From Insecurity to Security

Priyantha Bandara was a promising trainee who pursued his training at SOS Vocational Training Centre in Monaragala in the field of welding. He hails from Siyambalanduwa in the Province of Uva, and schooled at Siyambalanduwa Maha Vidyalaya. He sat for the G.C.E. Ordinary Level examination, but couldn’t score sufficient marks to follow Advanced Level studies. He was not in a position to repeat the G.C.E. Ordinary Level examination due to financial problems in the family. His parents were helpless and couldn’t afford private education.

Priyantha decided to find employment in Colombo city. He went to Colombo and worked at a company for some time as an ordinary helper. Since the salary was insufficient at this place, he decided to go back to his hometown and begin something of his own to support his family. He began farming amidst difficulties, but couldn’t continue it for long due to severe droughts and financial constraints. Thus, he decided to leave home once again, looking for some means to support his family.

Out of options, Priyantha finally decided to learn a vocational skill with hopes of finding a job with better pay. It was while looking for a place to learn a vocational skill that he came across SOS Vocational Training Centre in Monaragala. He approached this centre seeking help. Priyantha’s initial choice was to learn electrical work and be an electrician, but he did not possess required qualifications to pursue this field. Then he chose welding as a second option. He enrolled to this course at SOS Vocational Training Centre, Monaragala and started to learn welding. Priyantha persevered in his training and completed the course successfully within a year. After his in-house training, he was placed at a reputed trailer manufacturing company to gain on-the-job work experience.

After completing on-the-job training, Priyantha obtained the NVQ - Level 3 certificate offered by the Tertiary and Vocational Education Commission in Sri Lanka, thus proving his knowledge in the field of welding. Thereafter, Priyantha moved to Balangoda where he worked as a helper at a welding workshop. This occupation too became burdensome to Priyantha as the salary was insufficient. He left this workshop and went to Ampara, looking for employment there. The job he found in Amapara too did not help him to solve his financial problems.

In the end, Priyantha decided to start his own welding workshop. With the bit of savings he had, Priyantha opened a workshop in Siyambalanduwa, his hometown at a place belonging to a person known to him. He named his workshop ‘Priyantha Iron Workshop’. Soon, his trade became known to people in his hometown as he began welding in all scopes. Priyantha’s trade now flourishes. He bought a land in the same area to expand his workshop. Priyantha resumed farming once again investing money he earned from his workshop. He is now quite successful and always claims that it was SOS Vocational Training Centre, Monaragala that paved the way for his success.