Piliyandala is a suburb of the capital city of Colombo. This greater metropolitan capital area has a population of 5.6 million. Colombo is the vibrant heart of Sri Lanka, where the main economic activities take place.
The area of Colombo is prone to natural disasters, with the tsunami hitting in 2004, which killed approximatively 30 000 Sri lankans, and multiple floods leaving paths of destruction over the past years. Slowly, but surely, the city is finding its balance again, amidst more recent economic crises and the Covid-19 Pandemic.
Since 1981, SOS Children’s Villages has been supporting children, young people and families and advocating for their rights in Piliyandala
During the civil war between 1983 and 2009, food supplies were scare or simply non-existent. Many families still have to bear the consequences. In spite of the government’s efforts to improve the situation, parents in Piliyandala struggle to provide enough nutritious food for their children.
In the district of Colombo, where Piliyandala is located, 16% of children experience stunting (low height for age), which is a result of undernutrition. On the other hand, 12% of children experience wasting (low weight for height), which occurs when a child has not had food of adequate quality and quantity.
The distribution of employment in Sri Lanka is divided as follows: 47% of the population works in the service sector, 28% works in the industrial sector, and 25% works in agriculture.
However, 5% of Sri Lankans are unemployed, and for young people (15 to 24 years old) this is even higher at 24%.
Youth unemployment is a major problem on the island, and the percentage is even higher for women and the higher educated. No proper remedies have been taken by the Sri Lankan government.