About

The Rainbow Centre provides daily education, food, welfare, medical treatment and loving support to children living in extreme poverty in south western Sri Lanka.

ACCESS TO MAINSTREAM SCHOOL IS LIFE CHANGING

The Rainbow Centre opened on December 1st 2005 after six months of research into the hidden problems of street-and-working children in the Aluthgama and Beruwella areas. Until the Rainbow Centre opened there was nowhere for these children to turn. It currently takes care of about 100 children within a 42km radius. The Rainbow Centre has been highly praised by the Provincial Regulatory Authorities which have asked other organisations to follow the Rainbow Centre’s approach and use its work as their model.


The Rainbow Centre is run by a team of five, four of whom are unpaid volunteers: Aruni Cooray, a highly dedicated social worker; Piyatissa Cooray (Aruni's father), a retired businessman with extensive management experience; Alison Nagle, based in London, travels frequently to Sri Lanka, arranges funding and oversees the operations of the Rainbow Centre; and Alasdair Nagle (Alison's husband), a Chartered Accountant.  In March 2017, the Rainbow Centre is delighted to have been joined by a new volunteer, Ajanta Hilton, who left the corporate world to act as director of UK operations. The Rainbow Centre's work is guided by business and welfare professionals both in Sri Lanka and in the UK.

In Sri Lanka, the Rainbow Centre is a UK registered charity (number 1114933), and is regulated and monitored by the Charity Commission. In Sri Lanka, the Rainbow Centre is registered with the national government as a Non Governmental Organization and regulated by the local authorities. It continues to receive praise for its high standards of care. The Rainbow Centre is not affiliated to any religious group.

In August 2016, thanks to the huge generosity of its donors, the Rainbow Centre was able to purchase its rented premises. Thanks to the fantastic support of the Graham family, the Centre has added two much needed classrooms and other excellent facilities. Thanks to the Rotary Clubs of the Isle of Wight, it has its own school bus. The Centre remains indebted to scores of individuals, families, schools and loyal businesses who have continued to contribute funds on a regular basis. The Rainbow Centre is constantly seeking to raise additional funds in order to continue its work.

‘The Rainbow Centre began as a dream to provide a daily haven for children who live in extreme poverty and beg on the streets. It has taken many years and undergone many challenges for it to grow into the life-changing sanctuary that it is today. For children coming from such challenging backgrounds, providing education is only part of what is needed. For this reason, we offer a substantial lunch to all our children, for whom, all too often, it’s the only meal of the day. The children are at serious risk of serious disease owing to their living conditions and discrimination against the poor in the state-run health system so we have established our own medical programme. Part of our vision was to enable children to have a childhood in a safe and loving environment. Every child is treated with great affection and respect, making the Rainbow Centre as much a family as a school. On a practical level, very few of our children have access to clean water and so we provide them with showers and supply clean uniforms and clothes. Ultimately, our mission is to enable the children to emerge as young adults who are able to access secure employment and escape from the crushing poverty they were born into. It still remains the only facility to which abused, abandoned, neglected children can turn and receives no support at all from the government - only obstacles. Despite the terrible suffering the children face at home, it is the happiest place I know.’ '

Alison Nagle, Co-founder and Chairperson

Without your support and compassion the Rainbow Centre would not be what it is today