© Helvetas / Ravindra Ranasinghe

Sri Lanka

Many Sri Lankans are forced to go abroad because they have no job prospects in their country. Helvetas advocates for safe and fair working and living conditions for migrant workers. We also promote peaceful coexistence in the aftermath of a long civil war.
© Helvetas / Ravindra Ranasinghe
  • Capital
  • Area
    65,610 km²
  • Poverty rate*
    2% of the population live under the poverty line of $1.90 per day
    Rank: 73 out of 188
  • Population
  • People supported per year
  • Thematic focus
    Governance, Peace & Migration
    Knowledge and Learning
* Source: UN Data

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.

Labor migration as the only way out of poverty

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.

Support for families in Sri Lanka

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.

Wounds of the bloody civil war

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.

Advocating for peaceful coexistence

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.

© Helvetas / Ravindra Ranasinghe
© Helvetas / Ravindra Ranasinghe
© Helvetas
© Helvetas
© Helvetas
Vellakuddy Nageswary Brunnen well Water Wasser sanitation Hygie © Helvetas
© Helvetas
© Helvetas

Our Projects in Sri Lanka

 If you would like to know more about our work in Sri Lanka, click on each project for details.

Sri Lanka Governance, Peace & Migration

Making Labor Migration a Success

© Helvetas / Bruna Fossati
Sri Lanka Governance, Peace & Migration

Young People on Course for Reconciliation

Governance, Peace & Migration

In many countries where we work, men and women are unable to claim their rights and participate actively in decision-making processes.

Knowledge and Learning

Building the capacities of staff and partners to effectively share what they know, to learn together and create effective solutions is crucial to our success.

No 2/1
Layards Road
Colombo 05
Sri Lanka

Phone: (+94 ) 11 250 45 61
E-Mail: helvetas@eureka.lk