Child Action Lanka works to assist and transform the lives of disadvantaged children and communities in Sri Lanka. Many of the children live and work on the streets as beggars. Hunger, neglect, exploitation and abuse are just a few of the many challenges faced by these children every day.
The project’s aim is to enable disadvantaged children to realize the possibilities for themselves and change their own lives for the better. The centres provide direct assistance to around 150 children in Kandy with 60 children provided with quality education at the centre and 20 toddlers provided with quality day care on a daily basis.
The project’s work is holistic – providing daily care but also vocational training to the older children and further educational opportunities. The project trains the mothers, most of whom beg on the streets, to learn new skills and therefore make sustainable incomes. Skills include card making, candle making, sewing, carpentry, computer training, English classes to name but a few. Small loans are also provided to help families start small businesses such as fruit selling, making clothes, running a three-wheeler taxi. School-aged children are given extra tuition to support them to take their national exams and enhance their employment prospects. The children and families are also helped emotionally to help them maintain stability in their home and work life and ultimately to ensure that the next generation has a better chance of securing good education and good jobs and live fulfilled lives.
More recently the project has opened centres for extremely underprivileged children in Kelaniya, near Colombo, and in the Hill Country town of Nuwera Eliya.