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London Based Arobanam Children's Fund

Senthalir – a Children’s Home

Children’s homes to fill the urgent need to take care of their nutrition, education, and physical security have become a common phenomenon in the Northeast due to the devastation caused by the long civil war.

Children’s homes in the Northeast are run by indigenous NGOs and religious organizations. CWDR also runs one children’s home, Senthalir, that presently takes care of more than 187 children aged from one to 18. Senthalir made a mark in the world scene when 93 of the children from this home with two staff were lost to the 2004 December tsunami.

Several factors necessitate the children to be taken into Senthalir. We have children at Senthalir who were separated from their families due to the conflict. Children of mothers who are taken care of at Malarcholai are also at Senthalir. Children from families that have lost one or both parents and therefore are not receiving the care they need are also at Senthalir.

Many international persons who have visited Senthalir are amazed at the cheerfulness of the children. We are proud of the standard of care we provide to the children. Everything from, their schooling to nutrition to learning other skills like music and dance are catered for at Senthalir.

Despite the serious negative impacts on our community due to the devastating and long war, our efforts have created a highly nurturing environment for the children. A key contributing factor is the dedication of our staff carrying out their work well beyond the renumeration they receive for their work.  One visitor to our welfare centres noted this and attributed it to the organizational culture and described it as follows.

“There is a striking feature common to all the centres run by CWDR. That is the calibre of the people who staff these organizations.  What is striking is not their competence, or their efficiency, or their dedication. It is their total immersion to the work at hand creating an atmosphere of a tight knit family like unit that is most striking. The cohesion of these family-like units creates a nourishing social context in which the staff and beneficiaries are able to enjoy each other while doing what they are there to do. This nourishing social context magnifies the effect of the service provided to the beneficiaries far beyond what can be expected for the level material resource input. It is a working example of how enriching social context can play a big role in rehabilitation.”


As of April 2007, Senthalir has taken care of 404 children. Of them, 124 have left to join their families.

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Infant's home
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Infants day
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Study hall
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Sports on children's day
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Girls and boys at Karate class
Senthalir children gain success at Mullaithivu district  Karate competition
Karate competition for Mullaithivu district was held on  7th and 8th  May 2008.                        Nineteen  children from Senthalir participated and did well  in this competition.(more)
Senthalir celebrates completion of 12 years
Senthalir celebrated the completion of 12 years of caring for children on 26 November 2007 at its residence. (more)
Infants day at Senthalir
On 20th October 07 Senthalir celebrated the Infants Day. The very young were presented with gifts by senior staff.(more)
Prize giving at Senthalir
On 16 March 2007, a prize giving ceremony was held at the Senthalir Children’s Home marking the 19th anniversary of fasting unto death of Annai Poopathy demanding justice to the Tamils. (more)