Neluwa community

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Where is Neluwa?

The Neluwa community is in southwest Sri Lanka, an island nation in the Indian Ocean. Sri Lanka's nearest neighbour is India, Colombo is the capital, and the main languages spoken are Sinhalese, Tamil and English.

Sri Lanka has been a centre of Buddhist religion and culture since ancient times and almost 70 percent of Sri Lankans are Buddhists. Hinduism, Islam and Christianity are also practised.

One-third of Sri Lankans earn their living from agriculture, while garment-making and tourism have become major industries. In the 19th and 20th centuries, Sri Lanka became a plantation economy, famous for its production and export of cinnamon, rubber and Ceylon tea, which remains a trademark national export. Other main exports include clothing and textiles, spices, precious stones and coconut products.


Meet the Neluwa community

Members of the Neluwa community in Sri Lanka share the challenges they are facing and how together with World Vision they are working to create a brighter future for their children.

Community overview

Local environment

Situated in the foothills of the Sinharaja forest, the Neluwa area is rich in natural resources. The climate is hot and humid, with average daytime temperatures of around 27° Celsius. The area is prone to damage from regular floods and landslides. There are many natural water sources, but these become polluted when it rains heavily. Most people in Neluwa work on small tea estates to earn income. Many families work and live within the tea estates their whole lives.

Day-to-day life

Most families live in one-room homes built with mud and bamboo. Very few families have cars, so they travel by motorbike, tri-shaw or use public transport. In their spare time, children play sports including cricket, volleyball and a local game called "Elle", which is like baseball. As the majority of families are Buddhist, they attend religious events on full moon days. In May each year they celebrate Vesak - the birth, death and enlightenment of Lord Buddha.

Development challenges

There are few job opportunities beyond the tea estates and people lack skills and resources to earn better incomes. As it is common for both parents to be out all day working, some children suffer from neglect and miss out good nutrition. Older children are often kept home from school to care for younger siblings. Schools and health centres lack trained staff and facilities, so access to good healthcare and quality education is limited. Alcohol abuse and early marriage are other major problems in the area.

We're making progress

World Vision is implementing an Area Development Program in the Neluwa community to improve the wellbeing of all the children living there by promoting sustainable social and economic transformation.

The program started in October 2008 and is expected to run for about 12-15 years. It aims to directly benefit more than 18,000 people.


Preschool attendance


Prevalence of children under five who are underweight

There’s still much more to do

Great things have been achieved in the Neluwa community, but there is still much left to do before all children living there have the opportunity to reach their full potential. Through your partnership with the community, you will be supporting the following development activities that focus specifically on improving education, health and household incomes.


Improving facilities in primary schools and supporting teacher training.

Building the capacity of preschools and linking them to existing government education structures.

Providing educational support for children with special needs.


Educating parents on child nutrition and supporting treatment for malnourished children.

Training health workers, teachers and volunteers on maternal and child healthcare.

Improving health centre facilities and supporting construction of new health centres.


Supporting families to develop alternative income sources.

Supporting families to set up fruit and vegetable gardens and raise livestock.

Establishing savings clubs and providing families with access to low-interest loans.

Join us in creating real change

Visit the Neluwa community fundraising page to add your support.

Find out more about Neluwa

In this overview you can learn more about Neluwa and how your support will help the community achieve their development goals.

Other ways to add your support

Find out other ways you or your business can support us.


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