Review of Save the Children's New Beginnings for Children Affected by Armed Conflict and Violence Program in Sri Lanka

John Williamson and Malia Robinson

The goal of New Beginnings is, “Children affected by armed conflict and violence in the family or community are protected from further harm and supported in gaining safe access to family and/or government support, as appropriate, and social inclusion in the wider community.” Its strategic objectives are:

1. To enable children affected by armed conflict (e.g., former child soldiers, separated or displaced children, children who lost opportunities due to armed conflict) to be resettled and/or reintegrated into their families, schools, and communities.

2. In selected project areas, to support children, families, and communities to protect boys and girls from violence and abuse in home and community contexts.

3. To develop, test, and replicate alternatives to institutional care (such as family based care) for vulnerable and at-risk children

The Displaced Children and Orphans Fund (DCOF) sent a team to Sri Lanka, March 12 – 24, 2006, to review New Beginnings in collaboration with USAID Sri Lanka and SCiSL. The purpose of the visit was to examine the progress of the program and the relevance of its activities in light of changes in the operating environment. The collaborative review focused primarily on what should be done with which beneficiaries, rather than on addressing the specific technical issues of how to implement current activities.