At the inception of the Galle-Velsen twinning programme aproject to uplift the living standards of the shanty dwellers in Galle Municipal area was launched. The citizens of Velsen raised funds to develop the infrastructure facilities at a location within the heart of the Municipality, then known as Galwalawatta on Wakwella road.
Prior to this development these shanty dwellers were mostly living in a very unhealthy environment in the land they occupied, and the Municipality on the request of NAAL regularised the ownership to the occupants. NAAL commenced a project to rehabilitate and improve their environment by assisting to build their houses on the principle that each householder also should participate and contribute by providing their own labour in the building process. It was found that almost all the householders cooperated in building their own houses with the funds allocated to them by NAAL with the help Velsen. Subsequently they were assisted to build up common infrastructure like internal pathways, drains and common toilets.
The well in this premise which was renovated, was an ancient one supposed to have provided drinking water for the incoming sailing vessels in the early days.
The NAAL encouraged householders to form into a welfare society and build up the community centre. The community was encouraged to be a partner in the development by actively participating in development as well as conducting a pre-school for small children with the help of the Galle Municipality. The project developed so well with these improvements, the Galle Municipality re- named Galwalawatta as Velsenpura. It is most interesting to note that the inhabitants have modernized their houses with more facilities. They have also rebuilt the community centre with more space with improved facilities.