God gave a strong desire to Dharshini to care for orphaned children. After years of praying, funds were donated by the Dutch Foundation Sharety in the spring of 2005 to purchase a plot of land with an old house for the sole purpose of establishing a children’s home. The children’s home is situated in the village of Meepitiya near Nawalapitiya town in the Central Province of Sri Lanka. Located on top of a hill, the children’s home offers a panoramic view over green valleys, a meandering river, small villages and tea-covered mountains.
The remodeling of the house into a children’s home had just started when Dharshini passed away in September 2005. A missionary couple serving at the time in the USA, came to Sri Lanka at the request of Pastor Chandrasena to help startup and establish the children’s home.
House of Hope is based on the concept of small family units, each consisting of ten to twelve children. The children’s home was named ‘House of Hope’ in honor of Dharshini, whose first name was Hope. The children’s home is registered with the Divisional Secretariat in Nawalapitiya as “Society House of Hope” since 2009.
The first children were welcomed at the children’s home in February 2008. At the start there were three children at House of Hope, which grew to thirteen over the years. Kidznet, an umbrella organization for Christian children’s homes in Sri Lanka, provided training to the staff of House of Hope during the first years.
At the beginning, the younger kids attended an English medium school with the expectation of introducing all three languages for their future benefits. The older kids were also given the change to learn English by private tutors. Sport and computer skills were integrated in the extra curriculum activities.
The children are able to spend a day with their family members regularly. Children also attend and participate in religious activities. Annual excursions and field trips take place in order to broaden their knowledge. Furthermore, each child’s birthday is celebrated.
A plan for each child has been developed and a fund is being setup to further educate the children after their O-level or A-level studies. For an example, if they pass the O-level examination they will continue with the A-level education, and after that with university studies or another suitable education. In case a child can’t do the A-level studies, they will be guided into an appropriate vocational training after discussions with the child. In addition, it is the desire when children leave the House of Hope that they will be directed to a vocational training or higher studies with the involvement of the sponsors.
With contributions from sponsors of The Netherlands and the USA a number of developments were implemented. The grounds around the children’s home were leveled in 2007 to allow expansion. In the same year a playground was built with a 2-storey play tower and a water supply system was installed drawing water from a nearby natural spring. The Educational Center, constructed in 2008, was transformed into a Boys Unit in 2012. A verandah was erected in front of the children’s home to create a welcoming meeting space and as a protection against the rain.