Givology Staff's Blog

Tea Leaf Trust: New Project

[b]Tea Leaf Trust's New "Counselling Support Project" [/b]
The aim of this new project is to train two counsellors at each of our two school sites (im Sri Lanka's Central Province) for the next two years – 8 in total. This is to develop our counselling support in order to improve the emotional health and general wellbeing of our student body and community.
[b]Project Description: [/b]
Sri Lanka has the fourth highest suicide rate in the world (29/1000). Within Sri Lanka there are hot spots where the problem of suicide is particularly acute. Two major determiners are youth and those from the tea plantations.
Tea Leaf Vision works with young people, from the tea plantations of Sri Lanka – a hot spot within a hot spot! We have two schools and 320 full-time students aged between 18 and 24 come and study with us every year.
However, the communities within which these students live are tough with 80% alcoholism amongst the men, 83% domestic violence against women, 80% of our students year on year living off less than $1 a day. When they arrive at our school, their emotional health is low, suicidal thoughts and self-harming tendencies are high – they need to develop strong coping strategies and robust emotional health if they are even going to be able to study well, let alone be happy.
This project is to train 8 teachers in counselling, through a Basic Counselling and Groupwork Diploma, over the next two years. Through this capacity development we will improve the skillset of our staff team to support our students, as well as each other (all of our staff are from these communities).
[b]Project History: [/b]
Tea Leaf Trust is a UK registered charity (No: 1123427). We work exclusively in the tea estate areas of Sri Lanka where we run two schools for 18 to 24 year olds in Maskeliya and Nuwara Eliya (both in Central Province). We are registered as a non-profiting making business in Sri Lanka – Tea Leaf Vision (Guarantee) Ltd. Our focus and expertise is English language and professional development. However, we also do a lot of personal development work developing students’ coping mechanisms and emotional health in the face of complex social issues.
We opened our first school (TLV Maskeliya) in January 2010 and have recently started our second school in the hill country’s tourist centre of Nuwara Eliya (TLV NE). We run full-time, free one-year main diplomas and through the curricular we teach, we offer Basic English classes to children at over 30 local government schools through a ‘training the trainer’ type programme. In addition we run summer activity programmes based around health and nutrition and service projects throughout the year to support the local communities where we work.
[b]Project Impact:[/b]
640 students will know they can access the support they need over the next two years, at least 100 students each year will access one to one sessions with the trained counsellors.
Overall though, this will improve the way that our staff interact and help all students in their classes, helping them to identify problems early

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