Samata Sarana

 

 

Samata Sarana is a multi-faceted program aimed at benefiting the poor and the disadvantaged. Situated in Mutwal, Sri Lanka, this remarkable venture sustains a wide array of services including schooling for children, day care for elders, child care for working mothers, support for abused women, a medical assistance program and educational, vocational, self employment and housing assistance programs. In addition, Samata Sarana provides daily meals for slum dwellers of Colombo North, an effort it has been able to sustain uninterrupted for many years, serving over six million meals! Currently, three daily meals are provided to approximately 600 persons, which include over 300 children and the elderly. The food program, whilst being the most astounding of Samata Sarana's many services, is also the target of many criticisms from those that perceive it as a perpetuation of a welfare mentality. It should be stressed that able-bodied adults capable of work are excluded from this specific program. In addition to its gamut of regular services, Samata Sarana also responds to the needs of the destitute in emergencies such as floods. All of Samata Sarana's services are provided irrespective of race, religion and other social differences.

 

During a visit to Sri Lanka in 1997, then First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton was afforded a tour of the Samata Sarana facility. She was most impressed with the yeomen undertaking and recorded the following sentiments in Samata Sarana's visitor's book. "Thank you for showing me the work you are doing and the faith that sustains it. God's blessings on all who make this mission live."

Samata Sarana has established a branch in Kindigoda, in a remote area surrounded by hamlets. This center provides breakfast, a snack for school, and transportation to and from nearby schools. After school, the children return to the center, are provided lunch, followed by tutoring. The Clarendon Foundation provides for the support of this center.