With the current economic crisis in Sri Lanka, many reports have confirmed that children of Sri Lanka are facing malnutrition, educational discontinuance, and other issues due to food insecurity. As a result, children are being separated from their family.
Having understood the ground situation as a child welfare organization working for children’s rights, SOS Children’s Villages Sri Lanka (SOSCV SL) has initiated their own Humanitarian Assistance Program to focus on providing the basic needs of the individual child – food, education, health, and protection.
As part of the Humanitarian Assistance Program, SOSCV SL works closely with the Divisional Secretariats, in nine districts where the Villages operates, along with the support of NGOs and partner organizations to identify low-income families with children in critical need and offer assistance as required. Additionally, SOSCV SL has decided to direct all international donations towards the Humanitarian Assistance Program, which will benefit over 10,000 children and 3,000 families across the country.
Below are some of the projects that SOSCV SL has kickstarted in efforts to reduce the increasing number of food insecure households and to help stop children from dropping out of school:
- Providing dry ration packs to identified malnourished children under the age of 5 through an initiative by the Sri Lanka College of Pediatricians with the support of Feed The Children and the Family Health Bureau
- A partnership with Lanka Prison Fellowship has enabled SOSCV SL to provide educational items needed for an entire school year for 1500 children of long-term prisoners located island wide
- Distribution of educational kits to 135 children whose parents are kidney patients identified by Samastha Lanka Kidney Patient’s Association
- Indira Cancer Trust’s ‘Sponsor A Child’ program was donated 319 educational kits as well as dry rations to help children continue their education
- A six-month commitment to donate dry rations to Mandula Niwasa, a differently abled services and support organisation in Padukka, Sri Lanka
SOS Children’s Villages Sri Lanka will continue assisting deserving children and families until December 2023 and if required, will extend the time period of the program depending on the country’s situation. Furthermore, SOSCV SL plans to providing training to primary care takers of families to help them acquire recognized vocational skills to seek employment or become self-employed to better provide for their family and mitigate the food security crisis in Sri Lanka.
Image 1: Mr. Divakar Ratnadurai – National Director SOS Children’s Villages Sri Lanka handing over an educational pack to a student at the Kahapola School
Image 2: Ms. Earline Barthelot – Consultant Humanitarian Assistance Program at the Kahapola School
Image 3: Mr. Roshan Mahanama – Ambassador and Mr. Divakar Ratnadurai – National Director of SOS Children’s Villages Sri Lanka handing over educational packs to students at the SOS National Training Center in Piliyandala
Image 4: A donation of educational items for 400 children of long-term prisoners was held successfully at Wesley College Auditorium. Present at the event were Ms. Earline Barthelot – Consultant Humanitarian Assistance Program, Wilhelm VanDort – Past President OBU Wesley College Colombo, Mr. Avanka Fernando – Principal Wesley College Colombo, Mr. Divakar Ratnadurai – National Director SOS Children’s Villages Sri Lanka, Mr. Roshan Mahanama – Ambassador SOS Children’s Villages Sri Lanka, Mr. Chaminda Vaas – Veteran Cricketer, and Mr. Kirthi Hettiarachchi – Deputy National Director SOS Children’s Villages Sri Lanka.
Image 4: Muralindra Kumar – Project Director, SOS Children’s Villages Sri Lanka at the SOS Children’s Village in Nuwaraeliya providing dry rations to underprivileged families in the area