Scholarships for Girls in Sri Lanka

30 May 2023

Scholarship recipients

In January 2020, Myriad Canada began a collaboration with Educate Lanka to launch a project that aims to help disadvantaged children by awarding a number of scholarships to enable girls and their families to escape the cycle of poverty.

The mission of the Educate Lanka Foundation is to support disadvantaged children and adolescents through access to education, mentoring and employment opportunities.

Myriad Canada would like to thank the Sappani family for its generosity, without which this project could not have been created.

A Project to Fight Exclusion

Photo taken during lesson orientation

The aim of this project was to help one of the communities most severely affected by social and economic exclusion in Sri Lanka. The country’s history has meant that this community has been, and still is, marginalized and does not benefit from the same opportunities that other regions enjoy. Located among the tea plantations of the Nuwara Eliya district, in Central Province, the inhabitants have the lowest income of any community in Sri Lanka. It is for this reason that it was crucial to have a presence in the region.

The project’s long-term objective was to help students to go on to higher education.  These scholarships allowed the students to complete their high school education – the vital first step required to pursue a university degree, and one that might otherwise would have very likely been beyond their reach.

Naresh, the programme coordinator, during an interview with a scholarship recipient

Scholarships were awarded following several interviews with potential recipients. Once selected, candidates received a solid education and regular monitoring to encourage, motivate and support them through the various stages of their school life. Tutoring sessions, extracurricular activities and individual lessons have helped develop the girls’ self-confidence, their motivation, empathy and social responsibility.

Through this project, 30 students benefited from a 12-month scholarship.

Making a Crucial Impact in the Face of Constant Challenges

Award of scholarships

When Covid 19 struck, Sri Lanka had only just recovered from the repercussions of the 2019 Easter bombings (terrorist attacks in several hotels and churches on Easter day), which had led to the closure of schools and universities and increased security measures throughout the country. The total closure of educational establishments over 14 months due to Covid 19, from March 2020 to June 2021, resulted in a further delay for Sri Lankan students to follow the curriculum. Moreover, when the country re-opened, it was facing its worst ever economic crisis. This led yet again to the school closures, postponement of exams and recurring loss of electrical power.

These events resulted in serious socio-economic repercussions that further severely affected extremely vulnerable communities –  such as those in the tea plantations. For already very disadvantaged families, poor internet access and frequent long interruptions to the internet network meant that it was not always possible to have an environment conducive to distance learning.

However, one of the great strengths of the project was the remarkable ability that everyone demonstrated to keep moving forward during this very difficult period for these marginalised communities. The scholarships enabled the students to remain focused on their school work, complete their academic year and move them closer to achieving their objective of reaching higher education.

« Considering my need for education and my family’s economical imbalance, you gave me and my family hope through your welfare support. For that, I am deeply indebted to you and I express my sincere gratitude for providing the scholarship support. I believe I can continue my studies without any struggle and reduce my family’s responsibility towards me. », T. Keerthika, scholarship recipient.


« I think this scholarship will help me achieve my ambitions, buy the material I need for school, such as my uniform, my satchel, shoes and books, but also to pay my exam registration fees, preparation for my GCE (the General Certificate of Education), and reduce my father’s financial responsibility towards me by half. This support will be a great help for me to run without any barriers. », P. Graciya, scholarship recipient.


« There are 5 of us in our family and my parents are tea estate labors. Because of our unstable income, it has always been difficult for me to continue my education. Thanks to your support, now it’s going well. », G. Shironi, scholarship recipient.