COVID-19 and Compassion’s Work in Sri Lanka

An in-depth look at the coronavirus pandemic in Sri Lanka.

Last Updated: 07/09/2020

Sri Lanka has seen a decrease of cases since implementing a lockdown early into the crisis. An island-wide curfew has been lifted. Schools reopened on July 6. On top of the pandemic, farmers in Sri Lanka’s northwestern region are dealing with crop-destroying grasshoppers, compounding the issues faced over the last few months.

Compassion programming is on hold, although some partner churches are developing plans to clean and sanitize centers in preparation for children to return. Child development center workers are committed to reaching out to families via phone at least once a week, and in some areas they have been able to conduct home visits while obeying social distancing guidelines. They have distributed 52,730 food packs and 29,638 hygiene kits and are delivering seed packets and disease prevention information as they are able under the government guidelines. One partner church is holding a virtual art competition for the children, and some centers are exploring distance learning as a way to distribute lessons to children online. Children continue to write letters to their sponsors from home.

Women and children wearing masks

megaphone IconA Message From Compassion Sri Lanka’s National Director

Hear from Anthony Benjamin, National Director of Compassion Sri Lanka, as he shares an update on how COVID-19 is affecting Compassion’s ministry in Sri Lanka.

Recorded: 05/31/2020

How is Compassion Currently Operating in Sri Lanka?

Below, you will find the latest information on how Compassion is currently operating in Sri Lanka, including status updates on center openings, letter delivery and gift delivery. This is the most current information we have, though it can change quickly. Please know that even if centers are closed and letters and gifts are not being delivered, your child and his or her family are being checked in on regularly by staff. We all look forward to the day we will all be able to gather together again!

Are Compassion Centers Open?

At this point, all centers in Sri Lanka are closed in order to abide by local guidelines. Staff members are still calling and checking in on families, and in some communities they are able to visit children while obeying social distancing guidelines. Because of the generous support of sponsors and donors, they have been able to distribute 52,730 food packs and 29,638 hygiene kits to children and their families!

A mother and children smile holding food

child reading IconStory From the Field

“My favorite vegetable from my home garden is [eggplant],” says 6-year-old Jasvin, who enjoys watering and picking the fruits and vegetables. The family's garden, which his mother, Violet, started earlier this year after being trained by Compassion staff, has been a blessing during the pandemic.

The quarantine restrictions caused her husband to lose his income as a driver. If not for their fruit and vegetable garden, they would have had no other means of stocking up on food.

"This pandemic has affected many people's daily income. They do not have money to buy supplies to stockpile for weeks. They usually can only buy enough food for each day," says Spain, the director of Jasvin’s center.

Violet spends time with her boys in the garden and uses the opportunity to teach them about growing vegetables.

“At this time we are told to isolate, but we must not waste this time. We can use it to spend time with our family,” says Violet. “We have fun in our garden and I use this time to teach my children about home gardening.”

How can I pray for Sri Lanka?

This month, will you join us in praying for the half-million people in the tourism industry who have lost their jobs in Sri Lanka? You can also visit Compassion’s COVID-19 prayer page for weekly global prayer guides.

How Can I Help?

Sponsor a Child in Sri Lanka
Give to Compassion’s COVID-19 Relief Fund
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