The Sri Lankan Welfare Association in Dubai was formed in June 2012 as a voluntary association with the core focus of assisting the deserving needy Sri Lankan expatriates in UAE, irrespective of their individual status or background. The importance of a Sri Lankan welfare association to look after the interests of approximately 300,000 Sri Lankans living in the UAE came to light with an acid incident that occurred in May 2012. The heart wrenching acid story of an innocent Sri Lankan mother of a baby boy, living and working in Dubai shook the very core of all Sri Lankans in Dubai, when it dawned on them the importance of looking after the welfare and interests of the Sri Lankan expatriate community. As a result, eleven Sri Lankan associations in UAE joined hands on the 8th of June 2012 to form a unified Sri Lankan community group called the Sri Lankan Welfare Association (SLWA), now commonly known as SAHANA.
SAHANA was officially recognized for its social contribution in 2015 by Dubai Community Development Authority (CDA), issuing the Social Club License (License # 051) on 10th September 2015, to function as a non-profit welfare association in UAE under the name of Sri Lankan Welfare Association (SLWA). SAHANA thus became the first-ever Sri Lankan community group to receive Dubai government recognition. An appointed voluntary Board of Directors and several sub-committees are involved in planning and executing various projects while all such activities are under the close supervision of Dubai Community Development Authority (CDA).
The Sri Lankan expatriate community in UAE consists of professionals that include Quantity Surveyors, Bankers, Chartered Accountants, Engineers, Hoteliers, Teachers, etc. and a diverse group of working class Sri Lankans of skilled and unskilled labour. Under the umbrella of SAHANA, there are also members from Sri Lankan professional and social associations in UAE.
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From its inception, with the limited resources available to the Association, SAHANA has provided necessary assistance in various forms to over fifteen thousand (15,000) less fortunate Sri Lankan expatriates with the total projects costs exceeding over AED 1 Million derived from its own funds and various sponsorship programs. Moreover, SAHANA has been able to successfully address the unforeseen circumstances emerged due to the Covid-19 pandemic by initiating necessary projects to support the affected families and individuals due to the loss of livelihood.
The need to continue assisting the vulnerable in UAE is much more widely felt at present.
Help us to help them
To be led by a kind hearted diverse group of Sri Lankans resident in the United Arab Emirates that consistently delivers efficient and effective care to needy Sri Lankans in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
Our mission is to cultivate a sense of caring for needy Sri Lankans by serving them with respect and hope. Sri Lankan Welfare Association (SLWA) to become synonymous to care for all needy Sri Lankans in the United Arab Emirates.
Official Recognition of the Government of Dubai (CDA)
Sri Lankan Welfare Association (SLWA) was officially recognized for its social contribution when, in 2015, the Dubai Community Development Authority (CDA) awarded it a Social Club License to function as a non-profit welfare association in UAE, under the name of Sri Lankan Welfare Association (SLWA). SLWA thus became the first-ever Sri Lankan community group to receive Dubai government’s recognition. The association operates from its own premises in ‘Oud Metha’ area in Dubai, and is managed by a Board headed by the President. A Core Committee and six sub- committees are involved in planning and executing the various social activities.