As an extension of the environmental workshops and community projects, the Community Environmental Trainers established Rekawa’s first library on the 22nd of March 1996 after a donation of about 1,500 English books from the supporters of the UK charity “Care for the Wild”.
The target group of this library is children from the coastal communities. From this time the library has been continuously used by approximately 200 school pupils and others from the area. The library is open every afternoon from 3pm until 5pm. The local environmental trainers are now managing the Rekawa library, each of whom have at least one afternoon of library duty per week under the supervision of the TCP staff. TCP provides the library new books periodically. The local environmental trainers are slowly collecting donations of Sinhala books for the library as there is a great demand among the young people in the community, especially for fiction.
In addition to the Rekawa library two more libraries have been added in Kalpitiya and Kosgoda by the TCP. TCP provides basic facilities such as reading materials, cupboards and book shelves for libraries.
The main objectives of the community library programme are;
- To develop community skills/talents of coastal kids for their future employments instead of destructive exploitation of natural resources such as turtle egg gathering and killing of turtles, cutting of mangroves, coral mining etc. for livelihood.
- To develop reading skills of the coastal children.
- To provide an alternative income and training opportunities for some community members by employing them as librarians.