This work was originally started by Debbie and Dilshan Edirisinghe who felt God call them to reach out to children living in poverty around them in Kandy, many of whom had no home except the streets. Since this humble start in 2006 the work has grown and developed and is now offering food, care and support with education to approximately 1500 children. The number of projects has grown and now include the following…
CAL now has its own building in Kandy housing all the children aged from babies a few weeks old up to young people of 18years. They continue to offer
. a basic meal (often the only guaranteed meal a child may have)
. support with education (the provision of school uniforms, shoes, bags and books and extra tuition)
. a chance to play, as many carry heavy responsibilities for chores or caring for younger siblings
A recent addition to the centre is the provision of a Music room built in memory of Mr. Frank Winslet who was a member and organist at St. Johns for many years, and provided by his son Chris, who opened it in June 2017.
A coffee shop, Buono, has also been opened that is proving popular with locals and tourists alike including the English cricket team who discovered it on their recent tour. Buono offers work opportunities to some of the young people coming through the centres and financial support to the work of CAL.
A pre school nursery with after school care offering food, care and education to the children of low paid agricultural workers in the Tea plantation area of the country.
Two centres in the north of the country, also offering support with education, in an area which had been at the heart of the civil war. Many children there have been traumatised by the effects of the conflict.
Five rural centres offering food, care and support with education. There are currently plans to purchase some land where one central centre might be built to offer a high standard of care and education.
A new safe home is due to now open to provide a much needed refuge and sanctuary for families who are most vulnerable and at risk and who have nowhere else to turn to escape abuse
A new centre on the popular coastal region of the country is responding to the needs of children in that area to protect them from the risk of being drawn in to earning an income though sex tourism as they grow up. Pre school and after school care work to encourage the children in the value of education and promote their dignity and self respect.
The very latest CAL project is involved in building of a small centre to serve a number of families in a poor village in this area on the east coast previously affected by the war and the tsunami.
CAL has been one of the mission partners of St. Johns since 2012 involving us praying for them and giving a share of our annual Mission tithe. There have also been a number of people going out to visit or volunteer.
Links have been forged with both the charity and the church that Dilshan and Debbie lead there. Many of the staff involved with CAL are Christians living out their faith through a practical expression of their love of Jesus.
CAL have expressed their feelings about St. Johns partnering with them in the work in the following way:-
`Thanks you for being part of us…we consider our successes to be yours too and we are truly working together to transform lives.`
For more information visit their website at www.childactionlanka.org