Formerly known as Ceylon, the island nation of Sri Lanka lies at the southern tip of India in the Indian Ocean. Slightly larger than the state of West Virginia, the country is prone to a variety of natural disasters, and the effects of the 2004 tsunami are still being felt. Sri Lanka has maintained positive social indicators compared to other countries in the region and has experienced a significant decline in poverty over the last decade. However, pockets of poverty continue to exist across regions and between social groups. Climate change is expected to significantly impact agriculture, water resources, energy, and fisheries in Sri Lanka.
ChildFund has served children in Sri Lanka since 1985. Help make a difference and sponsor a child in Sri Lanka today.
Ages 0 – 5: Healthy and Secure
ChildFund Sri Lanka works to improve child nutrition, parenting skills and community-based learning for families with children ages 5 and younger. ChildFund Sri Lanka’s colorful, child-friendly Early Childhood Development centers offer indoor and outdoor play equipment, learning and teaching materials, access to water and sanitation, training for teachers, and robust parent-teacher associations. Easy access to water reduces the time mothers spend collecting water and increases the time they spend with their children. After receiving training, volunteer mothers guide parents and other caregivers in providing good nutrition, stimulating children’s physical and mental development, and taking care of them in loving ways. Children ages 4 and 5 even learn how to protect themselves during storms and other dangerous weather, through ChildFund’s disaster risk reduction program.
Ages 6 – 14: Educated and Confident
ChildFund works to promote child-centered education in several ways: training master teachers who can educate their colleagues, encouraging classroom participation and feedback from students, and testing different education methods. As a result, more children are able to read, write and do math, and many report being happier in school. Child protection is also a key part of our work with school-aged children and adults who spend time with them. Trained community mobilizers learn how to recognize abuse and what to do when they see it. Local partner organizations’ staff members are spreading this information to family members, village leaders and others who care for children. We also are working with national government officials and other nongovernmental organizations to develop a plan to curb corporal punishment in Sri Lanka.
Ages 15 – 24: Skilled and Involved
As they get ready to leave school, Sri Lankan youth face significant challenges, including high unemployment rates and alcohol and drug abuse. We help young adults prepare for the job market by teaching them marketable skills in growing fields like hospitality, agriculture, horticulture and fisheries, and we assist youth clubs with small grants to start their own businesses. ChildFund also encourages youth to be involved in their communities; many clubs are working on small improvement projects like cleaning up playgrounds and bus stops, as well as discussing solutions to substance abuse. We also support a digital storytelling program that gives young people the chance to learn videography, photography and audio recording. In the end, they have a platform for self-expression and cross-cultural communication.