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Nora Wenz travelled through Sri Lanka from January to April 2019 and worked in the Eliya-Childrens-Home in Tangalle in January and February.


“Right from the beginning I was extremely impressed of the work done in the Eliya-Children’s-Home. I liked the concept of a small charitable organization setting up and financing such a project. During my stay in the Eliya-Children’s-Home I noticed the situation of young and unmarried pregnant women who are, for this reason, not allowed to live with their families anymore. Through many conversations with the management of the children’s home I developed the idea to set up a mother-child-home. The local authorities in Sri Lanka confirmed the need for such an institution in the Tangalle area. From then on, the idea for the project became more and more concrete, especially because of conversations with the local team of the children’s home and because of positive reactions from possible allies in Germany. The decision to realize the project by drawing attention to the women’s situation and by raising funds to build a mother-child-home was already made before I flew back to Germany. After a lot of research and conversations with similar charitable organizations, the charitable organization Young Mothers’ Hope Sri Lanka was founded on May 13, 2019 in Bickenbach a.d. Bergstraße together with 12 motivated founding members. 


I am absolutely convinced of the project’s necessity. I had a sheltered childhood and I was able to make decisions knowing that my family will always support me, no matter what happens. Today I know what a great privilege that is. I hope that a stable and secure home and access to education will enable the women to develop the necessary self-confidence to lead a self-determined life.”



Sexuality is a delicate matter in Sri Lanka. Virginity is often a precondition for marriage. The income of the husband is most women’s basis of life. Pre-marital sexual intercourse dishonours the woman and damages the reputation of the family. Thus, young women, who have gotten pregnant illegitimately, have to leave their families and struggle all by themselves.  Furthermore, these women are confronted with prejudices and further exclusion in everyday life which results in isolation in their social life and career life. They suffer from poverty and have to make the difficult decision to either end the pregnancy (illegally) or give the child into a children’s home. 


​Young Mothers´ Hope Sri Lanka wants to change this. We want to give young mothers future prospects and accompany them and their children into a self-determined life without isolation and fear.


Our goal is to create a secure and stable home for underage, unmarried mothers (to be) and their children. Individual support enables the young women to acquire a high school diploma and professional training. This gives them the chance to earn a living and to lead a self-determined life. 



1. Founding of the Organisation in Germany including a partner foundation in Sri Lanka

  • 0n the 13.05.2019 the non-profit foundation „Young Mothers' Hope Sri Lanka“ in Bickenbach (county Darmstadt-Dieburg) was founded. The main purpose of the foundation consists of collecting donations, to realise the project in Sri Lanka.

  • Finding an existing successful partner foundation in Sri Lanka. Research of possibilities to cooperate and exchange expertise with already existent NGO’s with similar goals.


2. Property and Building

  • Acquisition of a property, eventually renovating it or construction of a new building. This could happen in cooperation with another non-profit organisation, which would offer the estate on basis of a long-term contract. For this purpose - preferably in coordination with the operators of the Eliya children's home - we will design a catalogue of requirements for the property and building.


3. Assembling a local team



  • We plan on recruiting five wardens, who permanently live in the institution to support the mothers. Therefore a 24/7 presence of at least four wardens can be achieved. For covering 120 operating days per month, calculating 24 work days per warden (4 off days plus 2 additional backup off days), we would need five fulltime warden positions.  The area of responsibility consists of following: 

  • Supporting the women in every area of life, as well as in upbringing duties,

  • Caring for the babies, while the mothers are in school or at their vocational training,

  • Accompanying the women and babies at doctors appointments,

  • Cooking and cleaning together with the women.

  • The wardens are the primary contact persons for the women and support them on their path. Nevertheless, it is always the goal to get the women to manage responsibilities alone, as much as possible. The women will be obliged to arrange childcare responsibilities among each other and cooking and cleaning are common responsibilities. Ideally every warden is trained as a professional (child-)nurse, as an educator or similar.



  • Furthermore a Manager/Secretary will be needed, as a contact person between the German foundation and the institution in Sri Lanka. Additional responsibilities will include:

  • Keep the records of the mothers and their babies (in cooperation with the wardens),

  • Official business, communication with social- and youth welfare office,

  • Support with the preparations for a "life after the mother and children's home", e.g. help with applications or the search for a kindergarden.



  • The plan is to have a driver, who will have access to a Tuk-Tuk and a minivan, to take care of his responsibilities. These will include:

  • Driving the women to their schools and collecting them after, driving the women and babies to every doctors appointment, as well as driving the women and wardens to do the monthly grocery shopping.

  • Beyond the driving responsibilities, he is responsible for the safety of the instituion and property, which includes daily patrols around the property line.

  • He decides about the necessity to engage gardeners and craftsmen.


4. Psychological Care

  • The young mothers will get appropriate psychological support. They have lost their families and need to learn how to cope with the new situation.

  • It needs to be considered, that some of the pregnancies are an outcome of a rape, which means that especially these women need intensive, regular psychological support.


5. Extracurricular Education

  • In Sri Lanka it is common that teachers offer additional private education after the regular teaching. As this teaching is payed a lot better, so is the quality. To offer the best possible chances to the women, it is necessary to provide a teacher, who is intensifying the teaching in our institution multiple times a week.


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