Mrs. Joan De Mel – Founder

The Organization

Sumithrayo, a Government approved charity was founded by the Late Mrs. Joan De Mel in 1974. From its humble beginnings at Deans Road, Colombo 10, on premises loaned by the Ceylon Social Services League, Sumithrayo is now housed at no 60B Horton Place, Colombo 07, which was gifted by it’s beloved founder – Joan de Mel. The organization was incorporated by an Act of Parliament No.10 of 1986.

Centenary Tribute of Love to Joan De Mel

This year 2021 April 21st marks the 100th birth anniversary of our beloved Joan De Mel who founded Sri Lanka Sumithrayo. She is our mentor & her selfless passion towards a social change has inspired & touched us all. Though her soul is free in the blissful realms beyond this world since 27th December 2008, leaving behind her daughter Penny and son Nick, the love and care she showered on the Sri Lankan community lingers on still through the emotional support we provide to the needy. She will always resonate in us through her beautiful example.

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Our Mission

We are available 365 days of the year to provide Confidential Emotional Support for people who are experiencing, feelings of distress or despair, including those that may lead to suicide.

Our Vision

To strive for a society in which

  • Fewer people die by suicide.
  • People are able to explore their feelings
  • People are able to acknowledge and respect the feelings of others

Our Values are based on three beliefs

  • The importance of having the opportunity to explore difficult feelings
  • That being listened to in confidence and accepted without prejudice can alleviate despair and suicidal feelings
  • That everyone has the right to make fundamental decisions about their own life, including dying by suicide

The Service is delivered 365 days of the year by trained unpaid Volunteers. it is non-religious, non-political and FREE OF CHARGE.

Mel Medura:a Drug Demand Reduction Programme was set up in 1984 by Sumithrayo of 60B, Horton Place, to cope with the increasing problem of drug use in the country and to help persons who are experiencing difficulties arising from drug use as well as to introduce a wide range of steps to minimize the social value placed on drug use. The office is located at No. 60 Horton Place, Colombo 07.

Sumithrayo shares the same vision as Samaritans of UK and Ireland and of Befrienders Worldwide, (the international arm of the Samaritans), and follow the same Principles and Practices.

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