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Home-Start Lanka

While on a research project, a little child asked me: “After you take all this information am I going to get something - will our lives be better?” At that time I wasn’t sure what I should tell this young child but it made me think hard.

Therefore, after completing my Masters in Social Anthropology I decided that I would not take anything from communities unless they get something to enhance their lives from what I gather for research purposes. 

My Home-Start Lanka journey was started out of passion, commitment and great belief to serve the communities that need support. This idea was supported by the experiences I gained as a volunteer in Home-Start Brent in London, England.

The support I received from my family was immense and made me believe that if I’m ready to make a change, a difference, and I have enough patience and tolerance, it doesn’t matter how long it’s going to take but I will go on in establishing what I believe the organisation should be.

Therefore when people ask me, "why Home-Start?" and whether they could be involved with it, I tell them the first thing is to know what Home-Start is all about. And when you have found out about it, do you believe in and understand the concept and do you think you are ready to give that commitment?  I firmly believe people change when they get involved with Home-Start. I also believe you need to have a non-judgemental attitude and a commitment to change and accept others as who they are.

With regards to the whole structure and the management issues - you need a very strong and genuine chairperson and a Board of trustees, who may not be breathing Home-start like the co-ordinator/Manager  but who have Home-Start in the back of their mind day in and out. In my case, we take only those who really believe in what we’re doing and it takes a while to have a set of people like that, who want to know and have the commitment.

With regards to operations, it’s good to keep records of all the things you’ve done so far when establishing an organisation from inception. Being strategic is extremely important. Delegation, problem solving and influencing should be some of the key things you need to master and may use everyday. 

The development sector has changed immensely and very rarely will you find people who work for no financial gains. Also finding people with the time to be involved is very hard, especially if you’re a parent of very young children. Yet Home-Start is still here, without changing our ethos for the past thirty-odd years, and there are so many who give their commitment without expecting financial gains.

We are different, a very simple yet very strong group of committed, open and friendly people, working for all families to give the best possible start to their children by uplifting, empowering and enabling the parents.
“Slow and steady wins the race!”
Madu, Sri Lanka

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