Shion lives at one of Child Empowerment International's two beautiful Leadership Academies in Colombo. Although this bright, energetic 7-year-old has a promising future ahead of him, his life was not always this way. He was born into extreme poverty. When he was young his father abandoned the family and was later imprisoned for drug abuse leaving his mother alone to care for Shion, his twin sister and two older siblings. She worked as a vendor, making less than a dollar a day. Being unable to care for her children, Shion's mother sent him to live at Kalapuwa Sri, Child Empowerment International's home for boys. At Kalapuwa he is given continual love, attention and encouragement, both from the staff at the home and from his faithful sponsor in America. He relies on Child Empowerment International for healthy meals, education, medical care and other basic needs. He enjoys school and likes to draw and color pictures. Shion says his dream is to become a doctor one day.
This is just one of hundreds of stories from Child Empowerment International's Leadership Academies. We take great pride in making each of our homes a secure place where children can find restoration.
Through its two Leadership Academies, Child Empowerment International is able to provide a home for children who were once susceptible to abuse and exploitation. Our aim is to give these children holistic care (including food, shelter clothing, medical treatment, and education) and to liberate them from poverty by offering leadership development and training in valuable life skills. The two homes, both with a capacity for 200 children, are considered by many aid organizations to be among the nicest children's facilities in the country. They are each all surrounded by walls for safety and are staffed continually by child care professionals and security guards.
Our girl's home is called Samudra Sri, "a beautiful place by the sea." The three-acre facility, which is on the Indian Ocean a few miles north of the capital city of Colombo, includes a playground, field, cafeteria, volleyball pit, and school.
Our boy's home is named Kalapuwa Sri, "a beautiful place by the lagoon," and is adjacent to the girl's home. The five-acre facility, which was designed by Architects Without Borders, has an Island Tree House theme, complete with a ropes course, lagoons and a pirate ship.