Sri Lanka

HELVETAS Swiss Intercooperation Sri Lanka is an international non-governmental development organization contributing to the improvement of livelihoods of economically and socially disadvantaged people. We commenced our work in Sri Lanka in 1978 by supporting Sarvodaya Shramadana Movement in the working areas of sustainable agriculture and rural infrastructure. Since then we have continued to support development initiatives in Sri Lanka that contributed to a reduction in inequities and in alleviation of poverty in areas such as rural infrastructure, sustainable management of natural resources, education, culture and governance.
  • Capital
  • Area
    65,610 km²
  • Poverty rate*
    1% of the population live under the poverty line of $1.90 per day
    Rank: 110 out of 188
  • Population
  • People supported per year
  • Thematic focus
    Governance, Peace & Migration
    Knowledge and Learning
* Source: UN Data

Helvetas has been active in a wide range of rural development and rehabilitation projects in Sri Lanka since 1978. After the tsunami in December 2004, the organization was involved in emergency relief and reconstruction. Since 2009, Helvetas has worked mainly in the field of governance and peace.

Labor migration as a safe development option for Sri Lanka

Although Sri Lanka now ranks among the world’s middle-income countries, poverty is still widespread. Seeking temporary work abroad is the only solution for many men and women. Two million people of Sri Lankan origin live abroad – mostly in the Gulf States, and increasingly in the Far East. Another 250,000 leave Sri Lanka every year. Labor migration is a strategy strongly promoted by the Sri Lanka government.

Helvetas has been involved in supporting safe labor migration for several years. At first, we focused on informing migrants and their families about their legal rights, safety, psycho-social issues and effective use of remittances. Since 2016, Helvetas’ role has been to strengthen the capacity of public and civil society actors to ensure safe labor migration.

Youth for co-existence and peace

The bloody civil war that raged on for over 25 years till 2009 left deep wounds in Sri Lankan society. The political situation afterwards has gone through periods of tension, such as the unconstitutional crisis within the government regime in 2018 and the terrorist attacks in 2019.

Helvetas peace projects seek to foster reconciliation and tolerance between ethnic and religious communities: Singhalese - Tamil, Muslim and Christian. We train and support youth leaders of Sri Lanka in communication and leadership, dealing with conflict, building networks, and promoting cultural diversity, so that they can implement activities within their social environment – youth clubs, schools, families and communities. In exchange programs, youths visit peers in other parts of the country to build bonds and positive attitudes.  .

Particularly motivated and competent young leaders are coached to become youth ambassadors promoting transformational change in social media networks and national-level initiatives.

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.

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