A Home Away From Home

The Welcome Home Samagi Sevena is dedicated to St. Peregrine Laziosi – the patron Saint of those affected by cancer. It is a transit home for cancer patients who come to the Apeksha Hospital (National Cancer Hospital in Maharagama) for treatment, and it is in close proximity to the hospital.

Offering a home away from home to patients who travel for treatment from faraway places and those facing financial challenges during difficult and critical times in life, Samagi Sevana provides a caring facility to those who need it the most.

Need for a Shelter

Cancer is a painful medical experience not only for the patient but also their loved ones. It disrupts tranquillity of mind and dignity as human beings, thus affecting relationships and economic wellbeing. Sri Lanka being a low-income country with limited facilities, the state sector is required to provide free healthcare to all, resulting in a degradation of the quality of patient care that causes enormous challenges to patients.

At Samagi Sevena, the in-house care is lovingly managed by the Congregation of the Apostolic Carmel Sisters under the full-time supervision of the Chaplain to the Cancer Patients, Maharagama. The welcome home will liaise closely with the Apeksha Hospital, and coordinate with primary health care institutions and community- and faith-based organizations for provision of holistic care for the patients and their families. National Cancer Care Program will work together with Samagi Sevena for providing community-based survivorship and palliative care for cancer patients in need and their families.

About the Project

During a meeting with Rev. Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith, a group of children fighting cancer made a request for such a home, which led to the development of the welcome home. With the Graces of the Holy Spirt, the resources and funding came together to complete the project in a short period of time. Continuation of the project requires substantial and sustained financial resources, for which the home reaches out to and depends on well-wishers.
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Cardinal’s Message

It is with great joy that I am writing this message to be placed on the website of "Samagi Sevana", a transit home for cancer patients in Maharagama established by the Catholic Archdiocese of Colombo.

The story of this service oriented venture starts with my attending the Sirasa Christmas Zone (SIRASA Naththal Kalapaya) way back in December 2015, and as part of that program, I was introduced to a group of cancer afflicted children, who had come along with their parents from all over Sri Lanka. Speaking to the parents and the children themselves, I was moved by their painful situation, when in their sharing with me, they made a request to the effect that they are forced to pay consistent amounts of money to find boarding facilities near the cancer Hospital each time they come for injections. That information stirred in me a desire to try and do something for them, and it is with that inspiration that the project started to take shape.

Speaking to the dear Sisters of the Apostolic Carmel Congregation, I found a receptive ear to the proposition I made to the effect that they could help us in looking after this home. With that assurance our dream project appeared a real possibility. And with Fr. Jude Nicholas, the then energetic Parish Priest of Maharagama, deciding to take up this apostolate for the care of cancer patients, as a full-time engagement, all the technicalities of the future project fell into place.

We then needed a suitable location. And by the grace of God, we were able to find a suitable property for this project and several donors came forward to help us to raise the money needed to purchase the land and plan out the building. I am grateful to all those donors for their kindness in helping us acquire this property. May God bless them all.

Thereafter, Mr.Theo Fernando, a parishioner of Boralasgamuwa, intervened to establish a contact with the "John and Varuni Novick Charitable Foundation" in the USA, to find the funds necessary to put up the building. It is under the guidance of Mr. Fernando along with the support of Mrs. Ravini and Prof. Harindra Fernando as well as Mrs. Laurie, Mr. Keith Foerster together with the Novick Foundation and others, that the required funds were found, and with the blessings of God we have now completed this center, "Samaqi Sevana", a welcome home for cancer patients. We are grateful to all our donors, benefactors and friends who from the very inception helped us to realize this dream. We hope that in some way we can assist cancer patients, especially children, in finding accommodation when they come to the Cancer Hospital for treatment through this "Samagi Sevana", Welcome Home.

I am also grateful to Very Rev. Pr. Jude Samantha Fernando, our Procurator General, Rev. Fir. Gihan Ridley Perera, Administrator Archdiocesan Lands and Properties, Rev. Fr. Dilantha Perera and very specially Rev. Pr. Jude Nicholas, who showed a singular spirit of commitment towards the wellbeing of the cancer Patients, for their support.

May I humbly request all those who visit this website, to consider assisting us in raising the required funds for the day-to-day management of the premises as this undertaking from us requires a considerable amount of funds to pay for meals, maintenance, salaries of the staff etc. It is with the contribution of kind hearted people like you, that we will be able to continue to provide the care that is well deserved by the patients who, otherwise will continue to face dire circumstances whilst going through their treatment.

May the good Lord be thanked and praised for all the blessings He has showered on us in the realization of the project.

Rev. Malcolm Cardinal Ranjit
Archbishop of Colombo

Message from Rev. Fr. Jude Nicholas

I thank and praise God for this ministry He has allowed me to oversee and I am very much grateful to the Parish Priests of Pannipitiya who initiated this apostolate to the cancer patients admitted to the National Cancer Hospital in Maharagama. This hospital was established in 1958 as Sri Lankas’ premier institute for cancer treatments and from the early 60’s the priests of the apostolate administered sacraments and attended to continuous sick calls. It was the late Bishop Don Sylvester who first administered the Holy sacrament to the sick at the hospital as the Parish Priest of Pannipitiya. In the early 70’s, the priests started celebrating Sunday masses with Fr. Boniface Mendis starting Sunday worship in the hospital with the late Fr. Francis Fernando rendering a memorable service.
In 1996 this ministry was handed over to the priests and the parishioners of Maharagama and we thank the priests and the parishioners for the committed ministry done for the cancer patients.

With this apostolate becoming independent in the year 2020, His Eminence Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith introduced a new Chaplaincy to the cancer patients at National Cancer Institute (Apeksha Hospital) in Maharagama. This appointment will help to find effective ways and means of supporting cancer patients.
Samagi Sevana welcome Home will create history and provide holistic services to cancer patients, who otherwise are faced with much difficulty when they travel to Colombo from various parts of the Island. We humbly reach out to all faithful doners to support this ministry by way of your generous donations. Please take a moment to go to the donations page and consider placing a donation towards this worthy cause. Jesus said “I say unto you, inasmuch as you have done it unto one of the least of these My brethren, you have done it unto Me. (Matthew 25:40).

May God be glorified in all we do..

Rev. Fr. Jude Nicholas
Chaplain to the Cancer Patients

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Samagi Sevana
Samagi Sevana is a welcome home addressing the needs of patients who travel from faraway places for treatment to the Apeksha Hospital in Maharagama. For those who are in need of a place to stay until their treatment from the hospital is completed, we offer love, concern, care and hospitality to aid them in the healing process.
© 2022, Archbishop of Colombo. All Rights Reserved.


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Archbishop's House,
Gnanartha Pradeepa Mawatha,
Colombo 08
Samagi Sevana
Samagi Sevana is a welcome home addressing the needs of patients who travel from faraway places for treatment to the Apeksha Hospital in Maharagama. For those who are in need of a place to stay until their treatment from the hospital is completed, we offer love, concern, care and hospitality to aid them in the healing process.
© 2022, Archbishop of Colombo.
All Rights Reserved.
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