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Sri Lanka
Caritas Sri Lanka SEDEC

Caritas Sri Lanka SEDEC is the social arm of the Catholic Church in Sri Lanka. The Social & Economic Development Centre (SEDEC) was founded in 1968 by Rev. Fr. Joe Fernando, a missionary priest who was motivated by the social teachings of the Church and the need to serve the poor and marginalized sectors of society. Over the years, SEDEC has grown and expanded its services and is now the National Centre of the Commission for Justice, Peace and Human Development. It has a countrywide network of 13 diocesan centres covering all the districts of Sri Lanka.

The extensive range of Caritas Sri Lanka’s programmes and campaigns include:

  • Assisting post-war reconstruction and rehabilitation in the North and East of Sri Lanka through housing, livelihood creation, psychosocial support and community empowerment.
  • Promoting social justice and sustainable peace in post-war Sri Lanka.
  • The Safe Migration programme – protection of the rights of Sri Lankan workers in the Middle East and assistance to migrant returnees.
  • Bridge-building among communities to create understanding, trust and acceptance.
  • Integral human development through community empowerment.
  • Community Based Disaster Preparedness Programme.
  • Child Rights and Child Protection Programme
  • Study of human dignity from the perspectives of different religions
  • Educational scholarships for deserving poor children
  • Gender awareness programmes.
  • Human rights education programmes.
  • Water management and conservation programme in rural and remote areas of Sri Lanka.
  • Green Gold Harvest programme to empower plantation populations living on tea estates.
  • Awareness programmes on the Recommendations of the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) appointed by the Government of Sri Lanka.
  • Awareness programmes on drug and alcohol abuse.
  • Emergency relief for people affected by natural disasters such as floods, cyclones and landslides.
  • Programmes to protect the rights of fishermen.

Caritas Sri Lanka’s national centre is located in the Archdiocese of Colombo. The agency employs 60 national staff and 210 volunteers to carry out its services to the far corners of the island through the 13 diocesan centres.

Caritas Sri Lanka’s work involves collaboration with Caritas Internationalis members such as Caritas Aotearoa New Zealand, Caritas Australia, Caritas Belgium, Caritas Korea, Caritas Denmark, Caritas England & Wales (CAFOD), Caritas Spain, Caritas France (Secours Catholique), Caritas Germany, Caritas Italy, Caritas Japan, Caritas Luxembourg, Caritas Norway, Caritas Poland, Caritas Portugal, Caritas Scotland (SCIAF), Caritas Slovenia, Caritas Sweden, Caritas Switzerland, Catholic Relief Services USA and Caritas Singapore-CHARIS.

Caritas Updates from Sri Lanka

  • Beyond the tsunami waves

Beyond the tsunami waves

  • 16 December 2014
One positive result of the tsunami is that our Caritas national organisations and their ties with communities are strengthened. They’ve been able to use that strength as a gateway for other integral human development efforts.
  • Caritas marks 10 years since Asia tsunami

Caritas marks 10 years since Asia tsunami

  • 4 December 2014
Tsunami affected communities in Sri Lanka. Caritas organisations from India, Indonesia, Sri Lanka and Thailand joined confederation members from around the world, Church and other religious leaders in Sri Lanka 3-5 December to remember victims of the 2004 Asia tsunami.
  • Concern in Sri Lanka over activist arrests

Concern in Sri Lanka over activist arrests

  • 18 March 2014
The Catholic Church in Sri Lanka has expressed concern over the arrests of two human rights defenders, Fr. Praveen Mahesan and Ruki Fernando, under anti-terrorism laws in Kilinochchi at the weekend.


Caritas Sri Lanka Info


Postal Address No. 133, Kynsey Road,
Colombo 08
Sri Lanka
Telephone +94 11 269 18 85
+94 11 269 39 89
Fax +94 11 269 51 36