Our Stories

  • Today's Youth, Today's LeadersMay 7, 2016Today's Youth, Today's Leaders“I was not always independent and self-confident. Quite the contrary; I was extremely shy. But now I make a conscious effort to advocate for equality in our society. Someone has to stand up!” says Sumangala, a YLDP Participant.

  • Together, communities build back with resilienceMay 7, 2016Together, communities build back with resilienceAusAID, UNDP and other partners initiated “Strengthening Disaster Management Capacities in Conflict Affected North and East,” a project to create village resilience development plans for vulnerable communities in Sri Lanka.

  • In Jaffna, the Palmyrah Handicrafts Centre helps uplift the lives of womenMay 7, 2016In 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.

  • Supporting efforts to build unity, peace and mutual understanding among communities in VavuniyaMay 7, 2016Supporting efforts to build unity, peace and mutual understanding among communities in VavuniyaThe 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.

  • A “triple win” for individuals, households and community: Palm Producers’ Cooperative PandaitharippuMay 7, 2016A “triple win” for individuals, households and community: Palm Producers’ Cooperative PandaitharippuIn 2011, UNDP, under its Transition Recovery Programme undertook a market and producer assessment of the Pandaitharippu Palm Producers’ Cooperative. The assessment found that although there was a demand for palmyrah-based products, the Cooperative had limitations in accessing many of the high-value markets due to the lack of adherence to quality standards.

  • Women venture into new markets using local resourcesMay 7, 2016Women venture into new markets using local resourcesMrs. 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.

  • Fearless and confident, women lead the way for change in Ampara District May 7, 2016Fearless 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.

  • Rebuilding fishermen’s livelihoodsMay 7, 2016Rebuilding fishermen’s livelihoodsFishermen 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.

  • With UNDP, post-war Sri Lanka takes a small first step towards inter-ethnic reconciliation May 7, 2016With UNDP, post-war Sri Lanka takes a small first step towards inter-ethnic reconciliationThe 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.

  • Uplifting the lives of women, while reviving the forgotten palmyra industryMay 7, 2016Uplifting the lives of women, while reviving the forgotten palmyra industryIt 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.