Our Stories

  • Rebuilding fishermen’s livelihoods

    Fishermen in Mullaitivu District, Northern Sri Lanka, have been living off the sea for decades. However, years of conflict and displacement have disrupted their livelihoods and caused large scale damage to the economic and social infrastructure.

  • Restoring livelihoods

    Sinnathamby Saravanamuthu, 51, is a farmer and a father of 7. He lived a simple life in the Kiran Division in Batticaloa District. The family did not have much - a clay hut and a few acres of land on which they grew paddy and highland crops. It would perhaps be wrong to say that Sinnathamby did not want anything more from life but he was content. “I was able to plan my life on my own”, he puts it simply.

  • Rigithene: Uplifting a village

    Large fields greeted us upon arrival at Rigithene, a small village about 37 km away from Batticaloa Town in the Eastern Province. At the very end of the field were cement bags, some machinery and a pile of stones, signaling a busy day ahead for the engineers at work on the irrigation channel. Once this irrigation channel is complete, the villagers don’t have to wait for the rain anymore.

  • Strengthening Community Service Organizations in Batticaloa District

    "I have been living in the Ilupaddcihenai village for the last 18 years. I have 9 members in my family including 4 sons and 3 daughters. My house was very small and I faced many difficulties living in the small cottage with all my family members,” says 45 years old Supramaniyam Nesakumar.

  • Supporting efforts to build unity, peace and mutual understanding among communities in Vavuniya

    The village of Pavatkulam, in Cheddikkulam, Vavuniya District, consists of Sinhala, Tamil and Muslim communities. A few years ago, the different communities here hardly met or interacted, bitterly divided over water resources and livelihoods.

  • Uplifting the lives of women, while reviving the forgotten palmyra industry

    It is around 5 in the evening when we reach the handicraft training centre in Tharmakkenni, a GN Division in Pachchilaipalli, in Kilinochchi District. Seated on a mat outside the training centre, under soaring Palmyra trees – a common sight in this part of the country – a group of women are busy at work weaving long Palmyra leaves with their hands. Around them are an array of products; mats, temple baskets and hats, among others. Their colours are striking and vivid. Each piece is intricately designed. It is evident that much time and effort has been spent on their detail.

  • With UNDP, post-war Sri Lanka takes a small first step towards inter-ethnic reconciliation

    The war in Sri Lanka ended in May 2009 after nearly 27 years, having not only caused tremendous hardship to its people, but also fragmenting the relationships between the country’s Sinhala, Tamil and Muslim communities. UNDP efforts to support the reconciliation process have helped children throughout the country to understand and accept each other’s traditions, cultures, and ways of life.

  • Women in Ampara take on the baton of leadership

    K. Lalith Kulanayake was recently elected to the Lahugala Pradeshiya Sabha, becoming the first woman to serve in a local government authority in the Lahugala Division in Ampara District, a region where female political participation is among the lowest in the country.

  • Women venture into new markets using local resources

    Mrs. Bernatheth is a 53 year old widow with three children living below an income of Rs. 3,200 per month. Although she has received government and donor support for the construction of her house destroyed during the war, she has been unable to complete the remaining construction work due to her low income. At times, she had had to depend on her children dropping out of school to help her earn an income through casual labour.

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