MESSAGE FROM THE FOUNDER
Why another Organization ?
Many people ask what made me to initiate the starting of SERVE, when there are more than 1001 non profit organizations in Sri Lanka .
We all know that, humans are interdependent, the support of family , community and others are of much importance. From “ womb to the tomb ”we all rely on the help and services of others. Apart from the Government as the main duty bearer we Sri Lankans have obtained the support of many other individuals and organizations as well as religious institutions to meet our needs and enjoy our rights.
Born and raised in Moratuwa - Sri Lanka , studying at S. Thomas’ Prep School Kollupitiya and later at S. Thomas’ College Mount Lavinia has given me the exposure to “ two worlds with complexity with cultures and subcultures ”. I saw and experienced the rich and the poor , the powerful and the weak, the happy and those who are sad as well as what is good and bad , belonging to all ethnicities and religions.
My religious affiliations made me more sensitive towards the needy, the poor and the weak . At a young age, in my own small way, together with others, we strived to do “ Something good to those in need ”at home-front , school and community. With time, I found a career that I love - Helping people. Thereafter, I continued my studies in the field of Social Work to attend to my work more efficiently and effectively.
In general, the Western Province of Sri Lanka is considered as the most developed area in the country. It is believed that people enjoy the services more than others. Due to this thinking, the number of Non Profit Organizations working among the urban areas are limited.
However, there are many living under poverty and neglect in these urban settings. The urban poor in Sri Lanka live with very limited space and limited natural resources. The vicious cycle of poverty continues in these families and communities. The people, including children, undergo and continue living in difficult situations due to ignorance and lack of opportunity. In this situation, I felt that initiating a new organization is of much importance, to work for and with the underserved communities using a social work approach rather than a charity approach.
At the beginning we started without any external support. We were, and are fortunate to obtain the support and blessings of the Divine, children, men and women and organizations, both local and international as partners to move forward since 1999 to-date.
With the vision of providing a better life for those in need through a holistic approach, whilst respecting their values and subcultures would be the best way to move forward . So with the help of a group dedicated professionals Socio-economical , Ecological , Religious , Virtuous Empowerment ( SERVE ) was founded to work with and for the Empowerment of people, especially children with commitment, love and care.
Sanjeeva de Mel ( Mr )
Founder/ Executive Director – SERVE
Moratuwa , Sri Lanka