In 1980 a young couple, Tom and Sriyani Tidball started helping two extremely poor families living in the Dehiwela / Mount Lavinia beach slums in Sri Lanka by sharing what little they had. Soon they were helping a few more people and Community Concern was birthed. Within the next few years, (CC) officially became a non-profit, charitable, non-governmental Christian organization. Their only goal was to express compassion for the poor by helping the oppressed and needy. Today CC in a thriving dynamic organization assisting the local community with many programs along with a number of national initiatives that touch the lives of thousands of men, women and children every day.
Community Concern offers a variety of different programs that allow us to use our diverse gifts from God to help the community. The supportive and loving environment allows for the freedom to help others in any way possible. The need to help can be overwhelming but that makes the successes even more rewarding.
You will love Community Concern because it is the only organization in Sri Lanka of its kind which gives you the opportunity to help in any way possible. CC holds values and goals that are similar to yours. CC strives to meet every
need in its community and understands the importance of family, education, rehabilitation, empowerment, independence, support
Our board is made up of a group of highly committed volunteers that lead the organization. Each of them holds high posts in the corporate sector, at NGOs and at other organizations.
Unsung hero, helping those living with HIV
For the past 20 years I have been running a drop-in center (Kadella) with Community Concern in Angoda, for those who are HIV positive, like myself. We provide temporary shelter, information, friendship, counseling and an overnight place for positive women, and sometimes men and children, who come from outstation for their checkups and drugs from the Infectious Disease hospital in Angoda. I have personally been on the HIV drug since 2005, which is free through the government for all HIV positive patients.
Community Concern helps with providing rent for the Kedella building, sponsoring education and basic needs of the children living with HIV, some essentials and helps spreading awareness in Sri Lanka. Together we are making it better for those living with HIV/Aids.
My dream is to help more women like me, and also help prevent others from becoming like me. Every time I see all my HIV positive community and the lack of a home, of a community to care for them my heart breaks. Most often they remind me of my first days, dealing with a lack of knowledge about the disease and the social stigma. I have to keep on hoping and believing that things will be better one day. I have a personal relationship with Jesus which has helped me make it through my life so far.
Princey received the International Red Ribbon Award from the USA for her selfless work.
Indu came to our doorstep at Community Concern, as someone from a bus station dropped her there and promised her that we will help her. Her story is one of abandonment, severe domestic violence, human trafficking, and homelessness as she was kicked out of her home at 23 with two toddlers. Her mom committed suicide as a way to escape her daily violence from her dad, and Indu received the same treatment from her husband.
My dad “sold” me to a moonshine maker at 17, who had three kids and gave me two more and like my dad, beat me every day and one day kicked me out of our home as his “real” wife was returning back from the Middle East where she was working as a housemaid to help the family for the past five years.
Indu was our first Heavena mom. She completed her Montessori training, and raised her two children to be bright and high-achievers receiving scholarships and an excellent education in a private school. The oldest is waiting to enter university, while the youngest is doing her university entrance exam. Fifteen years has passed since Indu came into our life. She is a powerful testimony to the entire community and to all of us at Community Concern. Indu works in our Tiny Stars pre-school and also teaches Sunday School and helps disciple other women. She always has a smile on her face, for she knows whom she believes, who she truly is as Jesus has set her free.
This family of five children, three boys and two girls lived in abject poverty. The father deserted the family when the children were young and their mom raised them working as a housemaid. When they joined Morning Star School, this was their first opportunity for education. They excelled and soon we were able to mainstream all five into a government school where they are doing well. One of the twin boys Sathesh, has had a hard time adjusting to the government school, but after having many difficult months we have taken him back to Morning Star school where he feels loved and special.
Sabeesha, the sister, who is in grade 10 she is good at her work in the government school. She has won many competitions for her hand writing and dancing. Given the opportunity to do well, four out of the five kids who were struggling to live are doing well in the government school and have dreams of the future.
Sarath’s dad passed away suddenly and was very disturbed by this. He lived with his mom and sister. His sister was married off to a young man who ended up being a drug addict, who influenced Sarath to get into drugs and they both became serious addicts. Sarath wanted to get into Power House, as his mom found out about the success of the program. However, there was a number of people waiting to get in to the six-month residential program. After attending a number of meetings with recovered addicts and others wanting to enter the program, Sarath was admitted into the residential program where he was healed from his addiction and grew spiritually as a follower of Jesus. At Power House he learned to read and write, play guitar and became a helper to new brothers entering the program as he had a very compassionate heart and was grateful for his recovery. After six months, he stayed on at Power House as a staff member for a few years.
It has been 20 years since Sarath had a life change, which he has maintained faithfully. Today he is a happily married man with two children attending an international school, and self-employed, running his own trishaw business. His brother-in-law joined Power House and is also drug free.