When you think about Sri Lanka, you may think “paradise”, but that isn’t true for all of the country, as many experience shocking poverty. The North and East of Sri Lanka are struggling to re-emerge from the devastation of a 28 year civil war, which ended in 2009, and the tragedies of the 2004 tsunami

Women and young people are most severely affected. There are an estimated 40,000 women who are the sole providers for their family, many of whom are war widows. Young people in Sri Lanka find it difficult to get jobs regardless of skill or qualification, with educated young people making up a third of Sri Lanka’s unemployed. 

Both women and young people often experience difficulty escaping poverty and face discrimination based on their ethnicity, age or gender.

Later this year we hope to return to Sri Lanka, empowering women and young people to take control of their own livelihoods, giving them the opportunities they so desperately need.

We want to provide the skills, training and resources that women and young people need to start their own co‑operative enterprise, but we need your help. We also want to develop support organisations, so that these people can thrive, not just survive. 

Sri with her Co-operatives cow in the Northern Province

Sri Baskaralingam's Story

Sri Baskaralingam Jeyanthini, a young mother of four, has spent most of her life living in poverty. She became involved in our recent project which gave her a strong understanding of the benefits of co-operatives, business planning and co-operative governance and how she could employ them to create a better life for herself.

Through the project Sri Baskaralingam learnt that she could escape poverty by forming a group with women who were in a similar position to her and set up a co‑operative. After the support of the project, she knew exactly what she needed to do to make that happen.

During the training she met a group of local women, who collectively decided to buy a cow. By selling milk they were able to increase their income and provide more for their family.

We learnt from the workshop that through the co‑operation of many people we could run a business.

We worked with over 2000 women like Sri Baskaralingam, empowering them to use their strength and skills to change their lives for the better.  But there is so much more that we can do. 

Your support will ensure that we can return to Sri Lanka and continue our life changing work, empowering people to change their lives for the better.

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Real projects. Real people. Real change.