Sri Lanka Without Orphans

Country Profile: Sri Lanka

In Sri Lanka today, institutional care is the fate of many children who have been abandoned by their parents. According to UNICEF, out of over 21,000 children in orphanages in Sri Lanka, one or both parents of over 19,000 of them are still alive. There are currently 488 voluntary children’s homes in Sri Lanka. Living conditions for children in some of these homes are less than idyllic.

Total Population: 22.9 million

Total children under the age of 18: 7 million

The situation of children in Sri Lanka

The Challenges:

  • Over 21,000 children are in orphanages.
  • 488 voluntary children’s homes in Sri Lanka
  • Hardly any family-based alternatives to orphanages for children requiring out-of-home care.
  • Millions of families have emerged from extreme poverty. 23 % of all households are affected by poverty (low income, limited access to health care, inadequate infrastructure, etc).
  • A quarter of all households have no access to potable water; 18 % of children have no adequate water supply or sanitary facilities; increased risk of diarrhea, etc.
  • 29 % of all children under five suffer from undernourishment and/or malnutrition and consequent disorders, although there is no food shortage in Sri Lanka.
  • 12% of young girls marry before the age of 18.

Other Information about Orphaned and Vulnerable Children and Family Care in Sri Lanka

Better Care Network Information on Family-Based Care in Sri Lanka 

More information for prayer at Operation World

"Source: UNICEF, Humanium, SOS Children's Villages International".

National Stories

Parenting Seeds Planted in Sri Lanka

Have you ever questioned yourself as a parent? Wished you hadn’t made the mistake you just made when dealing with your child? Without any training to the contrary, we often react out of what we saw growing up.
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Parenting Strategies Help One Desperate Father in Sri Lanka

16- year-old Vijay* lives with his single father and seven other siblings in the nation of Sri Lanka. When the lockdowns due to COVID-19 began in Sri Lanka, Vijay’s father struggled in his role as a single parent. Keeping the children at home and managing the family during the many weeks of the imposed curfews was a daunting task. This overburdened father often lost his patience with his children and resorted to punishment to correct difficult behaviour. He wondered how he could continue to cope while he and the children were confined to their home.
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Sri Lanka Without Orphans Roundtable

The first Sri Lanka Without Orphans Roundtable was held in Colombo, Sri Lanka on the 21st of March.  This event was organized and facilitated by the WWO team in partnership with the Evangelical Alliance of Sri Lanka and CERI Sri Lanka.  Its goal was to bring together Sri Lankan leaders from churches (and denominations), NGOs, government, and leadership of a theological seminary, with a goal to help them understand the situation of orphans and vulnerable children in their own country and to lead them to a process of collaborative effort with the vision to see vulnerable children in families. 25 leaders explored together the current situation, and how the Christian community can play an important role in transforming Sri Lanka’s culture response to the needs of vulnerable children. Dr. Susan Hillis and Lubo Hlavacka (from the WWO Executive Team), Raghu Balachandran (Director of the Charity and Development Department of the Evangelical Alliance of Sri Lanka), and Dharshan Vijayaretnam (CEO of CERI Sri Lanka) facilitated the program.
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