OF COVID-19: SCORE leverages its extensive network of community-based platforms and civic and private actors to effectively target economic recovery support where it is needed most. 

Results

  • Strengthened 58 representative, inclusive co-existence societies (community platforms). Participants work together to solve tangible problems in their communities such as water management, multicultural language sessions, and improved programming and resources for youth. By bringing together diverse groups of people to achieve common goals, this project promotes a shared and inclusive Sri Lankan identity. 
  • Procured thousands of goggles, face shields, personal protective equipment (PPE) kits, surgical gloves, and other equipment needed to protect health care workers and prevent the spread of COVID-19. Provided a PCR testing machine to Jaffna University, constructed hand-washing stations in schools, set up a mobile testing lab serving Monaragala district, established an isolation unit in the Vavuniya hospital, and offered training on personal health and hygiene. Supported 180 youth volunteers to assist the Sri Lankan Red Cross’s COVID response effort by working with health care workers at various levels in several regions.
  • Boosted social cohesion and reconciliation through small grants to civil society and community-based organizations for training and programming on governance, peacebuilding, conflict mitigation, leadership skills, gender equity, social inclusion, mental health and stress management, and reducing gender-based violence. As a result, citizens in these regions have increased access to government resources and improved infrastructure such as school facilities and irrigation systems. They also have increased livelihood opportunities through entrepreneurship training and development.
  • Empowered Sinhala, Tamil, and Muslim women, girls, and individuals at risk of exclusion within communities through civic education, entrepreneurial capacity building, and training on empowerment to prepare them for roles in public and private institutions at the sub-national and community levels.
  • Increased access for youth to new technologies, networking, training, and volunteer work to encourage them to become more active citizens and agents of positive change. 
  • Trained 250 community members to provide non-clinical psychosocial support. Trained over 3,100 youth in social and leadership skills. Trained over 2,700 people from marginalized communities in livelihood skills.
     

Last updated: June 23, 2022

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