Living: a safe home
Safe home for 104 orphaned and abandoned children
First of all Somawathi Home is the safe home for 104 orphaned and abandoned children. In small groups of 8 they live together with their care mother in a living pavilion. This pavilion is a completely furnished home. The care mother takes care of ‘her family’. She helps the children do their homework, teaches them to cook, clean the house, goes shopping with them and together they maintain their vegetable garden. Each of every 20 pavilions has its own private piece in their common vegetable garden where common vegetables and spices are grown. The care mother is referred to as Ama (mother) by the children, they really see her as their mother.
In accordance with the Sri Lankan culture boys and girls live separated. In addition to the loving care of their care mothers, contact with relatives is very important. Family visits are possible at regular intervals and “granddad and grandma-days” are organised frequently.
Our care goes beyond just providing a loving environment and food and drinks. For every child there is a ‘ child-follow plan ‘ in which the progress and ambitions per child are stated. For the children of the Somawathi Home and their care mothers psychological support is always available. This might be necessary because some children are traumatised. The emotional and psychological support helps them in their emotional development so they end up as healthy adults and reintegrate in society.
Nethmini Sewwandi – 11 years old
“Together with my little brother and my younger twin sisters, we came to live in the Somawathi Home. Our mother could no longer take care of us and that is why the judge decided that we had to live somewhere else. Now we have a lot of new friends. We have got new clothes and go to school every day.”