The activities to commemorate the 50 years of service of Caritas Sri Lanka – SEDEC to the poor and the marginalized commenced in November 2017 to culminate by 29 November 2018 with the main event at the BMICH participated by religious dignitaries, diplomats, civic leaders, Caritas international partners, diocesan directors and staff.  Many national level activities conducted or planned to be conducted during the Jubilee year by SEDEC was reported in the article appeared in the Catholic Messenger dated 8 July 2018.  Among them are:  production of the History Book, a documentary film, uploading video clips of grassroots level activities to the YouTube, an island wide debate competition and articles on Caritas’ activities  published in the Catholic Messenger on every last Sunday of the month since July 2018 to date as this.

The 13 Diocesan Centres (DCs) of the Caritas Sri Lanka network also organized a variety of activities in commemoration of the Golden Jubilee.  The DCs are all headed by Catholic priests with their respective staff members who carry out the work of the Lord’s vineyard.

The names of the DCs and the geographical areas (all 25 districts in the 9 Provinces of Sri Lanka) covered by them are:

  1. Sethsaviya – Caritas Anuradhapura (Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa)

  2. USCOD – Caritas Badulla (Badulla and Moneragala)

  3. EHED – Caritas Batticaloa (Batticaloa and Ampara)

  4. Janasaviya – Caritas Chilaw (Puttlam District)

  5. Sethsarana – Caritas Colombo (Colombo, Kalutara and Gampaha)

  6. SED – Caritas Galle (Galle, Matara and Hambantota)

  7. HUDEC – Caritas Jaffna (Jaffna District)

  8. SETIK – Caritas Kandy (Kandy, Matale and Nuwara Eliya)

  9. Janasetha – Caritas Kurunegala (Kurunegala District)

  10. Valvuthayam – Caritas Mannar (Mannar and Vavuniya)

  11. Sethmini – Caritas Ratnapura (Ratnapura and Kegalle)

  12. EHED – Caritas Trincomalee (Trincomalee District)

  13. HUDEC – Caritas Vanni (Killinochci and Mullaitivu)

Among the variety of activities implemented by the DCs, some are listed below:

  • The Anuradhapura DC organized a programme in July 2018 to distribute spectacles to the elderly and the needy which was sponsored by the Deutsche Bank.

  • Under the Badulla DC, two Medical camps were held.

A water supply project was completed at the Weliyaya rubber estate in Moneragala, sanitation facilities provided to the elders’ home at Ridipana and organic farming practices were introduced to the estate workers to enable them develop their home gardens.

  • The Batticaloa DC constructed and completed a house in October 2018 and was donated to a very poor and deserving family.

  • In the Chilaw DC, a programme to provide educational support to children of poor and vulnerable families was implemented.

  • The Colombo DC arranged scholarships for the children of prisoners, started the construction of 3 houses to be donated to poor families and the ownership of one house was handed over to the beneficiary in April 2018, 15 value education programmes were conducted for students in selected schools, a day of reflection titled “Sethsarana Day” was organized for its beneficiaries in August 2018.

  • In Galle DC after carrying out a needs assessment, constructed 10 toilets for identified poor families at Deewaragama

  • An all-purpose building called the ‘Welcome House’ with a palour and 5 rooms is being constructed by the Kandy DC which is expected to be completed in December this year.

  • Kurunegala DC commenced a programme to provide free medical aid for the sick that is being continued throughout the year.

  • The Jaffna DC provided educational kits to poor children in July 2018 including nutritional food  given to St. Joseph’s Boy’s Hostel, Ilavalai for the last ten months and to Ilavalai Convent Maha Vidiyalayam for two months, and shoes provided to 38 very poor students.

  • Provision of educational support for university students from poor families is continued throughout the year by the Mannar DC.

  • The Ratnapura DC also provides educational scholarships to 25 students since November 2017 at Rs.6000 per beneficiary, commemorated the International Day of Women, and an event was organized to commemorate the International Day of Peace on 21st September 2018.

  • The Trincomalee DC also started a programme to provide educational scholarships and medical assistance.

  • A free medical camp was organized by the Vanni DC on 9th June 2018.

Besides the above activities, the 13 Caritas Diocesan network is implementing the following major programmes under the direction and guidance of SEDEC:

  1. Educational support under the Caritas Sri Lanka Scholarship Programme funded by Caritas Poland.

  2. Healing and Reconciliation Programme funded by MISEREOR Germany and Caritas Australia

  3. Promoting a Common Vision for Tolerance and Harmony among all Religions in Sri Lanka funded by Caritas Norway

  4. Addressing Causes for Poverty and Ensuring Food Security for Farming Communities funded by Caritas Norway

  5. Empowerment of the Green Gold Harvesters (for plantation communities) supported by MISEREOR

  6. Provision of Services to Migrant Workers and their Families in Sri Lanka funded by Swiss Development Cooperation.

While expressing appreciation and gratitude to God’s Holy Spirit that journeyed and guided Caritas Sri Lanka – SEDEC during the past 50 years, fervent prayers are offered through Christ Our Lord for continued Blessings to radiate God’s Love for many more years to come.