Methsevana, a Detention Home for Women maintained by the Social Services Department of the Western Provincial Council, and is the only government owned and operated Womens‟ Home in Sri Lanka. It presently serves as a prison, a rehabilitation centre, a vocational training school, a spice packing industry and a garment factory.

Most of the women in Methsevana have been detained under the Vagrant’s  Ordinance. However, women are even detained for mental illness, begging and running away. Many women are sent on detention without specified release dates. According to the Vagrants Ordinance these detainees can be released only when a guardian, usually a husband or parent, is willing to accept the woman and/or child.

The home is situated on a five-acre block of land, and presently houses around 250 women. Children under 5 years are allowed to stay on with their mothers. 

CHA started working actively with Methsevana in 2010. We played a coordinating role in sourcing assistance from a number of private sector and non governmental institutions, as well as concerned individuals who were willing to give their time and skills.

Rehoming of inmates was the main focus of our operations. CHA located a Reverand Sister of the Holy Family Convent who is willing to be the guardian for 8 women. 5 more will be going back home to their parents.

Altogether motions were filed through IHR for the release of 24 inmates. Addressing basic needs of the inmates was another concern. Joint Apparel Association Forum donated 1500kg of fabric that was used to stitch clothes for inmates of Methsevana. Tootals donated thread for the project. Patterns were provided by the University of Moratuwa. The service of an instructress was obtained and sewing of clothes commenced in September. Later visits made to the Home found many women wearing these clothes. CHA is presently looking at the possibility of paying these women who are sewing these clothes so that enough clothes could be produced to clother inmates in other such homes that CHA is working with. A Water Tank for bathing and washing clothes was the other urgent need at the centre. This was eventually constructed through sponsorship provided by Wurth Lanka (Pvt) Ltd.

English Classes were conducted with the help of Ms Krishni Gunawardane, who assisted us to find a volunteer trainer. Recreational Activities are also facilitated. The film Ayoma‟ was screened on the 17th June. The activity was received with pleasure by the inmates and we have been requested to repeat this activity on a regular basis. We have also been able to get a number of Guest Speakers. Ms Susantha Chandramali was one such speaker who spoke to these women about her life and experiences.