Highlights of the Come-Share education programme in FY2018

714 individual beneficiaries were supported
251 A-level students were supported
97.9 percent of funds were distributed to beneficiaries

Based in Sri-Lanka, the Come-Share Foundation was incorporated in 2001 and given accreditation as a registered NGO in 2015. The funds from inception have been provided almost entirely by Computershare.
The main focus of the foundation is to provide financial assistance to students from low income families to support their education and training. The intention of this support is to improve these students’ prospects of employment, and help improve living standards for them and their families. Support is open to people from all communities and all parts of Sri-Lanka. Some of the sectors targeted by the foundation include homes for children, public schools, children with disabilities, children who have a parent in prison, those who live on tea estates, government nominated support, and the wider community.
Most of this support is provided to students completing the Advanced Level (A-level) stage of schooling, or for their subsequent university studies. These levels of study often require considerable financial commitments: extra tuition classes for A-level students, and expenses such as board and lodging, educational materials and travel for university students.
While awaiting the results of their A-levels, students are encouraged to undertake basic courses in English and information technology (IT) to improve their job prospects. For students not progressing to university, the foundation also assists them with undertaking a range of professional and vocational courses including accountancy, administration, human resources, motor mechanics. 
Over 80% of Come-Share support is directed to the above activities, and over 450 students received benefits over the twelve months to March 2018.
The remainder of support is provided to around 50 students at the Ordinary Level (O-level) stage or below, in addition to assistance for group classes in English and general school subjects. Computers and other school supplies are also provided, especially in circumstances of disaster relief.

 Highlights for FY2018

English for Vanni
“English for Vanni” is a three month residential programme conducted by the YMCA Folk High School that is partially funded by the Come-Share Foundation. The programme originated in Vanni, the mainland area of the Northern Province of Sri Lanka, where the population and infrastructure were devastated by the Sri Lankan Civil War. It aims to provide English language training in remote war-torn areas where proper formal education is limited. In bringing together students from the Sinhala and Tamil communities who don’t speak each other’s language, the use of English as a link language is a valuable way to connect the two communities.

Children who started off with barely a word of English have been able to interact and communicate fluently by the end. This is largely due to it being a residential programme where students gain confidence with English by being immersed in its usage every day.

In 2017, 10 boys and 13 girls participated in the programme, which also covers IT, photography, and leadership. It has been so successful that it is being expanded to students from other areas as well.
Sports and cultural activities
In addition to education, Come-Share also supports exceptionally talented students in sports and cultural activities.

This year we provided financial support to Kevin to attend the prestigious Auckland Rugby Academy in New Zealand in 2018. Kevin captained the Sri Lanka U20 Rugby Sevens team to victory in the Asia Rugby U-20 Sevens Championship in Hong Kong in 2016, and is likely to play the game at a professional level.