Waste paper training program
16 women participated for a skill development programme on waste paper training program conducted in WISE Kopay. This was a 5 days training conducted on 05.04.2017 - 09.04.2017 each participant was able to produce Ornaments productions at the end of training. Project Officer Ms.Rajeswary Coordinated this activity.
Bag production training program
15 women participated for a skill development programme on bag production training program conducted in WISE Sandilippay This was a 4 days training conducted on 03.04.2017 - 06.04.2017 each participant was able to produce bags productions at the end of training. Project Officer Mr.Gowri Sangar Coordinated this activity.
An awareness programme on NATIONAL AUTHORITY ON TOBACCO AND ALCOHOL ACT (NATA)
An awareness programme on NATIONAL AUTHORITY ON TOBACCO AND ALCOHOL ACT (NATA) was held on 07th of April 2017 Friday at Puttalam Divisional Secretariat Conference Hall. This training Programme had been arranged for the Government Officials who are closely working with the community. Programme was conducted by Mr.Shakya Nanayakkara, Director General of NGO secretariat who attended this programme representing Sri Lanka Alcohol Policy Alliance (SLAPA). Nearly 90 Officials attended this programme. Various aspects related to NATA, it’s objectives, growth and Implementing methods deeply explained through this programme and government officials actively participated.
Alcohol usage is one of the main causes of poverty in Sri Lanka. Rural people heavily use alcohol and that practices has blended to their sub cultures. Therefore this bad practice goes with people from generation to generation. FRIENDS initiated alcohol and drug related data collection in number of their working villages using tools of participatory rural approach with an expectation of conducting awareness targeting youth and children. This data collection is progressing in Kopai, Sandilipai,Palagala, Pallama, Naula, Redeemaliadda, Daraniyagala,and wellawaya divisional secretariat
“Saubargya” Community development project – Unilever Company.
“Saubhagya, is an endeavour designed to uplift the most deserving and needy women of rural Sri Lanka, through the enabling of financial independence. Saubhagya empowers women by providing them with a sustainable source of income as Unilever ambassadors, selling Unilever brands to households in their respective villages.”
FRIENDS also joined hand with Unilever Company and facilitate women to be real entrepreneurs at village level. By now the project has initiated in Daraniyagala, Wellawaya, Redeemaliadda and Pallama divisional secretariat divisions and planned to expand it to other working locations.
A delegation of FORUT donors came to Sandilipai Jaffna to see the progress of ongoing “Gender Equity and Empowerment project” on 10th February 2016. They visited Sandilipai Livelihood Facilitation Center, dress making training center and few beneficiary houses. Beneficiaries were highly motivated from this visit. This team was led by former resident representative of FORUT Sri Lanka Mr. Tereje Heggerness.
Annual General Meeting - Jaffna
The self-employed women forum namely “Women In Self Employed – WISE’ are operating in Kopay and Sandilipay Divisional Secretariats since 2014. This organization has been established with the women federation supported under the Gender Economic Empowerment Project implemented by FRIENDS with the financial assistance of FORUT. The financially backward women are the target group of the project and there are 400 such women in both divisions by now. All these women have initiated their own income generating activities with the guidance and support given by FRIENDS.
In year 2014, WISE Kopay and Sandilipay conducted their first annual general meetings. The second annual general meetings were conducted on 23 November 2015 with the participation of all members and special invitees.
The meeting of WISE Sandilipay was conduct at the auditorium of the Divisional Secretariat in the morning hours of 23 November 2015. The Divisional Secretary - Ms.U. Yasotha, NGO Coordinator, Jaffna - Mr. N.Thayaparan and many other government officers participated in the meeting.
WISE Kopay general meeting was held on the same day afternoon in the presence of the Jaffna District Secretary / Government Agent - Mr. N. Vethanayagam, Divisional Secretary Mr. M. Pratheepan and many other government officers.
Group of rural women produce soft toys with the support of PALMERA
Pallama is a remote Divisional Secretariat Division in Puttalam District. This area is dry most of the year. People do agriculture work during the rainy season and rest of the year they are involved in labour work mainly to earn a living. Majority of women are housewives and they depend on their husband’s earnings. FRIENDS organization started a Gender Empowerment Project in this area for the most vulnerable women. Under this project women are motivated to start their own income generating activities in order for them to be economically active. The project facilitated them to identify feasible livelihoods, learn new technologies, initiate livelihoods with in-kind support as well as coordinate markets and service providers.
Teddy bear making is a livelihood activity initiated by FRIENDS organization. This group of 14 women got an opportunity to further improve their livelihood by learning handloom based soft toy making and investing on technical needs with the support of PALMERA organization. Under this support several skill development trainings were conducted to build women’s technical knowledge and creativity.
Training on Anthurium & Orchid cultivation
A group of Anthurium & Orchid cultivating women in Daraniyagala got an opportunity to participate in a training held at Matale. Most of these participants cultivate Anthurium with the support and guidance of FRIENDS. This one day training programme covered most of the aspects of commercial cultivations. Women practically learn preparation of removing small plants from main plant, usage of fertilizer and pesticides and watering and controlling sunlight. Further a demonstration was done for identifying different plant varieties.
Livelihood Facilitation Centre - Palagala
Palagala is a remote Divisional Secretariat Division in the Anuradhapura District. This division is famous for the statue of Aukana Lord Buddha and the Kalawewa reservoir. Each year large number of people visits these places. Agriculture is the main income source for majority of the people. Most women are housewives and depend on the earnings of their husbands.
FRIENDS started Gender Equity and Empowerment Project in this division in 2014 to support these women to be economically active. Different skill development trainings were conducted for the selected women to initiate their own income generating activities. Women were provided in-kind assistance to start respective livelihood activities. A Livelihood Facilitation Centre was established in Andiyagala junction for further supporting the livelihood initiatives. This centre is operated and owned by the same group of women.
ADD Programmes – Jaffna
The use of alcohol and tobacco has created many health and social problems. In Sri Lanka it has become a serious problem hindering the development. Poverty, violence, violence against women, accident, crimes and many issues related to children are directly or indirectly linked with alcohol usage. FRIENDS conducted several prevention programmes with Kopay and Sandilipay Divisional Secretariats to create awareness among communities. These programmes were conducted on 24th of July 2015.
Livelihood Facilitation Centre- Naula
FRIENDS started Gender Equity & Empowerment Project in Naula Divisional Secretariat in Matale District in 2014. This project supports poor and vulnerable women to start their own income generating activities. The whole expectation of the project is to empower women economically to improve their living standards.
The Livelihood Facilitation Center “Samadhi” was opened at Naula town to facilitate women’s livelihood needs like marketing products, purchasing raw materials at reasonable price, getting business information and coordinating with other service providers. This center is owned & operated by a group of project women.
The Women Development Officer of the division and several other government officers along with FRIENDS staff participated in the opening ceremony held on 02nd July 2015.
Another Livelihood Facilitation Center opened at Pallama (Puttalam District)
GEE project started in Pallama divisional secretariat division in year the 2014 by FRIENDS organization with the financial assistance of FORUT.
The project objective is Women’s Economic Empowerment. Women from low income families are supported to start livelihood activities by providing necessary technical trainings and in-kind assistance. These women are doing different types of livelihoods to produce soft-toys, foot wear, ladies hand bags, cloth items, food items, and various other products.
Micro businesses are very sensitive to changing market situations. Hence women are mobilized into a “self-employed women’s forum” and motivated to start a livelihood facilitation center by FRIENDS. Hence “Didula” livelihood facilitation center emerged at Pallama town.
This center facilitates women livelihoods by providing raw materials at a reasonable price, organizing training events, disseminating business information, creating marketing opportunities, coordinating various services etc. This center is managed by a women forum.
“Didula” was declared opened by Pallama Divisional Secretary on 17th June 2015. Government officers, project beneficiaries and area business people also participated for this event. FRIENDS provided the basic investment for the center.
Central Bank support for Anthurium cultivators
Central Bank of Sri Lanka – Mathale Branch facilitated for a skill development training to a group of women who plan to cultivate anthurium as a commercial crop.Two groups of 60 women from Naula and Daraniyagala participated in the programme held at the Royal Botanical Garden Peradeniya on 18th of June 2015.
Miss Kamala Menike, horticulture instructor conducted the lecture on commercial anthurium cultivation while Mr. Dasanasiri Dissanayaka, Provincial Manager delivered the lecture on banking facilities for entrepreneurs.
This full day programme was very useful to the participants. FRIENDS coordinated this programme with Central Bank. Several officers from the Central Bank and FRIENDS organization participated in the event.
FRIENDS imitated Gender Equity & Empowerment (GEE) Project in seven district of Sri Lanka in Divisional Secretariat Division of Pallama in Puttalam District is one of the project locations. In year 2014. 125 poor families were assisted to initiate livelihood in Pallama DS Division under GEE project. Women have initiated agricultural, manufacturing and services related livelihoods activities with the assistance of FRIENDS. FRIENDS facilitated formation of a women’s forum named Didula Srama Shakthi Women’s Federation of the primary stakeholders of the project in Pallama DS Division. The federation organized an exhibition and a trade fair on 07th April 2015 with the collaboration of Divisional Secretariat of Pallama for the benefit of the stakeholders who are engaged with value added products. More than 50 Women who are producing, cement products, hand bags, footwear, soft toys, spices packaging , confectionary items etc participated for the exhibition and trade fair.
FORUT Donors Visit to Ridemaliyedda
FRIENDS implements a gender based livelihood development project since 2014 in seven districts of Sri Lanka facilitating to improve the living standards of around 1000 families. Rural Sri Lankan women are facing both social and economic poverty. Our strategy of empowering women is improving income building assets and access to economic resources of women. This project is funded by FORUT.
Rideemaliyedde of Badulla district is one of the poorest Divisional Secretariats of Sri Lanka. In 2014 FRIENDS supported hundred and twenty-five marginalized women to initiate different livelihoods. There they have selected to implement both traditional and alternative livelihoods. Project provided skill development training with in kind assistance to initiate the selected livelihoods.
FRIENDS motivated these 125 primary stakeholders, women, into a forum and established a Livelihood Facilitation Center (LFC) which provides needs and facilities needed to sustain the initiated livelihood. While forum is facilitating the needs of women the LFC facilitate the needs of supply of raw material and marketing their products and providing showroom facility etc.
A delegation of FORUT donors visited Ridemaliyedda to observe the implementation of the project. There they observed the primary livelihood activities implemented by some stakeholders and the function of Livelihood Facilitation Centre.
Livelihood assistance for Kopai women
FRIENDS implements Gender Equity & Empowerment project in Kopai & Sandilipai DS divisions of Jaffna District since January 2014. The objective of the project is women’s economic empowerment through facilitating to initiate sustainable livelihoods.
First group of 45 women were selected from low income families of vilages of Atchuweli, Atchunagar, Selwanayagapuram, Nawakkiri, and Perupuram in Kopai DS division. Project assisted women to develop plans to initiate feasible livelihood activities provided in kind assistance.
Distribution of in kind assistance was conducted on 11th July 2014 at Kopai DS office with the participation of Hon. Minister of Traditional Industries and Small Enterprises development Mr. Douglas Devananda. Addressing the gathering he emphasized the need of women’s leadership for development activities with appreciating FRIENDS intervention of community empowerment work in Jaffna district. Kopai divisional secretary Mr. Pradeepan and several other government officers with community members participated for the event.
21 women received sawing machines and some raw materials needed to start their livelihood activities and other 24 women received agriculture equipment
This event was organized by Project officers of Jaffan Ms Rajeswary and Mr. Sangar.
New Livelihood Facilitation Centers
Gender Equity & Empowerment (GEE) Project is initiating livelihood development activities to support primary stakeholders improve their economic statues because; financial stability plays a vital role in empowerment. Achieving these objectives project has introduced various traditional and nontraditional livelihood activities to women in rural poor families in seven districts, Jaffna, Anuradhapura, Matale, Kegalle, Badulla, Monaragala and Puttalam.
2014 is the initial year of the project and more than hundred families were benefited with different livelihoods in each project locations. Project provided financial and technical supports for poor women to initiate livelihood activities. These include identification of feasible livelihoods, skill development trainings, in kind assistance, coordination with service providers, close monitoring and guidance. But that is not sufficient to sustain initiated livelihoods. Market is the biggest challenge face by the women producers.
Improving capacity and quality of production to compete in open market is a crucial factor of sustaining initiated livelihoods. Establishing women’s networks of rural producers is also important because working as organized group gives them strength to continue with their productions.
Hence to meet the challenges FRIENDS assisted to establish women’s forums and initiated three Livelihood Facilitation Centers (LFCs) in Jaffna and Badulla districts in last two weeks. LFC is a centre managed by the women’s forum. FRIENDS as a partner supports with initial financial investment. The technical support needed also provide by the project. Women producers can obtain necessary supports from LFCs to strengthen their livelihoods. They can buy raw materials relatively reasonable prices from LFCs. Rural women should have a place to sell their products. They need show room facility for their products. They will be provided get business information etc.
These three centers were opened at Kopay & Sandilipai in Jaffna and Redeemaliadda in Badulla. Divisional Secretaries, Women development officers, GN officers, NGO coordinators and police and number of other government officers and large number of well-wishers also participated for these occasions.
Redeemaliadda center was declared opened on 27th November 2014. Other two centers in Jaffna were opened on 4th December 2014
PRA trainings for development officers
On the request of District secretariat of Matale, FRIENDS provided resources persons to train newly recruited development officers on Participatory Rural Appraisal (PRA). These offices are working at community level to enhance community participation for development activities. Two PRA trainings were conducted at Naula & Abangagakorale divisional Secretariat offices by FRIENDS officers as one day programmes discussing useful PRA tools and data analysis methods.
Director planning Ms. Kumari Meegahakotuwa, district NGO coordinator Mr.Chaminda, divisional secretaries, and several other government officers were participated for the progrmmes.
Skill development for eakle broom making
FRIENDS implements Gender Equity & Empowerment project at Daraniyagala DS division in Kegalle district since year 2014. Economically inactive women in low income families were selected from several villages with the guidance of GOSL officers.
In economically empowering women FRIENDS is implementing gender based livelihood development programme. FRIENDS is providing skill development trainings for beneficiaries to initiate an income generation activity. Most of the target families are depending on substantial agriculture and women are not paid for contribution. Hence Project is motivating target women to initiate alternative livelihoods for earning an income for them.
Six women from three villages participated for a skill development programme on Eakle Broom Making conducted in Badullaketiya village. Two husbands were also participated to help their wives. The training was conducted by a trainer of Vidatha Centre. This was a one day training conducted on 28th June 2014 and each participant was able to produce broom at the end of training. Project officer Nimal Bandara Coordinated this activity.