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1963 A.D. Ragama, a town to the North of Colombo, a desolate and abandoned estate called ‘Orange Hill’. Very sparse human habitation surrounded by jungle. Approachable by only by a gravel footpath not wide enough for two bullock carriages to pass. The sounds of fauna by day and the distant wail of a locomotive passing at night.

The very thought of isolation may have had a daunting effect on any human being. It was in this backdrop that the Sri Lanka Technical Institute & Diyagala Boy’s Town, Ragama was born of a vision to start a technical workshop for poor youth within by a French Missionary of the Lasallian Brotherhood, Rev, Bro. Hermengild Joseph FSC, who was then the Principal of De Mazenod College, Kandana Sri Lanka.

A part of ‘Orange Hill’ was gifted to the Lasallian Brotherhood by the then Arch Bishop of Colombo, His Eminence Cardinal Thomas Cooray to be utilized as a vocational training school for the very needy male youth of economically handicapped families of the Island.

 
Diyagala Boy’s Town took off with about 15 resident young men, a small farm and an insignificant work shop. The farm educated the young men in agriculture and animal husbandry while the work shop provided training for the boys in the rudiments of steel and electrical based technologies prevalent at the time.

History is abundant with the trials of adversity that had only given more strength and courage to the pioneers of Diyagala Boy’s Town, and last surviving founder member, Rev. Bro. Phillip of Jesus, a robust and sprightly personality. Today, Diyagala Boy’s Town is a self sustained community of approximately 200 male children from marginalized and poor families who have chose to spent 4 years of residential life in a non-formal type of education and vocational training on 70 acres of very fertile terrain and solid structures that to-day comprise class rooms, workshops, office complexes and dormitories for the trainees based on the tenets of Faith, Community and Service.



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