Students involved in the higher studies in Sri Lanka, especially excel on their education at university or secondary level, who are facing critical financial constraints are selected for this program after carefully scrutinizing their family background and economic condition.
Dharma Vijaya Foundation receives application through the members of University Academic Staff, the Hon. Patron of the Dharma Vijaya Foundation and personal requests from the student’s itself. When the Foundation receives a request as such, a document consisting six pages is sent to the applicant. The student has to fill the document and get it certified by the Registrar of the respective university, the chief Monk of the village temple and the Grama Sevaka of the division and sent to the Foundation. After a pre-assessment of that application, the student is called for an interview that would take at least 30 minutes. A primary objective of this interview is to inculcate the purpose of this scholarship program to the mind of the student which is developing a responsible, educated citizen who follows moral values. After carefully analyzing the financial position of the student, the amount of the monthly scholarship is decided.
Once a student is selected for the scholarship program, the funds donating partners, the respective university and the parents of the students are informed immediately. The student has to inform the results of all exams faced at the university certified by the registrar to the Foundation. Excellent academic results guarantee an uninterrupted receipt of the scholarship. Based on the willingness of the donors, the Foundation coordinates direct contacts between the donors and the students who receive scholarships.
At present, about 180 scholarships are provided and 98% of them are students in the medical, engineering and law faculties. The value of the scholarships offered per annum is little over Rs.5.4 Million. Out of that, about Rs.5.2 Millions are donated by local and foreign private donors. The balance is offered from the trust funds.
90% of the scholarship recipients are coming from the villages whose fathers are working as a laborer, farmer or a three wheel driver. In most of the families either the father or mother is dead, or else suffering from kidney failure, paralysis or cancer. Most families have about 4 children. When the selected scholarship recipient is the eldest in the family, all other siblings are involved in their school education. Certain families have two children attending university education. They do not have permanent residence and a fixed source of income and primarily depending on the Samurdi assistance.
The attached picture shows the rented house where a selected recipient lives. Father is dead and the Mother is suffering from a cancer and he is the eldest in a family of four children. This student has earned money by doing unskilled work while studying for the Advanced Level exam who never attended private tuition classes. However, has managed to get selected to the Medical Faculty at the third attempt. While waiting for the A/Level results, has earned money by doing tuition and working as a security guard in the night. Those savings have been utilized to cover the initial expenses needed to enter the Medical faculty and the basic needs in the first year. During the first year vacation, he has again worked as a security guard to earn money.
Dharma Vijaya Foundation is providing scholarships for a student during the entire period in the University and the total financial assistance comes to Rs. 3000 – Rs. 5000 x 12 months x 5 years = Rs. 180,000 – 300,000 per recipient depending on the real expenses incurred by the student.
All annually selected students have to participate for a two days residential workshop where they are provided with a religious training on the objectives of the Dharma Vijaya Foundation, leadership, problem solving, duties and responsibilities of a citizen and development of moral values. At the end, they have to pledge with a signed document to follow suit.