The Rainbow Centre Sri Lanka is a UK-registered charity no. 1114933

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One of the Rainbow Centre’s key strategies is to focus on the young to ensure that, by the time they are old enough to go to mainstream school at five, they have everything they need to gain acceptance, are academically able, emotionally adjusted and in good health.

The belief that  poor outcomes are inevitable  for children who come from generations of illiterate, destitute families and that  the discrimination that these children experience on the basis of poverty are accepted as the norm.  The result has typically been that each new generation believes that they are destined to follow in the steps of their parents and endure teenage pregnancy, the insecurity and hardship of work as, for example, day labourers, rubbish collectors, toilet cleaners and exploited sex workers. The Rainbow Centre has already demonstrated that neither societal belief has any validity.

Early exposure to parental insecurity and concomitant brutality can have serious consequences.  The Rainbow Centre consistently makes a priority of  raising the children’s expectations and self-esteem.  The Centre provides intensive education in general knowledge and exposure to life beyond the slums. Great emphasis is put on the wide range of available career opportunities, backed up by inspirational talks from former students and street children who have made it into jobs, including a banker and a barrister, who attribute their success to devoting themselves to their studies.

The Rainbow Centre’s  work is grounded in the philosophy that the whole centre is a place of loving support that recognises every child’s unique talents and interests.  Many Rainbow Centre children are extremely bright, full of potential and enthusiasm to learn.  Shevi and the Head Teacher ensure all teaching is guided by  Montessori methods and continues to inspire children of all ages.  In short, learning is experiential, motivated by creativity, the desire to explore natural curiosities and to collaborate or work alone. Each child works at their own speed.  Shevi has first-hand experience in this area and has seen how this approach can yield exceptional results. At the most basic level, all of the Rainbow students will be expected and assisted to pass the key O Levels in maths and Sinhala, which are essential to future employment. But this is just the start.

Regular meetings and workshops for the parents, backed up by intensive welfare support, have already led to a fundamental shift in parental understanding of the importance of education.  Parent meetings to report on each child’s progress are regularly seeing a 100% turnout.  Even on a superficial level, the children are better dressed and are less likely to arrive at the Centre in filthy clothes, without shoes or school bags and with torn workbooks. Voluntary absenteeism, once a problem, is becoming increasingly rare, motivated as much by the children as the parents.

In addition, the Centre regularly runs family workshops. Before this, children were often viewed as a source of extra labour, made to carry out all of the housework, while girls were often treated as burdens to be married off in their early teens. The Rainbow Centre has given the broader adult community a sense of hope through a range of initiatives, often involving providing alternative solutions to unsustainable debt and inability to find work.




The Rainbow Centre’s nursery often works with infants who have had no experience of adult affection or attention and are slow to respond. The nursery addresses their needs by providing exceptionally loving care, constant attention, appropriate stimulation and highly nutritious food. Often, even the youngest children are not fed on a regular basis and depend on Rainbow Centre milk and food. Despite previous neglect, the babies thrive and progress into the day-care centre under the same standards of care for the under-threes.  These programmes have had great results – ensuring infants happiness, health and active desire to communicate their need for love and to play while putting an end to malnutrition, providing essential medical care and empowering mothers to find work.




Since 2007, the Centre has run two pre-school classes each year for all the day-care children and exceptionally deprived new students.  All teachers have attended government accredited courses and intensive in-house training. The Rainbow Centre runs its pre-school according to a national curriculum but also gives extra classes in English, Maths, General Knowledge and Art while following Montessori methods. To date, the Rainbow Centre has placed hundreds of  children in the mainstream system, mostly from its pre-school, who would otherwise be excluded because of prejudice and the need to make financial contributions to nominally non-fee paying schools. Rainbow Centre children often come top of their class in the mainstream system.



Rainbow Centre children who are in the mainstream school system are taken to school on the Rainbow Centre bus. They return to the Centre for a nutritious lunch and intensive education by experienced, well-qualified teachers. Their daily attendance is monitored, their needs for educational supplies met and they are all supported by the Rainbow Centre’s medical and welfare programmes. English classes are given to these children at the Rainbow Centre during term time every day. All of the children spend their school holidays at the Centre’s School which also offers special classes, activities and encouragement to play sport.