2017 Apr 12
by Vandana Hiranand
The streets of Sri Lanka are home to thousands of street children, few of whom have proper housing and access to education. However, the people of Sri Lanka are known for their charitable and helping nature, and many have decided to simply not accept street children as part of an unchangeable reality. As such, we have listed here some trustworthy charity organizations committed towards improving the lives of street children, and how you can contribute towards this cause!
1. Child Action Lanka
Established in 2006, Child Action Lanka works to assist and transform the lives of disadvantaged children in Sri Lanka. The organization focuses on looking after the physical and mental health of children, along with developing effective long-term approaches. They further provide support to the families of street children, aiding in business loans, savings and to expand such businesses.
Child Action Lanka provides quality teaching for students, supplies for school equipment, counseling services, scholarships, and attempts to reduce school dropout rates. The services extend to nutrition programs, mobile clinics, and family planning awareness. The wide range of services operate at various locations around the island. You can visit their website www.childactionlanka.org to learn how you can volunteer to teach, subscribe to their newsletter, and donate.
2. SOS Children’s Villages Sri Lanka
Since 1981, SOS Children’s Villages of Sri Lanka has been working to improve the lives and rights of children living in Sri Lanka. Belonging to the umbrella organization SOS Children’s International, their primary focus is on family-based, long-term care for children without parental care and children in difficult circumstances. The organization works on helping children build positive and healthy relationships to become independent young adults. Further family strengthening programs are established to stabilize families.
The organization has various kindergartens, day-care centers, schools, and vocational training centers. SOS Children’s Villages of Sri Lanka promotes children’s rights, public awareness, and the independence and individuality of children to aid them in making their own decisions. Through their services and website, you can help by sponsoring a child, donating towards the organization, and read true stories of children who grew up at SOS Children’s Villages and have built their own lives. You can read more about their organization at http://www.soschildrensvillages.lk/
3. Hope for Children
For the past 17 years, Hope for Children has been active within the island in various ways. The organization works with MENCAFEP to provide support for disabled children through provision of education, outreach support in the form of counseling and home visits, and promoting the rights for disabled individuals across the country. With regards to street children, the organization supports the Borella Day Care Centre which provides disadvantaged children with the opportunity to obtain pre-school education in a safe environment.
The Borella Day Care Centre provides education, meals, vocational skills development, and shelter during the day. Through donations, you can personally contribute towards providing exercise books, pens, food, aid for disabled children, and medical costs as well. For more details on the organization and how you can help, visit their website at www.hope-for-children.org
4. The Rainbow Centre
The Rainbow Centre is a UK Registered Charity which provides daily education, welfare, and loving support towards children in Sri Lanka. With a goal of helping children to break free from the cycle of poverty, the Rainbow Centre’s primary focus is on helping children gain a suitable education. Established in Aluthgama in 2005, it operates a nursery, pre-school, school, scholarship and vocational training programs. Over the years, the organization has gained excellent facilities.
Currently located in Bentota, it provides daily care, education, and medical treatment for over 50 children who would not otherwise be able to obtain an education and would turn to work early in their lives. The organization further supports 50 underprivileged children in the mainstream school system with school transport, educational supplies, scholarships, welfare, and medical support. To contribute towards the Rainbow Centre, visit their website at http://www.rainbowcentresrilanka.com and learn how you can help!
5. International Children’s Trust
International Children’s trust tackles the root causes of child poverty, focusing on vulnerable children who live in poverty, face abuse, violence, and discrimination. With over fifty years of experience working with children around the world, the organization tackles the physical, emotional and educational barriers to a child’s development. The International Children’s Trust believes that you cannot change a child’s life without changing their environment.
The organization works to provide strong family and community support structures. Within the poorest areas of Sri Lanka, they offer educational courses, improving the emotional well-being of children with guidance, counselling and children’s clubs as well as developing the family structure with family meetings and sensitization projects. You can contribute by sponsoring a child within Sri Lanka to ensure their education and wellbeing requirements are met. To learn more about how you can donate and help, visit their website www.internationalchildren.org
Sri Lanka has countless children who succumb to life living and working on the streets. By dedicating time or funds to help out, you may not change the whole world, but you will most certainly change the world of one child in need.
Check out the video here!