My name is S.A. Udayangani but everyone calls me Malrenu. My dream is to be a social worker who works for the wellbeing of women, providing them guidance in various aspects of life according to their needs. I developed this feeling from the experiences I gained at the Shelter for Girls at Haragama, which is managed by Women’s Development Centre (WDC), and where I have been residing since I was 12 years old. At the shelter, girls are guided to develop their skills and character through rehabilitative activities.
My family suffered severe financial challenges and when I was 12, to ensure my survival, I had to leave my school, Samaneliya Central College, where I attended since I was a child. I continued my education at the Haragama Government School and Gurudeniya Government School until my GCE Ordinary Level examination. Today, I am 18 years old. I could not continue my higher education as I did not obtain enough grades in Mathematics. However, at the Haragama center we train skills in various fields such as needlework and sewing, cookery – cake making and farming. Now I can make pillows with hand embroidery and use the sewing machine. I am happy that I can make Carrot cake, Beetroot cake and Date cake on my own. The WDC center at Haragama has been the environment where I passed through life’s stages, from adolescence to adulthood and currently I am receiving guidance in fashioning and developing mental and social capacities required in my future life as a woman.
I had the opportunity to learn photography and further my knowledge in Mobile App Development at this centre. The mobile App development was funded by the Commonwealth of Learning. I am a good dancer, as I learnt Kandyan dancing and my language proficiency in Sinhala, Tamil and English is satisfactory.
I joined the GIRLS Inspire project with the Women’s Development Centre – Head Office in Kandy, Sri Lanka during May 2019. I am assisting the different units with finding employment opportunities for the women and girls. At the moment I am providing support to the team with the uploading of registration data of women and girls to Survey Gizmo. The training I received on App development is very helpful in performing this work. I also participate in the awareness sessions and gain much more knowledge, which I am sharing with my friends at the shelter. I am happy to be working and earning money. I plan, while I am working here, to sit for the G.C.E O/L examination next year and to complete the Mathematics course so that I can qualify for higher education. The GIRLS Inspire motivation sessions made me see that my life has many avenues in my future.
Malrenu (in the front) participating of a motivation session conducted at WDC.