There is little accurate data to indicate the number of children living on the streets, so the estimates vary dramatically from 1000 to 40,000. The number of child labourers is estimated to be around 100,000 to 500,000, and they are primarily engaged in agricultural work such as rice production.
What we do
Hope for Children has been active in Sri Lanka for 17 years, and it was the first country that we supported projects in. The work there has been varied, and has historically included responding to the Tsunami, responding to floods in the Eastern District, working during the civil war with partners that were often on heavily disputed territory. Hope for Children Sri Lanka is one of the most established offices of our charity, with several staff overseeing the funded work of local partners. Much of the work has been developed through the priorities of supporting work that isn’t funded by the larger agencies.
Most of our projects in Sri Lanka have been focused on helping the disabled, including our work with MENCAFEP in the Eastern District, with whom we have been working alongside for 17 years. We also have projects that focus on public health, such as our Eye care Programme and paediatric cancer programme. Sri Lanka is home to the Borella Day Care Centre, which helps street and working children from surrounding shanty towns by offering recreational as well as educational activities. This is Hope for Children’s longest running programme and is now in its 21st year of support.