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Good Shepherd- To contribute to the reduction of violence, abuse, neglect and abandonment of children in Sri Lanka

“Be courageous and go forward” to be fruitful in GS mission in today’s context says St. Mary Euphrasia.

In accordance with our province Chapter Directive Article No: 7 “the renewal of the ministries of Child Care, Rehabilitation, Crisis Intervention and Single Mothers, by letting go of methods that are irrelevant for today, and take bold steps”, we the sisters involved in the above Ministries participated in a Workshop and Research Programme for two weeks. The programme was designed and conducted by Ms. Manuela Collette, the consultant of good Shepherd Mission Development Office of Rome. It was a learning experience for all of us which helped us to think - why we do, what we do.

During the first two days of the program, 29 of us including one lay mission partner together with our resource person Ms Manuela had general discussion /orientation. The discussion was based on why changes are necessary on what we are doing at present, what is the real problem, root causes and the effects of the problem etc. At the end of two days journey through log frame analysis process for child protection and the stakeholder analysis the group was able to identify the problem and the people who contribute to the problem and find ways to resolve the problem.  The group was convinced that the Good Shepherd Sisters of Sri Lanka/Pakistan Province should contribute to the reduction of violence, abuse, neglect and abandonment of children in Sri Lanka. Thus we agreed to take this as our project goal.

Then a small group- the research team, consisting of eight members began a two weeks programme.  The team began the research tasks by interviewing stakeholders at national level. The team also met with Ms Caroline Bakker, Chief Child Protection of UNICEF Sri Lanka, and an officer of the Bureau for the prevention of abuse of women and children and a probation officer.

Then the team travelled to the Northern part of the country to work in the two sites- Ganeshapuram and Mankulam which were selected as sites to be included in the pilot project. The work of Ganashpuram and Mankulam consisted of:

  1. interviewing stakeholders at regional level
  2. Consultation with individual girls-  It was a one to one interview session to get information on  why and how long they have been in  institutional care and their family back ground etc.
  3. Consultation with girls’ groups, which included problem and solution analysis, to ascertain hopes for the future and aspirations in terms of education and employment. 
  4. Consultation with parents of the children
  5. Consultation with business owners for market analysis,
  6. Discussion with school boys
  7. Case files assessment

Using the above mentioned techniques the group was able to test the hypothesis, relating it to the root causes of the problem of child abuse and its effects towards the victims and to the whole society.  Most of the assumptions made by the larger group during the first two days of the workshop proved true.

After 6 full days of research work in the Northern part of the country the group moved to Nayakakanda St. Euphrasia’s Home, the 3rd site of the project which located in the Western province of the country.  The work at this site too comprised of the same procedures used at the other 2 sites of North. 

While working in Ganeshpuram , Marnkulam and St. Euphrasia’s Home Nayakakanda, the group started converting the problem tree (root causes) into objective tree and selected a programe strategy. Based on the findings, the pilot project was designed. The group strongly felt that the time is now for Good Shepherd of Sri Lanka/Pakistan Province to reinforce effective child protection system in Sri Lanka. 

Goal of the project

To contribute to the reduction of violence, abuse, neglect and abandonment of children in Sri Lanka

Purpose of the project

Reinforce effective child protection system in Sri Lanka.

Out comes

  1. Good Shepherd Best practice in Child Protection established and children supported.

            Establish and implement guidelines and procedures for ensuring a GS is a safe     organization for children

How we plan to achieve outcome No. 1 is 

  • Establish and implement guidelines and procedures for ensuring a GS is a safe organization for children
  • Establish and strengthen case management services to support the reintegration of children into families and for government take up
  • Co-ordinate with CP agencies for CP
  • Create, strengthen and ensure access to key services for families and children affected by child abuse.
  • Support alternative family-based care for children in institutions
  • Reintegration of children in long-term care
  1. Empowered communities for effective child protection through schools, child care centres and community-based children’s clubs and youth clubs

How we plan to achieve the outcome No. 2 is

  • Establish and support child protection committees for monitoring of CP and long term sustainability of CP at local level.
  • Empowered children and young people to protect themselves and participate in CP
  • Improved capacity of families to protect their children
  • Increase the capacity of communities to protect children


  1. Support government in enhancing their national/regional child protection systems

How we plan to achieve the outcome No. 3 is

  • Adolescent girls are politically engaged to challenge culture of impunity relating to sexual violence against girl children
  • Partner with other NGOs for joint initiatives promote legal protection and justice in child protection
  • Conduct research to inform National and international advocacy initiatives.

Moving from the work we used to and stepping into the unknown is not an easy task. As our Saintly Mother Foundress says, it requires courage to go forward to the unknown. “Experience is not what happened to the person, it is what the person does with what happened to her/him”.  We have just started. We have a long way to go in making our country a better place for our children by empowering our children, families and society.