WHO WE ARE

Children are wonderful and innocent. They make the world a beautiful place. However, in many parts of the world, majority of children are not protected and nurtured due to various reasons despite international commitments. According to definition of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, a child is "a human being below the age of 18 unless under the law applicable to the child". All definitions persuade that Children have fewer rights than adults and are classed as not able to make serious decisions, and legally must always be under the care of a responsible adult. So they need the protection of elders. It is very important to recognize that children are considered as the leaders of tomorrow. It is our responsibility to nurture them, protect them from social evils and provide a safe and peaceful environment for them to grow up. The early childhood development is a triggering fact that decides his or her future life. Therefore attention should be focused on early childhood development. A child has to live in an adult-created environment. Every fact and consequence in the contemporary world is cause of elders. In Sri Lanka 25% of court casesare child abuse. A study conducted by the Rehabilitation and Prison Reforms Ministry, a notable feature is, majority of children were victimized by their blood relatives. Apart from this, a large number of children are involved in some form of economic activity or child labour in Sri Lanka. A recent National Survey on Child Labour, nearly 26% of children are engaged in an economic activity and not attending school or any other educational institution. It is reported in the survey that 52% of all working children are under 15. Majority of children engaged in economic activity are boys 62%. 95% of all working children reside in rural areas. Studies show that despite improvements in primary school enrolment, school dropouts at an early are from poor families. Many of these children, particularly girls, are forced to stay home caring for their younger siblings at the expense of their schooling. Those who drop out from school find their way into the child labour market or become victims of undesirable persons.

Maithree Child Development Centre MCDC was established in 1959 by All Ceylon Buddhist Congress under the supervision of Department of Probation and Child Care and housed 24 children between 3 – 12 years of age. In February 2008 the center was closed, children relocated and center abandoned due to reasons unknown.

In October 2008, a new Board of Management / Trustees were appointed to renovate and develop the center. The new Board of Management appointed an Executive Committee and a Chairman of ExCo appointed from among the ExCo. The Chairman and ExCo dedicated their service and Capital from Companies they were involved in to upgrade MCDC to be a superior center providing a homely atmosphere to inmates with quality care and long term commitment to develop lives of these children spiritually and emotionally. MCDC was reopened on June 08, 2009 and has 24 female children between Age 5 - 18 who have been removed from their families due to harassment, abuse, abandonment, parent divorce or separated, ordered by court for rehabilitation.