Finland Roving Ambassador for Sri Lanka Rauli Suikkanen and World Vision Lanka National Director Jonathan Johnson after signing the latest agreement
Dozens of women in Eastern Province gain a livelihood from jewellery production for a growing tourism market
Dozens of economically vulnerable women in the east are getting a boost through a World Vision funded livelihood programme to make jewellery for sale to tourists.
The project was first launched in Koralaipattu, Batticaloa in 2014. Its main aims were to empower women and increase their chance for employment and entrepreneurship at grassroots levels.
Identifying the greater need to geographically extend the project and to promote rural producer groups Phase II will include areas such as Vaharai, Kiran, Eravurpattu and Vellavali in Batticaloa District. The batch of trained entrepreneurs numbering around 70 will be increased to nearly 200 in phase two.
While improving the livelihoods of these local communities in the relevant project areas, strengthening and diversifying income generating activities through tourism is a key goal. Thus, the project focuses on strengthening women’s handicraft production groups in the Batticaloa district. It supports them through business training, finding market linkages, as well as facilitating access to finance.
The trainings included handicraft production methods using natural resources such as coconut shells, sea shells, natural beads and palmyrah. Training is done with assistance from Government agencies such as the National Crafts Council and the Palmyra Board. A training program with the National Packaging Institute is also planned.
The project was funded by the Office of the Finland Roving Ambassador to Sri Lanka with Euro 70,000 for the phase 1 from October 2014 to February 2016. The current funding is Euro 50,000, for February 2016 to April 2017.
The Office of the Finland Roving Ambassador to Sri Lanka recently signed an agreement to continue funding World Vision Lanka’s Local Ecosystem Development for Sustainable Tourism Project in Batticaloa District, Sri Lanka.
The Ministry for Foreign Affairs of the Finland Government grants Funds for Local Cooperation (FLCs) to diplomatic missions or roving ambassadors engaged in development cooperation.
The funds are usually used to improve the functioning of local civil society for implementing target-oriented projects. As a development policy instrument, FLCs in particular support the goal of eradicating poverty through economically, socially and ecologically sustainable development projects.
FLCs are independent means of cooperation, and do not replace other types of bilateral cooperation.
“With the tourism industry picking up in the East, we are happy with the progress and hope to see these handicrafts reaching greater markets, in turn resulting in economic development of these families,” said World Vision Sri Lanka’s National Director Jonathan Johnson.
The agreement for the second phase of the project was signed by Roving Ambassador for Sri Lanka, (based in Helsinki), Rauli Suikkanen and World Vision Lanka National Director, Jonathan Johnson recently.