The Homes currently has 35 children and around 8 staff. Children range from 3 to 20 years. The number of children is usually between 35 to 40. They attend four different schools, The Paynter Memorial, Good Rest Convent, St. X’viour’s College and Lyceum (originally ‘John Knox’). Children below the ages of 5, attend MENCAPFE pre-school. Their medium of language is in Tamil, Sinhala and English. We receive children through the department of Probation and Child Care, The Courts, church organizations and recommended individuals.
The Home has from its very onset functioned on faith. We are surprised that it has kept going this long and any visitor will tell you that the premises look tidy, cheerful and bright, although some of the buildings are needing repair. The single most relevant fact is that the children appear both healthy and happy. The relationships between the children appear to be good and it is essentially one large family. Looking a little beneath the surface one will discover that the children come from a range of religious and ethnic backgrounds all three major communities on the Island are represented (Sinhala, Tamil, Muslim). Most but not all have come from some sort of Christian background, and yet there is no ethnic or religious rivalry or conflict. The staffs also come from all sections of the community. There are Christians, Hindus, Muslims, and Buddhists. None of the children or staff make any distinction about religion or race. They all relate very well together with genuine affection, the children appear to have a good relationship with all the adults and address them with a prefix Uncle and Aunty. The staffs appear to be able to speak both Sinhala, Tamil quite fluently and most understand English and some speak it. Sri lanka and the world is torn apart by religious and ethnic conflict, and here in this little community is an example of people living and working together. Surely, this is a micro model of what we would like the whole Island, the world to be. This is a very valuable and rare set of circumstances and we should celebrate it. It is interesting to note in passing that this set of circumstances is not the outcome of implementation of any policy or ideology. It has evolved organically.