A Village Action Group in Muthur brings communities closer togetherArriving at a partially constructed community hall in the interior of Muthur in Eastern Sri Lanka, I help myself to a straw mat from a pile in the corner of the room and read my notes as I wait. Minutes later, people start trickling into the room, yelling out words of greeting to each other. There are about fifteen men and eight women, between the ages of 20 and 60. The room begins to fill with friendly conversation and laughter.
A better tomorrow with a common tractorThe UNDP Bureau for Crisis Prevention and Recovery (BCPR) recently presented a common tractor to the Rural Development Society (RDS) in Vahanery, in the Batticaloa District, with the aim of developing the livelihood and income opportunities of the farmer community in the area.
Building lives, brick by brickKannaki Kiramam is a village nestled in the Divisional Secretariat Division of Alayadivembu in the Ampara District. The war has left a mark on the people of this village who have struggled through years of conflict and suffering. Since the end of the war UNDP has been helping the villagers of Kannaki Kiramam to rebuild their lives. With financial support from the Government of Japan, UNDP Livelihood Development Programme (LDP) has helped the beneficiaries of this village to venture into the brick making business.
Fearless and confident, women lead the way for change in Ampara DistrictIn Ampara District in Eastern Sri Lanka, 27 women are doing remarkable things for their communities. K. Lalith Kulanayake ran for local elections recently, and made history as the first female to serve in a local government body in the remote division of Lahugala. A.M. Mahira lifted the lid on the taboo subject of child abuse, and her awareness-raising efforts saw a drastic reduction in the number of incidents reported over the past six months in the division of Akkaraipattu.
Home at lastThe day Bavani (30) returned to her home village in Uppamaveli, in the Maritimepattu DSD in Eastern Mulaitivu, was one of joy but also sadness. “We had never expected to ever come back here again,” she said smiling. But when she did return she found that the two houses that they had almost completed building before they fled their village, were gone, completely destroyed and looted.
In Jaffna, the Palmyrah Handicrafts Centre helps uplift the lives of womenWe are greeted by an array of colourful products, made out of palmyrah, found in abundance in Northern Sri Lanka, as we step into the sales center of the Palmyrah Handicrafts (Guarantee) Limited. The sales centre was established this year and is today bustling with activity. And, there is much that the crafters of these products can be proud of.
Making friends for life through UNDP’s Communities for Peace projectThirteen year old Ravindu Dilshan Edirisinghe is a student of the Janakapura Maha Vidyalaya in Weli Oya, in the North- East of Sri Lanka. Ravindu and his 6 year old sister Tharushi have been living with their parents in the Weli Oya area, throughout the civil war that raged in the North and East.
Micro credit, macro hopeWith the end of the conflict, many of those who had left their homes in the Muthalikudah West GN Division, a small riverside village in the Batticaloa District, returned to their village with new hope. However, stricken by poverty, their situation showed no sign of improving.
New beginningsSaroruban Croos (46) and his family had been displaced from their village, Savereyapuram in Mannar District, since September 2007. After having spent over a year and a half in Nannatan IDP camp the Croos family is one among the first 112 families to be resettled in their home villages in Musali, in the west of Mannar District.