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Mobilising Communities in Kirimetiyawatte: 6-month project

Preparing for the inauguration ceremony of the

In early 2016 we started a new project with our partner Women’s Development Centre (WDC). This project is working with communities in the remote village of Kirimetiyawatte in the Central Province of Sri Lanka, the capital of which is Kandy. The area is known for its pine forest cultivation.

The community that we are working with is majority Tamil with a population of 346. The people here used to make a living from cultivating tea but this activity has dwindled and now people get by largely through animal husbandry and unskilled daily labour. Some of the population are migrant workers in the Middle East.

Facilities in the area for families are poor; there is no pre-school and going to both primary and secondary school involves a 4 km walk followed by a 7 km bus ride. Many children do not achieve their GCEs and stop education at Grade 9. There is no local library in the vicinity. There are no community welfare committees, women’s societies or funeral assistance committees in the village.

Initial assessments have indicated that access to education and community groups is a significant problem in the community. Limited opportunities for employment are also particularly challenging for the community. Domestic violence and alcohol abuse are other significant factors that we are seeking to address in this project.

In this six month project, we are focussing on building the capacity of the community through Self-Help groups, Children’s Clubs, the Kirimetiyawatte Development Committee and School Development Committee.

We will also work with the community to provide home management training, giving the community the skills and knowledge to support record keeping, manage savings and expenses and relationship awareness to educate against child abuse and domestic violence.

School girls in Kirimetiyawatte.

Additionally, there will be some focus on business development to identify opportunities to build on existing businesses in the area and provide training for the community in skills which support business activities such as farming and cultivation.

During the six-month, initial project in this area, we will develop a fuller understanding of the challenges and needs of the community with our partner, WDC, to build a more comprehensive two year sustainable community development project plan.

For more information, please click here to access the full project proposal.

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