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Run by volunteers so every penny reaches those who need it

A BRIEF HISTORY OF CHILD AID LANKA

1998-2005

Child Aid Lanka (CAL) is an Association of expatriate Sri Lankans living in the UK. It is a cohesive, apolitical, multi-ethnic, multi-faith Association of enthusiastic members, and their friends and associates. The Association has raised funds not only in cash but also in kind, such as Computers and accessories for education in Information Technology, and books in English for schools and libraries, for use by deprived children in the Island of Sri Lanka. Also collected were medical items, children's clothes, toys, items for vocational training such as car maintenance, handicraft, and preparing young women to work in garment factories, one of the biggest employers in the Island.

The funds and items raised in the past years were sent to carefully chosen established charities, caring for the welfare of children who were orphaned, abused, abandoned and underprivileged. The members of the Association subscribe to the principle that parents and other adults of our times owe a duty of care to children who have been disadvantaged either from birth or traumatised through undeserved circumstances.

The Association was set up initially as an effort to help children who were abused in the city of Colombo by unscrupulous organisations preying on street children, those from poverty-stricken homes with little or no income for their families. This situation was publicised in the media not only in Sri Lanka but also in the UK. The Methodist College Old Girls Association in the UK invited members of other Sri Lankan Past Pupils Associations to a joint fund-raising effort to help with this charitable venture which had been set up by the Prevention of Child Abuse Trust, sponsored by the ABN AMRO Bank in Colombo. With the support and organisational abilities of the participating SLPPA schools, a fund-raising event was organised on the 29th of November 1998 at the Wandsworth Banqueting Suite, for a Soiree of Dinner, Dance, Music & Fair. This event was a great success not only as a fund-raising venture but also enabled participants to meet and socialise with the various Sri Lankan Past Pupils Associations that supported this project, crossing all divides of our politically fragmented community. Seeing the enthusiasm and friendship shown during the process of organising and executing this event, it was unanimously felt that an Association of this nature where friends could gather to promote and help with underprivileged children's welfare would bring about a welcome sense of amity among the participants across the board. This was the beginning of Child Aid Lanka, an Association born that has over the last few years pioneered aid to deprived children in Sri Lanka.

Further fund-raising events held over the past years have helped children in institutions, orphanages and homes caring for disabled children, those affected by disasters not only man-made but also by nature, such as floods and cyclones, and recently by the deadly tsunami on the 26th of December 2004.

The main items collected for distribution are from educational institutions in the UK discarding usable books, computers and IT course material; and from hospitals being upgraded, disposing of items still in fair condition such as medical equipment. Members of the association have carried out the collections. They have then been freighted to a registered charitable organisation recognised by the Sri Lankan authorities for distribution to those who had requested help for their institutions in the Island. The Association has for future reference recorded a list of proposed beneficiaries, as the need is greater than what we can supply. The Association intends to continue the appeal for items and funds to support those with the greatest need, till deprivation and despair are eliminated as far as possible in Sri Lanka.

Soon after the tsunami disaster, those Committee members on a visit to the Island pooled the resources of Child Aid Lanka to extend its support in every way it could, to further aid, in particular, to the distressed children. The proposal made by the elected Committee at the past CAL Annual General Meeting in the UK to make an alliance with the Rotary Club of Colombo was carried out by two of its members. An introductory presentation by a founder member and past President of Child Aid Lanka, was made to the Rotary Club of Colombo members at their weekly lunch date, in December 2004, presenting CAL as a charity orientated association that wished to closely work with the Rotary to further their cause. This was to channel the funds they raise to deserving institutions, with the help and support of the Rotary Club of Colombo identifying projects, reviewing and recommending their donations, and through them to fulfil the request for aid that CAL wished to satisfy for the benefit of the deprived and now traumatised children worst hit by the tsunami. The President of the Rotary Club and a representative, met the CAL representatives, and agreed on how to proceed with this mission of building an alliance. A cheque of £2,000 was donated by CAL to Rotary for the Ulla Arugam Bay project for children affected by the tsunami. Further donations were made for underprivileged schools to have fresh drinking water, sanitation, boundary walls, libraries and science laboratories, as their joint projected proposal on a long term basis. Funds were also released on the Rotary nomination to provide a drinking water supply system to the Weera Vijaya Wimalarathne Maha Vidyalaya, Inamaluwa, Dambulla Project, costing £850. Other areas of concern, deprived and destroyed by the tsunami, schools that are selected for carrying out similar projects from the funds available and funds CAL would raise, as an ongoing partnership of Child Aid Lanka and Rotary Club Colombo. These projects will have the support of CAL, to collect educational and vocational material to equip the libraries and science labs with books, computers, etc., recreational items such as musical instruments, sports items such as cricket bats, balls, etc., and items for play areas to help those working with traumatised children to free them from their emotional burdens. The aim is to get those children back into a routine of a near normal life.

Child Aid Lanka has also funded Zonta Club 1 of Colombo, a women's organisation in Sri Lanka caring for children in a convalescent and rehabilitation home and school in Ragama. This charity cares for children brought in from the Lady Ridgeway Hospital for Children in Colombo and the Ragama Hospital, as babies and toddlers, as their mothers had no means either to keep or care for these children due to abject poverty. There are carers and teachers who teach, paid for by the Zonta Club 1 of Colombo. The children live there, and are schooled from the age of two till they can fend for themselves. A request by CAL to Zonta to also support children affected by the tsunami has been made.

A donation by CAL was also made to the Canaan Children's Home in Jaffna on a request to help children affected by the tsunami.

Child Aid Lanka has supported the Mudita Children's Home in Galkande, Munihirigama, Hettipola, to further their facilities to the orphaned children and others regardless of ethnicity, creed or culture.

A donation of eight anaesthetic machines, ventilators and dental instruments was made to The Tamil Health Organisation to help improve health standards in deprived areas of Sri Lanka.

The Medical Institute of Tamils was also given two anaesthetic machines, other medical items and computer books in English, to jointly with CAL fill a container freighted to Sri Lanka after the tsunami to alleviate the desperate situation prevailing in the Island.

These are the major projects Child Aid Lanka has committed itself to from their organisation in the UK. The success of their venture lies in their ability to fundraise, collect as before, items in cash and kind, to further help underprivileged children as they have done before, to have the basic human rights humanity can provide in a turbulent world.


A list of beneficiaries from the fund-raising events from 1998 up to 2005.


  1. Prevention of Child Abuse Trust set up by the ABN AMRO Bank, a Colombo based trust, caring for children mostly in the city of Colombo and children in the coastal parts of the south with tourist resorts, to select with their expertise those requiring aid for distribution to them: Donated £5,896

  2. Samata Sarana, a well-known organisation educating and securing a future for young children from babies on to O-level standard, in their mother tongues, with special efforts to teach English, an international language, to enhance their job prospects. It is a Catholic institution in Mutwal and situated in a deprived area north-west of Colombo. Fr. Joe de Mel and his staff, educate children in a day school, which provides free mid-day meals to 450 children daily: Donated £750

  3. Sri Lanka Anti Narcotics Association established to help young misplaced and misguided young teenagers, to counsel and help them on to a road to a productive future and career to support themselves as responsible adults. It is an organisation in the City of Colombo with a special interest to rehabilitate drug addicts and children affected and abused in the city environment and train them to earn a living with advice and counselling in career prospects: Donated £750

  4. Sri Lankadhara Society Ltd. Set up by Dr & Mrs W A de Silva in 1922, successfully run by the present committee caring for orphans and underprivileged children from birth to the age of eighteen, before they leave to lead independent lives of their own. This is an organisation with 100 girls given shelter and education in a Buddhist orphanage in the City of Colombo: Donated £500

  5. Community Concern Society, Lotus Bud, a foster home caring for twenty- one children with a live-in staff, accommodated together as a quality home where they are a life long family, in the outskirts of Colombo. Run by Ms Ann Koelmeyer and her husband, the children are given the security of a family environment in the home and attend schools in Colombo: Donated: £500

  6. National Christian Council of Churches of Sri Lanka fund charities looking after the welfare of underprivileged children. In particular, for those affected adversely by the cyclone and floods that ravaged areas east of Sri Lanka, funds were released for relief that year: Donated £500

  7. "Project 2002" was to raise funds to freight a container with 150 computers donated by the University of Bangor, and some by friends and well-wishers. Also sent were Medical equipment collected from hospitals upgrading equipment, Car maintenance equipment donated by a well wisher closing down a garage in London, nearly 5,000 books given by schools in the borough of Harrow replenishing their stocks, organised by the Mayor of Harrow, 2003-2004, and 800 new books gifted by Harper Collins, the publishers in London, for young children as reading and reference. Also collected and sent were clothes, toys and many more items. These items were freighted from London by Child Aid Lanka, and cleared in the Port of Colombo for distribution by the state recognised organisation, Sri Lanka Anti Narcotics Association, to the various charities identified by Child Aid Lanka. The collected items for freighting were requested by some of the charities in the Island. The mechanical items, donated to SLANA, were to set up a car maintenance and service training, to promote job prospects for the trainees. Those items in excess were given to SLANA for distribution to other needy charities they were in contact with, to aid their projects in furthering their causes.

  8. At the end of 2004 an alliance was formed with the Rotary Club of Colombo, established seventy-six years ago, to carry out projects for underprivileged children in Sri Lanka. After discussing various projects, Rtn. Asgi Akbarally proposed that donations be channelled towards underprivileged schools, to provide fresh drinking water, sanitation, boundary walls, libraries and science labs. This can be an ongoing project that CAL can fund with monies raised, and further in the future as a partnership with the Rotary in the Island wide clubs, give other deprived and needy schools similar facilities to improve their quality of life. After the tsunami disaster on the 26th of December 2004, a sum of £1000 was immediately released to carry out necessary aid to affected areas where children were involved. CAL will take up similar projects with the guidance, support and supervision of these building projects by the Rotary. CAL will fund these from monies raised channelled through the Rotary Club of Colombo. A further donation of £850 was made for a drinking water supply to Weera Vijaya Wimalaratne Maha Vidyalaya, Inamaluwa, Dambulla Project.

  9. A sum of £500 was donated to the Zonta Club 1 of Colombo, an international women's organisation in Colombo, to support a Convalescent and Rehabilitation home and school, a charitable centre for children in Ragama. This home houses children who are sick and cannot be cared for by their parents due to poverty and deprivation. A request has been made by CAL to Zonta Club to support in addition children abandoned, disabled, traumatised and orphaned by the tsunami by giving them a home where they will be cared for, sheltered and schooled till they can fend for themselves.

  10. Mudita Foundation has supported the Mudita Children's Home in Galkande, Munihirigama, Hettipola, to further their facilities to orphaned children and others regardless of ethnicity, creed or culture. £500 was donated by Child Aid Lanka.

  11. Canaan Children's Home. Cares for children displaced, traumatised and orphaned by the prevailing situation in the Jaffna peninsula. A sum of £500 was donated.

  12. Donation received by Child Aid Lanka after the tsunami disaster from the Gujarati community in Harrow; £2,000, donated to the Rotary Club of Colombo for the Ulla Arugam Bay project.

  13. Child Aid Lanka deeply appreciates the support of their Members, Associates and Friends.


Some of the causes we have supported


CAL - Rotary; Choir at Dambulla Project

CAL - Rotary; Choir at Dambulla Project

CAL - Rotary; Choir at Dambulla Project

CAL - Rotary; Dambulla Project Procession


Nisala Sevana - Mawanella; Handicapped Child

Nisala Sevana - Mawanella; Handicapped Child

CAL - Zonta; Ragama Home

CAL - Zonta; Ragama Home


CAL - SLANA; computer training

CAL - SLANA; computer training

Sri Lankadhara; vegetable cultivation

Sri Lankadhara; vegetable cultivation


Train struck by Tsunami - Ambalangoda

Train struck by Tsunami - Ambalangoda

CAL - Rotary; Dambulla Potable Water Project

CAL - Rotary; Dambulla Potable Water Project