Where we work
Helvetas has been active in Sri Lanka since 1978. During our first decades there, our organization was involved in a wide range of development and rehabilitation projects. After the tsunami in December 2004, Helvetas was involved in emergency relief and reconstruction.
Although Sri Lanka now ranks among the world’s middle-income countries, poverty is still widespread in certain areas. Seeking temporary work abroad is the only solution for many men and women. Two million people of Sri Lankan origin now live abroad – mostly in the Gulf States, increasingly in the Far East as well. And another 250,000 leave Sri Lanka every year.
Helvetas informs migrants and the families they have left behind about their legal rights and advises them on migration-related safety issues and on using cash remittances from abroad more productively. We also provide psychosocial support for migrants and their families back home. The point is to make sure that the search for employment abroad actually does improve living conditions for the families in Sri Lanka, who receive counseling and support from various governmental and civil-society organizations that are trained and advised by Helvetas.
The bloody civil war that raged on for over 25 years till 2009 left deep wounds in Sri Lankan society. Helvetas’ peace projects seek to foster reconciliation and tolerance between the Singhalese, Tamil and Muslim communities. We work primarily with young men and women who are active in youth associations.
They in turn organize workshops at which participants of various ethnicities learn how to defuse conflict, and they get to know the views and concerns of each of the other ethnic communities. The participants then advocate in their communities for peaceful coexistence and for an approach to local development that benefits each community equally.
Visit the website of Helvetas Sri Lanka.
If you would like to know more about our work in Sri Lanka, click on each project for details.
HELVETAS SRI LANKA
Phone: (+94 ) 11 250 45 61