LEADS began its work in 1979 as a relief agent in response to the disaster caused by the cyclone in the East coast of Sri Lanka. In 1983, LEADS was formally established as the relief and development arm of the National Christian Evangelical Alliance of Sri Lanka (NCEASL).
Consequently as an autonomous agency since, LEADS has been actively involved in carrying out relief work in various parts of the country as Sri Lanka in general needs relief work done on a regular basis as this small Island is known for its cyclones, floods, landslides, droughts and recently ended civil war. LEADS believes in all its work to fufill the vision of demonstrating the love of God.
“ When you need a neighbour we are there…. ” Relief and rehabilitation is carried out in two levels. There is the immediate emergency of relief given towards natural or man-made disasters. In this area LEADS has a policy that relief will be provided within 24-48 hours (of event or request) if it is within the regions covered by its Project Officers. In areas outside of their purview, relief has to get to the point of need within 96 hours of request. When a crisis hits an area where a LEADS local office is situated, the need is verified by the LEADS personnel. LEADS has a clear process of responding to a disaster, the steps of which are laid down in a log frame . LEADS beliefs that the best way to respond to these disasters is by using the staff that are in place at the time. This builds on community trust and strengthens relationships for the possibility of future development work / related DMP strategy development/ This phase of work continues for about 45 days at a minimum.
The second stage of relief is the recovery phase to the many internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) due to disaster man made or natural. In this case the programme is ongoing and extends longer term based on the ground contexts. In addition, we seek to restore victims of disaster through the provisions of income generation and livelihood schemes.
During an emergency relief crisis, the Government Agent/District Secretary and respective NGO consortium of the area get in touch with each other and coordinate relief efforts to avoid duplication. The Government Offices are usually in a position to give details on statistics. LEADS partners with local volunteers both from the Church and outside in implementing relief in certain areas.
LEADS was the recipient of a presidential award of appreciation for Tsunami Relief and shelter work and a 2nd state award for noteworthy development and relief from the Ministry of agriculture and development.