Lanka Mahila Samithiya is an approved charity and registered as a social service organization in Sri Lanka under the voluntary social service ordinance of 1980. Lanka Mahila Samithiya was established in 1930. The motivation for the establishment was the successful example of womens institute in other countries. A group of women, led by Dr. Mary Rathnam realized that by establishing such womens groups in villages, affiliated to the Parent Association rural women could be trained and motivated to raise social, health, economic a nd the overall standards in their homes and communities. "To Brighten the darkness of poverty and ignorance " in rural Sri Lanka. In this process the L.M.S. played a vital role in national development at grass root level.
The Objectives of the L.M.S. are
LMS has operated island wide over the past 65 years, a total of over 3000 branches have been affiliated to the parent association, one in every village in practically every district.
The most outstanding achievement of the LMS is the steady work in the rural community development and better family living achieved through the voluntary efforts of trained and motivated rural members.
A milestone was the establishment of a residential Training Center at Kaduwela in 1948 which has trained batches of rural volunteers since then.
The establishment of 165 Nursery Schools from 1945 to he present is another landmark. The LMS is a pioneer in this field. Twenty four model centers were established in the fifties , from the early sixties the rural extension project has functioned. The 1980/1 Family Health Project functioned in over 400 villages. The Small Enterprise Development Project from 1983 to the present. The Environmental Health Project from June 1990 has covered over 35,000 households and ongoing are some of the LMS outstanding achievements.
The latest addition in the establishment of a training center at Wewagedera in Gampaha District in June 1995, which was funded by the German Agro Association. Already 26 members have completed a 6 month training course in Sewing, Cookery, and Agriculture.
LMS participate in regional and world conferences of the Associated Countries Women of the World, is affiliated to and works in close collaboration with other movements in Sri Lanka. Rural Societies participate in Government Projects, Voluntary Work at temple and church activities at village level.
LMS receives a small grant from the government Health Department annually and directs funds from Dept. of Child care and Protection for Nursery Schools. International donor funding makes special projects possible At present LMS movement is being carried on today with the utmost difficulty especially due to the financial burden of escalating costs and the increasing difficulty of finding the right personnel at every level, energy and resources and the complexities and costs of modern living. But this movement withits record of quiet but immeasurable service and its immense possibilities for the future, must be sustained to continue its valuable work of helping rural women to make the most of the present and gear themselves for an even better future.
LMS has been making a great effort to carry out the objective of the movement for six and a half decades and will continue to do so. It is our hope that it will continue to have sufficient support in the future. In the way of personnel, funds and often urgently needed inputs to burnish and maintain its shining contribution to the real progress of rural women of this country and through them this nation.
Lanka Mahila Samithiya|
121, Sri James Peries Mawatha
Commercial Building, Colombo 2, Sri Lanka