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.
Caritas Sri Lanka implements all its programmes under 4 main priorities.
Disaster Risk Mitigation
Assisting post-war reconstruction and rehabilitation in the North and East of Sri Lanka through housing, livelihood creation.
Community Based Disaster Preparedness such as drought resistance & flood protection faming under Food Security Programme.
Emergency relief for people affected by natural disasters such as floods, cyclones and landslides.
Solar Energy for the remote community and pre-school centres in view of improving community involvement and education.
Integral Human Development
Integral human development through the involvement of micro projects creating an enabling environment for community development and empowerment,
Empowering marginalized plantation communities to lead a decent way of life and to help them to achieve rights through advocacy and networking,
Community development through strengthening the civil society organizations such as community based organization, self-help groups and women’s rural development societies.
Safe Labor Migration
Protection of the rights of Sri Lankan migrant workers in the Middle East and assistance to the migrant returnees and families of migrants
Pre-departure training for the potential migrant workers and post-arrival assistance programmes for the returnees
Social Justice & Sustainable Peace
Promoting social justice and sustainable peace in post-war Sri Lanka.
Bridge-building among communities to create understanding, trust and acceptance,
Study of human dignity from the perspectives of different religions,
Awareness programmes on Right to Information Act and Recommendations of the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) appointed by the Government of Sri Lanka,
Educational scholarships for deserving poor children
Caritas Sri Lanka’s National Centre is located in the Archdiocese of Colombo. The agency employs 48 national staff to carry out its services to the far corners of the island through 13 Diocesan Centres.
Caritas Sri Lanka works in collaboration with Caritas Internationalis members such as Caritas Australia, Caritas Korea, Caritas England & Wales (CAFOD), Caritas Germany, Caritas Italy, Caritas Japan, Caritas Norway, Caritas Poland, Caritas Slovenia, Caritas Switzerland and Catholic Relief Services (USA), MISEREOR, Kindermission-Germany, ACNS & Wilde Ganzen, Swiss Development Cooperation (SDC) and USAID.
The water levels are going down now after the floods which hit our country last week but the challenges faced by communities are still very large. There are many places where people have suffered landslides in our diocese or have been evacuated due to landslide threats.
Caritas is a mission, not a job. Nirmala Wijesinghe who runs a Caritas safe house in Beiruit is one of the many staff and volunteers around the world who illustrate this through their constant dedication and hard work.
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.
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.
Almost 21 million people are the victims of trafficking. The vast majority are from Asia and are women. Christian organisations supported by Caritas Internationalis are working together to combat trafficking.