One of the inspiring approaches to rebuilding communities in northern Sri Lanka, who were deeply affected by the Civil War (1983 – 2009) and devastated by the 2004 tsunami, has come from the UK Co-operative Movement through the Tsunami Relief Fund. The fund supported tour work to run the “Rebuilding Co-operatives in Northern Province, Sri Lanka” programme, which will provide new economic opportunities for people in the northern province of Sri Lanka, through co-operative development.

Between 2015 and 2016 we successfully trained more than 2,000 people, using our co-operative “train the trainer” approach, helping to set up four peanut co-operatives to create new opportunities and new hope for local people. The College uses an approach which firmly demonstrates that co-operatives can not only help people find meaningful employment and decent long-term work, but can also be a valuable tool for post-conflict peace building.

We are currently preparing to return to the north of Sri Lanka to continue supporting co-operatives.