Registered charity number 1108730

Click here for a copy of the Standing Order Donation Form (MS Word)   

Click here for questions & answers

On Boxing Day 2004, the countries around the Indian Ocean were hit by the biggest Tsunami in modern times. Over 200,000 people lost their lives. The island of Sri Lanka suffered catastrophic damage and the loss of over 30,000 lives, many thousands more lost their homes and possessions. Over 130 orphanages were swept away, some losing all the children who lived in them. There are now many, many more children who have no family to look after them.

The Sawbridgeworth Orphanage in Sri Lanka was an idea conceived in response to this disaster.

We became a registered charity and have raised over £60,000 from the generosity of the community of Sawbridgeworth.  The Sri Lankan Government decided that it would prefer the orphans to be housed with families rather than in orphanages so they are not assisting with this type of project. So we decided to assist a home already caring for children and helping those in need.

It was decided that St. Josephs Children’s Home, run by the Sisters of Charity in Kegalle would be offered assistance by the people of Sawbridgeworth.

Established in 1909 and run by the Sisters of Charity, the home provides shelter for children up to the age of 16 and some young mothers with babies.



They currently have 138 children and 11 young mothers and their children. Most of the children come from destitute fishing families in various parts of coastal areas of Sri Lanka. When the Tsunami hit 43 children who are at the home watched as their parents and family were swept away leaving them with only the clothes they were wearing.  

St Joseph’s is also a school giving the children a formal education from 3yrs up to 18 years. Past pupils have gone onto higher education

The home urgently needed a new building to house the additional children, in order to do this, land adjacent to the home had to be purchased. The full amount of money needed to, buy the land and complete the build, £20,000, was sent out to Sri Lanka.

Thanks to your kind donations we were then able to do the next part of the project, the refurbishment of the home.

Although we have enough money to complete the initial projects. There is still more that needs to be done.

Further building work:

- Refurbishment of the kitchen and dormitories.

- Replacement of old and out dated equipment.

- Provision of computers.

We are asking the people of Sawbridgeworth to make a commitment with a standing order for £5, £10 or more per month. This will enable us to give long term assistance to St Joseph’s who are already doing so much for so many with so little. This may mean in the future more children can be helped and given a better chance in life.

With the form is a gift aid certificate, this will mean that with your permission we can claim back from the Inland Revenue 28p for every pound you give us. 

Forms can be obtained at the address below.

Click here for a copy of the Standing Order Donation Form (MS Word)

The Sawbridgeworth Orphanage in Sri Lanka
The Tuck Shop, Bell Street, Sawbridgeworth, 
Hertfordshire CM21 9AR
Tel. 01279 600019    Fax. 01279 725407

Trustees – Adrian Bakelmun    Dinesh Patel    Roger Beeching    Lance Spring    Derek Filler    Tom Lyons    Joyce Vincent

Here are some photos from the early work done:

January 2006 - "This is the new build - as you can see we are up to the first floor so, although not going exactly to plan because of the rain they have had, we are still making good progress. "

.Digging the foundations for the keystone to be laid.

Blessing the keystone.

The laying of the keystone.

Adrian Bakelmun, with Sister Benignus and staff.



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