SOS Children’s Villages supports individual children, young people and families so that they can thrive (photo: SOS Children’s Villages Sri Lanka).

Jaffna is the capital of the northern province of Sri Lanka. With a population of 100,000, it is the second largest city in Sri Lanka. Before the civil war, Jaffna was thriving economically. However, during the civil war (1983-2009), the city was at the centre of the fighting, and many inhabitants fled to other parts of the island. The city was also hit by the tsunami in 2004, which killed approximatively 30 000 Sri Lankans. Slowly but surely, the city is finding its balance again, amidst more recent economic crises and the Covid-19 pandemic.

Since 2011, SOS Children’s Villages has been supporting children, young people and families and advocating for their rights in Jaffna.

Of children are too short for their age

Children do not get enough food

During the civil war between 1983 and 2009, food supplies were scarce or simply non-existent. Although the situation has improved, parents in Jaffna struggle to provide enough nutritious food for their children. In the district of Jaffna, 14% of children experience stunting (low height for age), which is a result of undernutrition, while 12% of children experience wasting (low weight for height), which occurs when a child has not had enough food of adequate quality.

People had to flee their homes

Living in informal settlements

The Northern Province is still recovering from years of civil unrest, and many families still live in poverty. The Northern Province is the poorest region in Sri Lanka. Not only is the war a cause of that, but also climate change. Sri Lanka's coastal regions, which include the Northern Province, is considered a major hotspot and extremely vulnerable to floods and tsunamis caused by climate change. Both the war and floods have caused hundreds of thousands of Sri Lankans to flee, most of them have not returned home, some of them are still living in refugee camps. These aspects lead to poverty and have a deep impact on the lives of Sri Lankan children.

Your support makes a difference for children in Jaffna

SOS Children’s Villages works with local partners and communities to offer a wide range of support that is adapted to the local context. We always work in the best interest of the children, young people and families.
Adults and children
Are supported in the community
Learn at our kindergartens and schools
Children and young people
Grow up in our care
Young people
Are supported on their way to independence
Children having fun together. Siblings grow up with each other, and often form bonds that last a lifetime (photo: SOS Children’s Villages Sri Lanka).

How your support helps in Jaffna

Strengthening families and communities
When parents face hardships, they can sometimes struggle to give children the care they need. SOS Children’s Villages works with local partners and communities. Each family needs different support so that they can stay together. This support can include workshops on parenting and children’s rights. We also run trainings so that parents can get the skills they need to get a job or start businesses. Likewise, we ensure that children can get medical help and go to school.
Providing quality education
SOS Children’s Villages ensures that children and young people have access to high-quality education. We help them learn and develop in a safe and supportive environment. We train teachers on children’s rights and child-centered learning, so that each child can get the most out of their education. Young children spend time playing and learning at kindergarten. This prepares them for primary school.
Caring for children who cannot live with their families
Some children cannot stay with their families, even with additional support. When this happens, they can find a new home in SOS Children’s Villages. Here the children can build safe and lasting relationships. All the children in our care have access to education and healthcare. Wherever possible, we work closely with the children’s family of origin. If children can return to live with their families, we help them adapt to this change.
Supporting young people to become independent
To help young people become confident and independent, our local team works closely with each young person to develop a plan for their future. We support young people and also help them prepare for the labour market and increase their employment prospects. For example, young people can attend workshops and trainings run by SOS Children’s Villages. They also improve their skills through taking part in different projects with local mentors and businesses.