All posts by Manique


World University Services of Canada (WUSC) partnered with the employers’ federation of Ceylon (EFC) to include people with disabilities


World University Services of Canada (WUSC) is implementing a project titled ‘Advancing Specialized Skills for Economic Transformation’ (ASSET) project till 2019.

Under ASSET, it has been envisaged to train 4,000 youth for entry level jobs with the private sector in the following high demand sectors: Tourism & Hospitality, Information & Communication Technology, Construction and Automotive.  Training will be made available to these young people, only after identifying companies where they could be employed after the training.

They are planning on targeting youth coming from disadvantage backgrounds and youth who are dropped out of the formal education systems (O/Ls and A/Ls). These targeted youth will come from the following 11 districts in Sri-Lanka. They are: Matara, Hambantota, Ampara, Batticaloa, Trincomalee, Mullaitiv, Kilinochchi, Jaffna, Vavuniya, and Mannar & Puttlam. Scholarships covering the

Training costs will be made available for women, orphan children, youth coming from single parent headed homes, differently abled and ex-combatants covering Social inclusion and Gender Equality.

Advancing Specialized Skills for Economic Transformation (hereinafter referred to as ASSET) project will work in support of those Government of Sri Lanka and private sector goals for the skills development of Sri Lankan youth.

EFC has an interest in developing relevant employability skills among youth with disabilities in key sectors in Sri Lanka in conjunction with its corporate membership through: improving training relevance and quality, and, providing pre-employment training, career opportunities and guidance for trainees.

WUSC-SL and EFC will develop a framework of cooperation to strengthen linkages between the two parties to identify market-driven job requirements in the major four service sectors (tourism & hospitality, information & communication technology, automotive/mechanical and construction) that are geared to drive significant economic growth in the rest of this decade, to encourage the vocational training institutes to train especially youth with disabilities to enter into these identified job openings and to advance the welfare and employment of female and male trainees and marginalized youth.

The project’s goal is: to increase income potential for key economic drivers in Sri Lanka through enhanced skills and national recognition of the value of the trades and technologies sector and respect for the technical skills of trades.

The three key outcome results of ASSET are as follows:

  • Improved linkages between government training institutions and private sector to collaborate on skills for employment and workplace learning;
  • Enhanced capacity of partner organizations to plan and manage skills for employment training for Sri Lankan youth in priority sectors (hospitality & tourism, information & communication technology, construction, automotive/mechanical);
  • Increased acceptance of careers in trades and technologies as worthwhile occupations for skilled youth through a social marketing campaign which will promote the dignity of labour using a gender sensitive approach.

EFC will:

  • Liaise with its membership and other private business entities to facilitate the identification of jobs that are open for persons with disabilities;
  • Contribute to the elaboration of the training selection criteria which will take into account persons with disabilities, marginalized women, ex-combatants and re-settlers from ASSET operational districts; and
  • Facilitate through its membership, on-the-job training and placement opportunities for persons with disabilities.

The signing of the MOU was held at Kingsbury Hotel in June 2015. The Chief Guest for the event was the High Commissioner for Canada, Her Excellency Shelly Whiting.

Welcome note was delivered by Ms. Angele Touchette.

NPTA Secretary – Mr.  Kisho Anton shared his experience and thoughts on ASSET Project.

Mr. Upul Pinnawala – Principal KVTC –shared his thoughts & experience as a VT provider.

A brief PowerPoint Presentation on what the WUSC team has achieved so far was by the Interim Country Director.

Mr. Sampath Liyanage – President – SLCBC –shared his experience and thoughts on ASSET.

Mr. Vajira Ellepola – Asst. Director General spoke on EFC.

Ms. H.K. Manique Gunaratne shared on The Disability Network and the Training done by EFC.

Mr. Azmi Thassim – Past President / Consultant – Hambantota Chamber shared his experience and thoughts on working with WUSC.

Simon Jones – Global Director Programs – WUSC also addressed the gathering.

Ms. Manique Gunaratne will coordinate the project for EFC.



Manique Gunaratne

Web:   www.bizdirectory.lkunnamed (1) unnamed (2) unnamed (3) unnamed


The Internet Society of Sri Lanka organized an international conference at the Kingsbury Hotel in June 2015. There were participants from the Asia Pacific region. There was a side event to discuss internet access for people with disabilities. For this discussion there were international representatives from Australia, India, Nepal and representatives from the Internet Society, Universities, IT training centres, Ministry of Education, Ministry of Health and provincial councils from Sri Lanka. Ms. Manique Gunaratne from The Employers’ Federation of Ceylon played a major role at this discussion. The following areas were taken into consideration.

IT (Information Technology) training for soldiers with disabilities.

More trainers to be trained on IT skills.

Legal implications for IT.

Developing special programmes for people with disabilities using programmers with disabilities.

Explore how people with disabilities can benefit from assistive technologies, collaboration with various Subject Matter Experts and through knowledge transfer opportunities.

Overcome Barriers on language skills, web accessibility and publishing documents in accessible formats.

Use IT for Self-management for Home living, Community functions and Livelihoods and Jobs etc.

Adopting the international guidelines on web accessibility.


Manique Gunaratne

E-mail –





In February 2014 the “Leadership and Project Management” workshop was organized by the Asian Blind Union and the Nepal Association of the Blind at Hotel Manaslu in Katmandu, Nepal. Following areas were covered at the conference.

An overview of International Treaties and strategies for their Ratification and implementation.

Gender policy of Asian Blind Union.

Identifying issues and developing strategies for implementation of Asian Blind Union Gender Policy.

Assessment of the status of Ratification of Marrakesh Copy Right Treaty.

Issues relating to strengthening of organizational capacity of Asian Blind Union affiliate organization in the sub-region, Mapping of need.

Identifying issues relating to formation of groups by women leaders in the process of development of the respective project and their experiences with regard to group dynamic.

Strategy to enhance participation of Asian Blind Union affiliate organizations in the work of Asian Blind Union

Identifying the issues and difficulties faced by women leaders during development of their respective projects by using the project format.

Developing and Presentation of a strategy for implementation of the specific project.

Strengthening skills for advocacy on Ratification and Implementation of UNCRPD.

Empowering Affiliate organizations for ensuring inclusion of blind /partially sighted persons in the programmes of International Developmental Agencies such as UNDP, UNICEF, Asian Development Bank, UNESCO, ILO etc.

Development of project for implementation in the respective country by developing partnership with aforementioned international agencies.

Vision impaired persons from South Asian countries participated for this workshop. Ms. Manique Gunaratne represented Sri Lanka for this workshop.



Manique Gunaratne

Fax – 0094114547649




In April 2014 the awarding of certificates to the I.C.T. trainees of The Employers’ Federation of Ceylon was held at The E.F.C. auditorium. We had two guest speakers for the occasion. Dr. Iain Murrey, Senior Lecturer and Course Co-coordinator of Curtin University of Technology in Australia and Dr. Sohan Dharmaraja, a Researcher and Consultant qualified in U.S.A. The Director General of The Employers’ Federation of Ceylon, Mr. Ravi Pieris made the welcome speech. The Co-coordinator of the E.F.C.Network on Disability, Ms. Tanya Warnakulasuriya did a speech on the Network on Disability. Dr. Iain Murrey did a very informative speech on “What the Cisco programs offer and how this leads to jobs for people with vision impairment”. Dr. Sohan Dharmaraja explain about the I pad Braille software developed by him and he donated 7 I pads with the I pad Braille software. Mr. Sayed Ahamed spoke on the experience of an I.C.T. trainee of the E.F.C. on behalf of all I.C.T. trainees. Ms. Manique Gunaratne did a presentation on the success of the I.C.T. training Centre. After that 30 visually impaired persons who have successfully completed their various courses on I.C.T. received certificates and training bags. It was a really beautiful and successful event. Many radio stations, TV stations and newspapers gave publicity to this event.


Manique Gunaratne

Mobile – 0094779571918

Group photo