FRIENDS, a talented group of boys and girls, whose roots originated in the Youth Department of the Colombo Y.M.CA., banded themselves together, on the 1st January 1986 for the sole purpose of being of service to their less fortunate brothers and sisters housed in orphanages.
Manny successful camps were held in the past, covering vital sectors – ‘Mel Madura’ in rehabilitating drug addicts, programs for physically handicapped youth, Dehiwala Sunshine Camp, residential Camp for 300 orphan children from eleven homes at the Boys Industrial Home, Wellawatte, The Swedish Organization of the Handicapped & International Aid Foundation (SHIA) rehabilitation program for the physically handicapped youth, held at Ragama and Seeduwa, and the ‘Senehasa Camps (the first one held in 1984).
The ‘FRIENDS’ Motto – “Search, Reach out and Help” has been implemented to the very letter in all the above activities. Thirty years have been completed since the formation of this group, although some of the pioneers migrated overseas in search of vocations for stability purposes, the aim and objectives of FRIENDS was enthusiastically kept alight by those who were in Sri Lanka. The ability of those overseas to establish themselves in foreign countries and retain their love and concern for their Motherland and mission of FRIENDS ought to be commended.