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Sri Lanka

We support roughly 6,580 children in 11 projects in Sri Lanka, where we have worked since 1975. Today we have nine local partners. Our projects are spread over the entire country.

Sri Lanka

A country in the aftermath of civil war:
Education changes everything

Civil war and floods have made life extremely difficult for many people in Sri Lanka. A large part of the population has no access to clean drinking water or education. More than one-third of all children are malnourished. Many youth have to work to support their families. With our projects we primarily promote better access to education. Additionally, we support self-help groups for women and aid work in the slums.

The challenges

At first glance, Sri Lanka appears to be doing relatively well compared to many other countries. The child mortality rate of one percent is low and life expectancy is high. State-run schools and basic healthcare are free.

Two boys sitting on a school bench in Sri Lanka. (Source: Enric Boixados)
Especially for working children the re-entry to a school is difficult.

Nevertheless, nearly one in ten Sri Lankans live below the poverty line. Too many children don't get enough to eat. It is estimated that one in five children under the age of five is malnourished. Many people still have no access to clean drinking water. Youth unemployment is very high.

Today, after the end of the civil war, the segment of the population that has borne the brunt of the armed conflict is suffering the most from the aftermath of the fighting. Nearly everyone has lost relatives, supplies of food and water are inadequate. Lacking employment opportunities fuel economic uncertainty. Poverty is widespread throughout the country and a range of social problems persists. To make matters worse, children suffer from neglect and often also from abuse.

  • Our work in the country

    We support projects throughout Sri Lanka and work with both local NGOs and the Christian church.

    Strengthening women and children is a major focus of our work here. In self-help groups they learn about opportunities on how to make their way out of poverty. Sexually abused girls receive special support and learn how to cope with everyday life again. Integration programmes for children with special needs give mental, emotional and physical support. Since many parents work on tea plantations, we have launched a Kindernothilfe project tailored to the needs of the children of tea pickers. Our local partner organizations are in charge of development and social work in the slums and cities.

    With our work we seek to provide children with better access to education because this is the only way that they can free themselves from poverty.

  • Key figures on Sri Lanka

    • 22 million people live in Sri Lanka
    • 1 % of children die before their first birthday
    • 26 % of all children under the age of 5 are underweight
    • 93 % of children attend primary school
    • 9 % of the population lives below the poverty line

    Sources: World Factbook, United Nations

Sri Lanka: Education for tea pickers’ children

Sri Lanka: Education for tea pickers’ children

Education for children of tea pickers is poor because working as a teacher on a tea plantation is not an attractive job. With our project we improve the children's educational situation.

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Who we are

Who we are

Kindernothilfe is a Non-Governmental Organisation founded in Germany in 1959. We partner with local non-governmental organisations in 30 countries in Africa, Asia, Latin America and Eastern Europe to realize and protect children's rights.

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How we work

How we work

Learn more about how we realize children’s rights.

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