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About Us

The Makola Muslim Orphanage(MMO) does not cater only to the physical well being of the orphans. A cherished desire of its founders and one of its primary objectives has been the spiritual and academic well being of the orphans. This, they believed, was paramount to mould the children to be worthy citizens with sound religious, technical and cultural training. In keeping with these beliefs, every child at the orphanage is provided with some form of education. Each child has a busy daily schedule which includes all the daily prayers.

The original orphanage is located at Makola, 15 Kilometres southeast of Colombo. It commenced operations in 1962 with a two storied building on one and a quarter acres of land. At its inception, the orphanage had just 16 orphans. By 1984 the orphanage had 269 inmates and the Board of Management recognised the fact that the orphanage was unable to increase its intake of orphans due several shortcomings and drawbacks.

The existing facilities were not sufficient to further expand its benevolent services to a wider segment of Sri Lanka's Muslim community. Therefore, a second orphanage was constructed at Malwana, with facilities to house a further 1,000 orphans. Work on this project was completed in 1994, and consequently the MMO had the physical infrastructure to accommodate 1,250 orphans.

The Orphanage is governed by an elected Board of Trustees, comprising of respected members of the Muslim Community. The financial structure of the MMO is not different from that of any non-governmental organization (NGO). It is a Charitable Trust, which means that there is no profit sharing, there are no dividend payments and there can be no fees paid to Board Members. All profits are either held in reserve or ploughed back into the Orphanage for the benefit of the Institution and its Orphans.

MMO gained recognition as an Approved Charity in 1966 and subsequently incorporated by an Act of Parliament on May 19, 1983. This Act may be cited as the Makola Muslim Orphanage (Incorporation) Act No.19 of 1983.

Under the Sri Lanka law, it is mandatory that every child under the age of 14 years be provided with formal education. However, admissions are restricted as the State schools lack the capacity to cater to the demand.

MMO admits orphans between the ages of 4 and 10 years. Most of them have had little or no formal education. Thus, although they are of a particular age suitable for a specific class in the state schools, they lack the level of academic skills required to dovetail into such classes. At MMO, the orphans are given the all important individual teacher attention both at Primary and Secondary Class levels. The Yathama School at Malwana is moving towards this direction positively.

Management

An elected Board of Management manages the orphanage. The success of the orphanage, its genuine cause and its great benefit to the Muslim community has enabled the Fund to co-opt over the years a number of Board members who are prominent personalities in the Muslim community of Sri Lanka.

Funding

Initially, the orphanage and its activities were financed through donations from well wishers. A fairly low level of donations was received by the Fund until 1977, which however, was adequate to meet the cost of maintaining the few orphans at Makola. Since 1977, the Fund received substantial local and foreign donations.

The foreign donations were mainly from the Middle East. The Board of Management of the orphanage recognised, at an early stage, that donations, both foreign and local could vary from year to year. Therefore, they developed a financial policy of investing surplus funds in commercial properties and renting out such properties.

The operations of the orphanage and its activities are now funded through sponsorship (Kafala), donations from well-wishers and rental income from existing commercial buildings.