Shilpa Sayura makes country proud : The Nation

8th May 2008

Shilpa Sayura Joins Finalists of Stockholm Challenge Award 2008

The Nation 2008/04/13

The i4D and Stockholm Challenge GKP Award winning Shilpa Sayura is among the favourites at the Stockholm Challenge Award in the education category.

The award is to be presented on May 22 at the Blue Hall of Stockholm City Hall, which is also the venue of the Nobel Banquet. The owner of the Stockholm Challenge is the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH).

There were over 2000 entries registered for the Stockholm Challenge Award in 2008 and 400 of the entries made it through to the first criteria control. They were then handed over to the 25 experts in the Stockholm Challenge international jury, who selected the most qualified 145 entries for the six category awards – Culture, Economic Development, Education, Environment, Health and Public Administration. All 145 projects are invited to take part in the Challenge Week events in Stockholm, from May 19 to 22.

The innovation, which is in a local language, handling a global problem in the local context and serving the community with multi-stakeholder partnerships are Shilpa Sayura’s winning stakes, says i4D Award jury. The Stockholm Challenge GKP Award jury says, “Empowerment through collaboration. The use of older computers is a great plus. A great example for other minority language groups.”

So far, five Sri Lankan ICT projects have made to finals at Stockholm Challenge Award since 2000, and Sri Lanka is yet to make a win. Shilpa Sayura Project, which has won two of the world’s prestigious awards in 2007, has a great potential to take a lead in the Education category, an ICT expert revealed.

“What we tried was to provide a sustainable alternative for the burning global problem of rural education due to the lack of teachers and educational resources. Now Shilpa Sayura helps those rural children to self e-learn the national curriculum in their own language,” says Shilpa Sayura Project Director Niranjan Meegammana.

Shilpa Sayura Project is an initiative of e-fusion with the support of e-Sri Lanka ICTA e-Society Funding. Shilpa Sayura provides local language e-learning to remote, rural children in Nenasala Tele Centre Communities in high poverty Deep South districts of Sri Lanka.

The success of Shilpa Sayura has motivated the stakeholders to form Shilpa Sayura Foundation to expand the project to 500 Nenasala Rural Tele Centres Island-wide. Shilpa Sayura Foundation seeks assistance from CSR community to expand to rural villages island-wide.