“Creativity takes courage.”

― Henri Matisse

The 3rd of May 2016 was a colourful and eventful day at the Center for Holistic Healing Hall, Inuvil.  Ninety four talented young women received their certificates for completion of their training at the vocational training centers (VTC) run by the Center for Holistic Healing (CHH).

The program commenced with the lighting of the traditional lamp followed by the singing of “Thamil Thai Vaallthu” by the trainees.  The Director, Dr. Thaya Thiagarjah  welcomed the gathering and gave a brief background of the ministry of CHH through VTCs.  She mentioned that this year marked the 32nd year since the VTCs were started in the Jaffna Diocese of the Church of South India (JDCSI).  A special word of gratitude was expressed to the Rev. Mrs. Angela Rammi Tampiyappa, who spearheaded this ministry in the context of ‘ethnic riots’ of 1983.  She was happy to mention that hundreds of young women have gone through several batches of training in these centers, which has enabled them to sustain themselves as well as explore their creative talents.

Bishop Daniel Thiagarajah, in his address stated that that the VTCs not only provided training, empowerment etc but also provided safe spaces for young women in the contexts of military occupation and ethnic disturbances.  In this aspect, he asserted that the VTCs have earned much respect and honour from the public.  The “alternate life model” and “non-formal education” provided by these centers are the needs of the hour in today’s context.  He expressed his gratitude to the “Solidarity is Strength – Palmyrah Project” that has and continues to sincerely undertake this significant task over this long period.

Mrs. Lathes Victor, Assistant Director of Education, was the guest of honour for the day.  She was happy to commend the work of the CHH among and for women who are benefitting much in today’s context.  She was happy to mention that she was one of the students in the first batch in counseling at CHH.  She encouraged the young women present to continue to learn the skills for their livelihood.

Certificates were awarded to those who completed the courses successfully by the Rev. Dr D.S. Solomon, Secretary of the Diocese cum Principal, Jaffna College; the Rev. Dr S.C. Arnold, the Treasurer of the Diocese; Mrs. Sujani Rajathevan, Associate Treasurer of the Diocese, Lion S. Nagiah, Treasurer of the Board of Directors, Jaffna College, and Mrs. Jeyaranee Devasagayam, Coordinator of VTCs in the Vanni.  Mrs Jeyarani Antany, Coordinator of VTCs in Jaffna Peninsula initiated the awarding of certificates.

A grand exhibition followed the function in the newly constructed hall which was declared open by the Bishop.  Traditional lamps were lit by Ms. Anusha, Rev. Mrs. Catharene Joseph and Miss. Vasuky Samuel.  Hundreds of school children, public and guests attended the function and encouraged the young women who displayed the wonderful works of handicrafts, sewing, jewelry, and food items.  All were happy to participate in the fellowship lunch organized by the Center for Holistic Healing.