29th Annual Report – 2014

Message From The Hon. President | Sarvodaya Suwasetha Sewa Society Ltd.
Mrs. Karuna Speldewinde

The importance of ‘Family’ as the most natural environment for a child’s growth is an undisputed fact.
Likewise, caring for elders and the differently-abled are the duty and responsibility of the family to which
they belong.

However, times are changing and we find that the environment also is becoming more and more
vulnerable to adverse influences. Risks of sexual, physical and emotional abuse, neglect and violence
are prevalent in the country today. Children are ill-treated, and often cast away or abandoned; old
people and disabled people are treated similarly by their own family members.

Instances of extreme violence against women and children, like for example, the act of throwing a little
child into a river by its own parents, and other similar acts of cruelty and neglect are being reported from
time to time.It is primarily the obligation of the State to provide the required support to sustain the natural
environment in the family by improving access to health, education and protection. The International
Year of the Family and an International Day of the Children and Elderly have been declared by United
Nations and Human Rights Agencies in order to improve the fast deteriorating situations but the desired
results have not been fully achieved yet.

Therefore, voluntary Social Service Organizations such as the Sarvodaya Suwasetha Sewa Society have
come forward which try as far as possible to provide care and protection for such marginalized persons.
It is not an easy task for the Sarvodaya Suwasetha Sewa Society to maintain these Centres. To conform
to accepted standards is difficult due to lack of funding. Most donors limit their support to a project for a
period of 10 years or so. They then include projects to their agendas depending on the emerging needs
of deserving countries. Therefore, it is very likely that the Sarvodaya Suwasetha Sewa Society will have
to find new sources of funding in order to continue its services. In order to counteract these
circumstances the importance of having a Strategic Plan was identified as vital. This Strategic Plan is
being prepared by a Team led by Dr. Charika Marasinghe to whom we are grateful.

In spite of these many stiff challenges Sarvodaya Suwasetha Sewa Society has successfully maintained
the highest level of accepted standards at their Centres and they have been able to provide the
necessary services at all times. These Centres are considered as ‘Home away from Home’ by inmates to
whom the family spirit counts a great deal to their sense of well-being. The Sarvodaya Suwasetha Sewa
Society Centres had been judged as ‘Best managed’ Centres by the relevant State institutions. Earning
such a well deserved reputation would not have been possible if not for the dedication and sense of
commitment shown by the staff of these Centres

Special mention needs to be made of the guidance given by Dr. A.T. Ariyaratne, Founder President of
Sarvodaya Movement and also Dr.Vinya Ariyaratne, General Secretary, Lanka Jathika Sarvodaya
Shramadana Sangamaya. Their constant words of encouragement and unfailing support in all our
endeavors are warmly appreciated and we are indeed grateful to them.

Our thanks and gratitude also go to the Staff and Executive Council of Sarvodaya Suwasetha Sewa
Society for their invaluable contribution to the activities of Sarvodaya Suwasetha Sewa Society and to all
relevant Government agencies for guidance and co-ordination extended in our endeavours.

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