History of the SLWA  Education Scheme

The education of girls and  women in Sri Lanka was a high priority from it’s inception. In 1976, Mrs Laurel  Casinader established an education scheme to help financially disadvantaged  girls of secondary school age and women aged over 18 years, who wished to follow  short courses in education, leading to a career. This was called the ‘Laurel  Casinader Career Scheme’.
In 1995, the Education Scheme was registered as  a charity in the UK, with a separate constitution. A committee of 5 Trustees  chaired by the Education Officer, makes decisions and operates a strict  selection policy, guided by well defined criteria when allocating grants to the  categories mentioned above. Advertisements are placed in January of each year in  Sri Lankan newspapers in English, Sinhalese and Tamil, inviting applications  from all ethnic groups. Funds are collected through annual and monthly gift  aided donations and covenants to the Education Scheme. In addition, specific  fund raising events are organised every year, such as coffee mornings, dinner  dances etc.
In 2010, the career scheme was further extended to offer  spoken English tuition to women to further enhance their career prospects at the  job interview stage. A pilot project was started in October 2010 in the  Sabaragamuwa Province in Sri Lanka. Thirty girls were selected to follow a one  year course in spoken English. We were fortunate to get assistance from a female  member of the International Rotary Committee, to oversee this project. Of these  students 23 completed the course. Four students entered University, 2 girls  gained entrance to a medical faculty, 2 girls went on to further education and 7  girls were successful in obtaining gainful employment. Similar projects will be  conducted this year in other rural areas of Sri Lanka. A gift aided donation  scheme payable by standing order was set up in 2001, while individual donations  are welcome and encouraged.