Our History

The Youth Environmental Forum (YEF) was founded in 1994 by a handful of concerned and motivated activists who wanted to work towards safeguarding the environment. YEF was registered as a non-governmental organization at the Department of Social Services in 2001. It was further registered with the Central Environmental Authority in 2003 as an environmental organization.

Activities of YEF were mainly based on environmental conservation and sustainable development, including sustainable agriculture. With the devastating tsunami of December 2004 YEF's activities were expanded into the areas of disaster management and rehabilitation. YEF has successfully completed following projects funded by various organizations:

1 Organic Farming Development Project: Funded by the MONLAR, this project included promotion of Integrated Pest Management (IPM), organic farming, sustainable agriculture system development which lead to increased income generation among the rural community.
2 Organic Farming Development Project: Funded by the SLCDF, this project aimed to propagate organic farming and environmental protection.
3 Tsunami Disaster Management Projects: After the tsunami of December 2004, YEF carried out a number of successful projects funded by donor organizations. Following is a summary of these projects conducted apart from the dedicated voluntary relief work.
A House construction/ infrastructure development: Funded by the PRASAD Inc. USA, 11 houses were constructed under this project in Charley Mount Estate in Udukawa, Weligama for tsunami affected people.
B House construction/ infrastructure development: 10 houses and a preschool building were constructed under the project in Charley Mount Estate. This was funded by the Universal Association for Peace & Love, Germany.
C House construction/ infrastructure development: 15 houses and a community hall were constructed under the project in Charley Mount Estate. Ys Men's International, funded this project.
D Infrastructure Development: Under this USAID funded project,
a building for a library was constructed in Kathaluwa, Ahangama;13 Public wells were constructed in Ambalangoda; and 6 libraries were reconstructed in Galle, Matara and Hambantota.
E House construction/ infrastructure development: 17 houses were constructed in Weligama, Galle, funded by the Children Action.
F Reforesting project: Funded by the IUCN, this project was aimed towards environmental protection, waste management and reestablishment of a green canopy in the new village at Charley Mount Estate. Activities included the construction of 35 rainwater harvesting tanks.

In 2005, the YEF then completely shifted its focus to educating children affected either by the tsunami, war or poverty and became the Youth Progressive Foundation (YPF).

YPF's Children's Resource Centre began in Hambantota, which was set up to provide humanitarian services to the disadvantaged children in Hambantota district, who were in destitute conditions due to the Tsunami. Now it's mandate has broadened to cater to displaced children who were affected by the ethnic conflict that ravaged the country for close to 30 years.

The YPF went on to manage 3 additional Children's Resource Centres to widen educational and cultural knowledge of the children of the Southern, Uva and Eastern Provinces. The second CRC was set up in Kataragama followed by the centres in Eravur and Arugam Bay. We have an English language teaching program and an Information Technology Unit to make the children computer literate. In order to develop aesthetic skills of the children dancing, music and drama have also been introduced to hone their skills. There will be a Sports Unit to train the children in sports like Cricket, Volleyball and Badminton.

In 2015, the Arugam Bay CRC was closed due to unforseeable circumstances and a new CRC was opened in the village of Thirrikovil in its place. Also due to the recent surge in economic development in the South of Sri Lanka and having served the children of Hambantota and Kataragama for over 8 years, a decision was made by the Board of Directors to redirect our resources to the more needy in the North of the country.In addition to our children's resource centres in the East, the YPF has also tied up with the Foundation of Goodness to implement many worthy projects in the North.

Learn more about Hambantota CRC, Kataragama CRC and Arugambay CRC