Gammadda and HNB Club joined together to comprehensively develop the village of Yaya 06 in Anuradhapura in 2020. The ‘Yaya 06 Grama Niladhari Division’ is home to approximately 600 families covering five villages. This model village development consists of providing clean drinking water, fixing an access road, providing a fully furnished library and computer lab, gender segregated toilets for school children and teachers, repairing the village temple, construction of a new community hall and cleaning of the village tank.
Work on the Reverse Osmosis based community clean water supply system was completed in December 2021. However the residents still experienced difficulties obtaining clean drinking water as the electrical grid the village depended on was unreliable and residents faced power outages daily. This meant that the RO plant was unable to operate during those hours. However as a result of the development of the village and investment in the community by Gammadda and HNB Club, local authorities were persuaded into installing a transformer that would provide the village with an uninterrupted power supply.
The Saliyamala Maha Vidyalaya is the only school in Yaya 06 which consist of about 400 students in total. There are classes from grade 1 to Ordinary Level. Additionally despite the large number of students who are enrolled at Saliyamala- there is a severe lack of hygienic sanitary facilities. Additionally, the students in the school display many talents varying from art, dancing, composing and singing songs, innovations and also show interest in technology. However, they face many difficulties conducting classes and getting a hands on experience with computers due to the lack of necessary IT lab facilities. Access to computer labs in schools in rural parts of Sri Lanka is often limited due to various challenges. Many rural schools lack the necessary infrastructure, such as electricity and internet connectivity, to support computer labs. As a result, students in rural areas may not have the same opportunities to develop digital literacy skills as their counterparts in urban areas, which can affect their future educational and career prospects. Gammadda continued its efforts to improve access to computer labs in rural schools, and bridge the digital divide in Sri Lanka. This equity gap was closed by Gammadda and the HNB Club.
The ‘Model Village’ concept looks back to a time when Sri Lankan villages were built around large bodies of water, temples, and schools. This series of projects looks to resolve water-related issues faced by people living within the Yaya 06 village by providing them with clean drinking water and to desilt the local tank and clear the overgrown Japan Jabara- also known as Water Hyacinth- this invasive species takes over a lake's resources and affects the native flora and fauna. The Yaya 06 Model Village looks to build the capacity of the young generation by facilitating library and computer lab facilities, dearly needed sanitation facilities and construction of a new community hall where ideas can be shared and foster community growth.
The Model Village recognizes the importance of mobility and commenced work on repairing the road from the village to the nearest town and the nearest bus depot- allowing for regular bus service in October 2022. This road is used to access essential services such as education, employment, healthcare, access to government services, markets and trade. This road is inaccessible by vehicle- even walking is difficult. People young and old alike would have to make a treacherous 4 km walk under the parching Mahavilachchiya sun to access bus services to the rest of the country. According to Ruwan Hemantha- member of the local Gammadda Saviya Society- people who met with accidents had fatally bled out and elderly people who had non life threatening cardiac arrests die because they couldn't reach medical facilities in time due to the poor state of the road in the past. Additionally this road provides a lifeline to the farmers of this agricultural community. Mahavilachchiya is renowned for pumpkins. Farmers carrying pumpkins, other vegetables as well as rice have no other option than taking this road to the market in Dambulla. Work on this 4 km road was completed on the 18th of August 2023 and handed over to the public.
This road is a gateway to the rest of the country and to new opportunities.
Assistant Divisional Secretary for Mahavilachchiya, Hashini Yasara, challenged the residents to change the perception of Mahavilachchiya as an impoverished area in the future to that of a land with unbound potential.