SOS Family Strengthening in Sri Lanka Continues its Hard Work.

The SOS Family Strengthening Programme in Sri Lanka is highly effective in supporting families at risk of breaking down due to various economic and psycho-social factors. The numbers prove its success, and as of April 2021, 2693 families have graduated successfully from nine different FSP locations in the country. These families are living happy and independent lives now, and for the children in these families, the risk of losing their parents is no more. However, there are numerous challenges that come in the way when trying to relieve beneficiary FSP families from their despairing situation. These challenges come to light only at ground level when these families talk about their issues openly. Therefore, regardless of the number of facilities that are being offered through the FSP programme, it is imperative to be in touch with beneficiaries to ensure they are making optimum use of the facilities provided, whilst simultaneously reconfiguring such facilities as and when needed to cater to their prevailing needs.

Gandara, is a village in the south of Sri Lanka belonging to Mathara District. Famous for its temples built by ancient kingdoms, this village is home to many poverty-stricken families. The SOS Family Strengthening Social Centre that was set-up in Gandara after the devastating tsunami in 2004 has been of immense support to such families in Gandara and nearby villages. To date, Gandara Social Centre has alleviated 339 families out of destitution, whereby securing the lives of children in those families who otherwise would have faced an uncertain future.

“I firmly believe visiting the field and talking directly to beneficiaries will make the programme stronger and it will instil confidence and strength into FSP families.” - Divakar Ratnadurai, National Director

This social centre has progressed immensely since its inception in 2006. The National Director of SOS Children’s Villages, Sri Lanka, Mr. Divakar Ratnadurai visited the Gandara Social Centre recently to monitor the activities taking place at ground-level and assess how the FSP Programme is supporting beneficiary families. A new community house has been set-up in an area called Suduwella where the FSP Programme is currently supporting families in need. The National Director attended the inauguration of this community house and listened to what these families had to say. The National Director firmly believes visiting the field and talking directly to beneficiaries will make the programme stronger.

The National Director also visited a location called Delgalla, which is another village supported by the FSP Programme. The CBO that was set-up in this location some time back, has now begun a basic grinding mill that provides its services at a subsidized rate to the people in the community. Income derived from this service goes directly to the development and support of community needs. The National Director visited a beneficiary family that has started their own part-time business of making and selling coir ekel brooms. The knowledge and guidance to start this self-employment scheme was provided by the FSP Programme. The National Director also visited many FSP families and listened to their grievances, success stories, thoughts, and ideas.

In order to make success stories out of these beneficiary families, it is crucial to get both parents of the family involved; especially the father as he is the head of the family who makes decisions on their behalf. Therefore, it is of high importance to maintain clear and transparent communication with both parents throughout the programme period. The Gandara Social Centre has proven to be a success, and it will continue to care for families in need through the highly effective SOS Family Strengthening Programme.

Meeting with CBO Members


Meeting with CBO Members


Listening to FSP Families


Visiting the Basic Grinding Mill at Delgalla
Attending Suduwella Community Home Inauguration


Visiting FSP Families


Visiting FSP Family Self-Employment Businesses


Visiting FSP Family Self-Employment Businesses