Latest update

Sri Lanka is reporting an average of 1,400 new cases of COVID-19 per day as of July 18th, which is about half of June’s average. Sri Lanka has fully vaccinated approximately 17% of its population of 22 million people, up from just 5% in June. As of July 10th, Sri Lanka has loosened some COVID-19 restrictions, allowing restaurants, places of worship and other nonessential public spaces to reopen with restrictions. Many Sri Lankans continue to struggle economically because of two months of strict lockdown. With schools closed, children of these vulnerable populations may also be further endangered by their lack of access to education for future opportunities.

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Country update

How is Compassion currently operating in Sri Lanka?

  • Are Compassion centres open?

    Centres in Sri Lanka have moved to distance only because of continued spread of COVID-19. Local partners continue to make phone calls to check in on families. They also continue to monitor urgent needs and child protection issues. Partners have distributed almost 72,000 food packs and nearly 182,000 hygiene kits and have provided medical support to over 2,700 individuals.

  • Are children receiving letters?

    The majority of letters are delayed in Sri Lanka, which means it may take longer for you to receive letters from your child. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t write! We encourage you to continue sending your sponsored child letters of encouragement and hope. What a joyful day it will be when those letters are delivered!

  • Are gifts being delivered?

    Gifts continue to be distributed in Sri Lanka, although they are currently delayed. Staff members have been given the option to disburse monetary gifts to caregivers, where appropriate. This applies to family gifts and child gifts (including birthday and final gifts). Families may spend the gift on whatever they consider most important to meet family needs. The caregiver will decide the best use of the money, recognising that sometimes purchasing food or paying rent is in the best interest of a child.

How you can pray

Thank you for praying for children and families in Sri Lanka who have been impacted by COVID-19—and the local staff who continue to serve them in difficult circumstances.

Please join us in praying for the following:

  • Protection over the physical and mental health of the children, families, caregivers and staff.
  • Provision for children and youth wouldto continue to safely learn and engage in distance learning programs.
  • Provision for the needs of the children and their families educationally, occupationally and medically.
  • Comfort and peace for the families who are grieving the loss of their loved ones.
  • Protection for children and women who have been most vulnerable in the COVID-19 lockdowns.
  • Wisdom for the local partners as they serve and support babies and their families through the Mums and Babies program.
  • Continued health and safety for the local staff, volunteers and their families.
  • Wisdom and strength for Sri Lankan leaders as they make decisions.
  • Strength and comfort for those impacted by the sinking of the Express Pearl.
  • Preventtion of the spread of COVID-19 and healing for those who are ill.
  • Peace and encouragement for the local partners as they continue serving and supporting the children and families in their communities.
Food Packs for Sri Lanka

Food Packs for Sri Lanka

For families living day-to-day in Sri Lanka, the pandemic and quarantine measures that followed drove them into further hardship. Day labourers like seven-year-old Pravin’s father, struggled to support the needs of their families and were worried they’d have no food to eat.   Read more open_in_new

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Please note: Due to the current pandemic, many child development centres in Sri Lanka are temporarily closed. Our local partners continue to meet the urgent needs of the children through home-based care.

A snapshot of Compassion's Child Sponsorship Program in Sri Lanka

Compassion’s program is contextualised across countries and communities, as well as age groups.

  • Children aged 1 to 3 receive home-based care.
  • Children aged 3 and older visit the Compassion centre for six to eight hours every week.
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Compassion Program Activities in Sri Lanka

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Compassion assisted children in Sri Lanka typically attend program activities at the local child development centre on Saturdays. Here is an example of what a typical program day looks like for children in Sri Lanka.

8:00am – A time for songs, games and introductions.

10:30am – Break time, when children can play in a safe environment and develop friendships.

11:00am – Social-emotional lessons ranging from conflict resolution to developing healthy self-esteem. Children often come from challenging home environments and are taught social and personal skills.

12:00pm – Lunch and social time. Children enjoy a meal of rice, meat or fish, vegetables and fruit.

1:00pm – Health lessons, in which children learn practical health and hygiene lessons.

2:00pm – Letter writing and career planning. Older children work with local staff to identify their strengths and interests and set goals for their future.

Children can also attend camps, sporting events, field trips and talent shows. Parents of Compassion assisted children meet once a month to learn about a variety of topics.

The greatest needs impacting children living in poverty in Sri Lanka

36

mothers die from pregnancy related causes per 100,000 births

8

children under the age of five die per 1000 births

16%

of children are underweight

Sri Lanka is slowly emerging from a brutal decades-long civil war that resulted in mass displacement and tens of thousands of deaths. But this beautiful, scenic nation carries the scars of the conflict—and poverty continues to hold many children back.

In 2009, the Sinhalese-majority government army forced a complete defeat for the Tamil Tigers (known as the LTTE), ending a long and bitter conflict. Civilians were caught in the crossfire throughout the 26-year long war, and between 80,000 and 100,000 people were killed.

While the fighting has stopped, the legacy of the conflict lingers. By the end of 2012, the majority of those who fled during the civil war had returned to Sri Lanka, but thousands have been unable to return to their communities and remain internally displaced.

Poverty still affects millions of Sri Lankans, mostly in the northern and eastern regions. It is greatest among rural and remote communities and it affects minority groups disproportionately. Those living as labourers on tea estates face the greatest disadvantages in gaining access to education, healthcare, better quality food and housing.

Child labour and forced labour trap many families in generational poverty; but recent efforts to improve access to education have helped many more children (particularly girls) to enter the classroom. The quality of education needs to improve, as schools and teachers often don’t have the resources they need to get the best results for children, but enrolment rates are strong—which is a source of hope for the next generation of Sri Lankan children.

Many daily wage earners have lost work and their families face increased hunger and hardship in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Local partners and staff continue to reach out to offer encouragement and support; they are delivering food packs and medical support to meet immediate, urgent needs.

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28 Jan, 2020

The Most Popular Baby Names Around the World!

Every continent has its own customs and quirks, including baby names! Check out the most popular ones for children in child development centres across 25 countries—there’s a lot that can be revealed with just a name... Read more

14 Mar, 2018

Why Do My Sponsored Child's Letters Sound the Same?

It can be disappointing if your sponsored child hasn’t responded to your questions or even mentioned the letter you sent them. Here’s why this could be happening, plus handy tips to prevent it. .. Read more

23 Apr, 2018

Have You Sent These Things to Your Sponsored Child?

Wondering what you can send to your sponsored child? Read on for the items you can include with your letters, plus learn what not to send... Read more