Unfortunately, violence experienced physically, sexually or psychologically has a high rate of victims in Sri Lanka. The Sambol Foundation would like to enable women and children in Sri Lanka to help themselves. Minorities who are discriminated against are supported in everyday life by shelter, stabilization and fixed structures. Free forms of therapy, medical help for sexual abuse or free access to legal aid in court cases are offered. First, traumatic experiences are intercepted in a protected environment, then a follow-up solution is worked out so that a self-determined life is possible for the victims of gender-specific violence at a later point in time.
The foundation is currently working on the realization of the first shelter village in Asia. The Sambol Safe-Village is expected to be realized by the end of 2025 on a large site in the south of the island with its own school, therapy centres, workshops, playground and individually adjustable shelters, depending on the size of the family. The construction plans were designed by Dorothee Müller, architect Msc, ETH, who accompanies the complex construction project free of charge for the foundation. In Matara, the construction will be carried out by a female engineer and her team.
The foundation's name comes from an addition to Sri Lankan curry. A "sambol" is served as an extra to a curry, it gives color and an extra taste. In a figurative sense, this should also apply to the foundation. The work of the foundation is currently mainly financed by private donations.
Members of the Board of Directors
Teacher & Childcare Manager
Social Media Managerin & Fundraising
Members of the Board of Directors
Consultant & Management Assistant
Webshop & Events
Rochelle Allebes is a social worker FH, worked in the women's shelter in Zurich and is a co-founder of the girls' shelter there. Among other things, she has been a supervisor for many years and has experience in setting up and developing projects in the psychosocial field. She advises the foundation on conceptual, implementation and technical issues.
Kathrin Felder is a social worker FH, co-founded the Zurich Oberland Women's Shelter and has many years of work experience in inpatient and outpatient areas of family, child and youth welfare. She has also been a member of a social foundation for many years, of which she has been President for more than 10 years. She supports the foundation in technical and conceptual questions and through her networking in the social and foundation system.
Roland Thomann supports the foundation with advice and action from Switzerland. The basis for this is his experience of two decades working for communication and fundraising agencies in Switzerland, the founding and development of a foundation in Indonesia and his commitment to humanitarian emergency aid as Communications Director of Médecins Sans Frontières.
Rebecca Angelini has been committed to the interests of migrants in general and sex workers in particular, against violence against women* and against discrimination for many years. She worked for around ten years at the FIZ specialist office for trafficking in women and women migration. She completed her studies in ethnology and political science at the University of Zurich.
Anu Sivaganesan is a legal scholar and researches in the area of children's, women's, migration and human rights. She is a member of the Federal Commissions EKF and EKM and President of the Swiss Children's Lobby. She is the head of the Forced Marriage Unit. With her specialist knowledge and experience with people in emergency situations and the exchange with people from different backgrounds, she stands up for social issues.
Devika & Luca Salomon
Devika and Luca work operationally, on site in the field, but also conceptually from Switzerland. Devika's in-depth knowledge of social conditions is put into practice every day in cooperation with Inoka, the local manager. In addition to her experience in working with women, she acts conscientiously and humanitarian in her role as managing director.
Luca carefully complements the diverse operational experience and wide-ranging
skills the duo.
Luca Salomon intensively accompanied the founding phase of the Sambol Foundation with his specialist knowledge of structures and organization. Since then he has been available to advise on fundraising, finance and legal issues.
Prianthy Tschopp is a trained nurse and has worked in various healthcare institutions for many years. She began her career as an Ayurveda pregnancy therapist with her own practice in Zurich. Today she works as an entrepreneur, coach and speaker. She and Devika have known each other for more than 30 years, due to the common background of the adoption. Prianthy has been supporting the foundation with a lot of heart and soul as an ambassador since it was founded and draws attention to the topic on its platforms.
Current project status
Project status December 2020
Since January 2018 our center of life has been in Sri Lanka. After we were able to set up a foundation in Switzerland, the focus, after clarifying the local conditions and regulations, was on setting up the organization and setting up the women's refuge. In October 2019 we were able to sign the lease for the shelter and were intensively involved in the implementation of the concepts and the first cases that we handled. In many ways, the foundation benefits from the know-how of the broad-based foundation board.
The next steps were the smooth operation of the house and the launch of a fundraising campaign to secure the future of the project. To this end, we launched crowdfunding in December. At the end of January 2020, we were able to finish this successfully. A total of almost 45,000 francs was raised, which exceeded all of our expectations.
The shelter was fully furnished, all permits obtained, the brochures to inform the women printed and circulated. Thanks to the generous donations, we were also able to open a public contact point for women and children in need. We can now also offer legal assistance, medical support and psychological support 5 days a week. The advice center, which also serves as an office, is centrally located on the main street, just before Matara Downtown and is accessible to every woman and her story. This gives us the opportunity, after an initial clarification, to decide together how we can best support those seeking help.
This advice center was officially opened at the beginning of March. It is a local tradition to boil milk on special occasions and events as a symbol of prosperity. Fresh milk is boiled in a clay pot while the whole family gathers to experience this. When the milk overflows, those who gather around it will be happy. Hopes for a better future and prosperity fill the hearts of those who are there when the thick white milk boils over and extinguishes the hissing fire. Here are a few pictures of the ceremony with two Buddhist nuns, also known as bhikkhuni. The Matara police were also present, who gave us a strong backup with their participation.
It was very moving for us and we were happy that it finally started.
When the number of infections per day rose to over 10 in mid-March, the government reacted quickly and consistently. First all schools were closed and a week later, on March 20, a curfew was imposed for the first time for the whole country. Many people suddenly found themselves without income opportunities and the situation became more and more precarious. We used our possibilities as a foundation and helped out wherever possible. We have distributed countless parcels with the most essential food or ensured medical care for sick people - and we are still doing so.
Due to the limited scope for action and the lack of income from tourism, we decided with a heavy heart to travel to Switzerland at the end of April. Our services in the shelter and in the counseling center will continue to be looked after by our staff without restrictions. Our local manager Inoka and her staff continued to offer our services to all victims of violence. We are in daily contact and tackle the tasks that arise together with the local employees.
We have continued to employ all staff from the tourism sector independently of the work of the foundation and thus secure six families their income. It is important to us to go through this difficult time with you. We also use our time in Switzerland to intensify fundraising for the foundation and to continue the whole "Sambol Setting" project. If the entry regulations allow it again, we will travel back to Sri Lanka and go into the next phase with fresh vigor and new ideas.
As a non-profit foundation, we currently use donations to cover the costs of setting up the NGO on site and setting up the shelter. We are also in the process of defining the measures to maintain security and anonymity and are recruiting locally selected specialist staff in order to be able to guarantee smooth operation and optimal support.
With your donation, you help ensure that women affected by violence have the opportunity to escape and help with their children. Women and children can be empowered by staying in this sanctuary. We will then promote future-oriented development so that some of those seeking protection will be able to pursue a self-determined life after their stay in the shelter.
Legal form & account
Our foundation is part of the non-profit collective foundation Fondation des Fondateur and is therefore tax-exempt.
We look forward to donations online or to the following account:
IBAN: CH44 0070 0114 8021 2333 5
Fondation des Fondateurs
Reason for payment: Sambol Foundation
A donation receipt is automatically issued for donations of 50 or more.