History of YMBA, Maharagama

YMBA, Maharagama had its beginning with a small meeting of a good spirited few at Buwanekaba Vidyalaya on the 19th of September, 1993.with the view of spending their spare time on social work. An executive committee was appointed which drew up a constitution for the Association. As their first project, a Day Care Centre for infants and young children of working parents was started at rented premises at Maharagama. This centre was later shifted to a more spacious location to cater to the increasing demand and was expanded to include a pre-school too.

The Urban Development Authority granted a block of land on 23rd August, 2005in recognition of the Associations’ services. Plans were drawn to build a four storeyed building to serve as the headquarters and a campaign was launched to collect funds to implement the building project. Major source of funds was the public donations through tills placed at strategic locations such as banks, supermarkets, hospitals etc. Even today, collection through tills serves as a source of funds in meeting operating and administrative costs of the Association.

The YMBA, Maharagama, through the Government Gazette notification 918 of 1996 was approved as a charitable organisation and the Department of Inland Revenue recognised the Association as an Approved Charity under Act No. 2(17) by the Gazette notification no. 1299 of 2003. This enabled the Association to fortify their fund collection drives and also to launch out into many socially beneficial projects in the fields of Education, Health and religious activities.

With the assistance received from many benefactors and funds raised through various fund raising activities by the members, the Association built the ground floor of the building and accommodated their headquarters in it in 2010. Concurrently, with the support of philanthropists including the Australian Embassy in Sri Lanka the Association was able to commence a facility to provide a facility to provide free food and lodgings to needy cancer stricken patients from distant places of the Island who come to the Cancer Institute, Maharagama for outdoor treatment. The facility equipped with up to date conveniences including a kitchen, a dining hall, a rest room and clean toilets has the capacity to accommodate 28 female and 28 male patients and their chaperons.

Mr. P.W Atapattu, a philanthropist from Nugegoda, inspired by the charitable deeds the Association is engaged in, built with his personal resources, the first floor of the building at a cost of Rs. 4.5 million and handed over to the organisation in 2012. This floor named as the ‘Atapattu Hall’, enabled the extension of provision of free food and lodgings facility to include 20 young children who are outdoor patients of the Cancer Institute, together with a parent or guardian. For this purpose two rooms were partitioned. This floor also accommodates a hall facilitating membership meetings, a conference space for committees and also an office for the use of committees. Mr.Atapattu funded the construction of the library and image room building. The image room houses a serine image of Buddha to which the patients pay homage every day.

The membership of the association grew gradually, and in order to facilitate participation of many members as possible intasks carried out by the Association sub committees were formed, respectively responsible for Monetary and Administrative functions, Social Service and Social Development Activities, Education and Knowledge Development Tasks and Religious and Women’s Affairs.