Story of Malrenu (narrated by herself)

Malrenu working under the GIRLS Inspire project
Malrenu working under the GIRLS Inspire project

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.