As a gesture of goodwill from Japanese residents and Japanese companies operating in Sri Lanka, Japanese Solidarity Association (J.S.A.) President Yoshiaki Kato and Japan Commerce and Industry Association (J.C.I.A.) Chairman Tadashi Komenoi jointly provided 18 mobile library sets with picture books called “Alipencha” (baby elephant) to Northern Province Governor Major General G. A. Chandrasiri in Colombo recently.
J.S.A. is a voluntary group consisting of about 200 Japanese nationals residing in Sri Lanka and its objective is to foster mutual friendship and promote friendship between the two countries. J.C.I.A. with a membership of over 50 Japanese companies operating in Sri Lanka, works towards promoting business relations between Japanese and Sri Lankan companies.
The mobile libraries will “soon” be handed over to Menik Farm pre-schools with the assistance of Social Services and Social Welfare Ministry.
Kato said, “The reason we have chosen “Alipencha” which is focused on children, is because we believe the future of Sri Lanka depends upon its children.”
“Alipencha” initiated by Japanese N.G.O. Surangani Volunteer Services (S.V.S.) with picture books allow children to explore and develop their language and literacy skills as well as promote multicultural understanding.
With the “Alipencha” mobile library, children can borrow each picture book for a few days to read at home. It is hoped that this will also promote parent-child interaction.
“Reconciliation and integration of Sri Lanka may start from the sense of being a one nation and it is important this feeling is shared with the I.D.P. camp children.”
Kato says. “Although our contribution is limited in terms of volume, we would be happy if this could contribute even in a small way to Sri Lankans efforts in that direction.”