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Sri Lanka

Home-Start Lanka logo
Home-Start Lanka
825, Singhepura
Pelawatte- Battaramulla
Sri Lanka
Tel: +94 716 884 908,  +94 716 884 909, +94 112 785 666

Honorary Chairperson: Mrs. Madusha Dissanayake
Mrs Indica Samarakoon (Programme Manager)
Mrs. Priyanga Wijesooriya (Volunteer Co-ordinator/Life-skills Co-ordinator)
Ms. Sabrina Ratnasekera (Communications Officer)

In the beginning

Home-Start Lanka (HSL) was introduced to Sri Lanka by Social Anthropologist Madu Dissanayake in 2003. In 2001, whilst on maternity leave, she began to help a local Home-Start Scheme in London where she trained as a professional Home-Start Volunteer. After working for a year as a volunteer, she began a career as the Coordinator for a Home-Start Scheme in London. Working with families and children who needed support of a different kind made her realize the need for such a programme in Sri Lanka, where the concept of family home visits for support and guidance was not widely practiced. Home-Start Lanka is still the only organization in Sri Lanka to provide a service of this kind in the country.

“Home-Start wants to see a society in which every parent has the support they need to give their children the best possible start in life.”

About us

Home-Start Lanka currently has one scheme in the Colombo District. Within the scheme in the Colombo District, there are three satellite schemes situated in Maternity and Child Welfare Clinics in Forbes Road Colombo 10, Kirula Road Colombo 5, and Kirulapona Colombo 6. Home-Start Lanka services are also provided at the Child Guidance Centre of the Lady Ridgeway Children’s Hospital in Colombo 8, and the ‘Building Hope’ Children’s Resource Centre run by the Colombo Municipal Council in Kirulapone, Colombo 06.

Our work

HSL works to support and provide parents with the information they need to make informed choices; allowing them to grow in confidence and strengthen their relationships with their children and widen their links with the local community. This will empower the family as a whole to uplift their social, emotional and financial status, thereby giving their children a better start in life. The families we help come from a wide variety of backgrounds and are looking for support for many different reasons including: postnatal illness, loneliness, relationship problems, poverty, disability, single parenthood, and coping with multiple births, several young children, or inadequate local resources to support the growing needs of young children.

Our coordinators, staff and home-visiting volunteers are therefore trained to respond to a variety of needs. After the initial assessment by the coordinator the family will be matched with the most suited volunteer to start his or her regular weekly visits to the family.

In addition to the core service of volunteer home visiting, HSL has initiated the following programmes to address some of the other needs of registered families:

  • Family drop-in sessions - where parents have an informal opportunity to share information, network and gather resources. 
  • Healthy Living and Nutrition Programme – where a healthy meal is provided once a week at the Satellite Schemes in the Maternity and Child Welfare Clinics, and through which parents are educated on proper nutrition for their children.
  • Early (Therapeutic) Intervention Programme – where parents with children with disabilities are provided with basic physiotherapy training which they can carry out in their own homes under the guidance of Home-visiting volunteers.  Training is also provided to midwives to help them identify disabilities in children.
  • Life Skills Training Programme – where mothers are taught a skill such as dressmaking, beauty culture etc. to provide them with an opportunity for self-improvement and employment.
Photo of two ladies and children

Updated June 2013

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