The first batch of trainees under the Junior Jalavahini program with facilitators
Some of the Junior Jalavahini trainees at a session
A new initiative to support young women holding office in community-based organisations responsible for water management and water security has been launched by the Brandix Group, as an extension of its ‘Jalavahini’ program focussed on women community leaders.
Aptly titled ‘Junior Jalavahini,’ this second phase of the program is intended to empower a new generation of women with the knowledge they will need in the future, to become full partners in sustainable water development in areas where community water projects supply local needs.
The program envisages the provision of financial assistance where necessary, and the imparting of knowledge, experience and training in areas such as storage and distribution of water, harvesting of rain water and sustainable water resources management.
The ‘Jalavahini’ program was launched by Brandix in June 2012 to train women in rural communities who have ‘hands-on’ roles at the grassroots level in the water sector.
The first training program under the Junior Jalavahini program was conducted recently at the Coastal Environmental Centre, Kalpitiya and was attended by the next generation young women leaders from the area. Among the topics covered were climate change adaptation and water management, gender issues, financial literacy, non-toxic home gardening for livelihood security, personality development and leadership for community development in water.
“Although women play pivotal volunteer roles in community based organisations responsible for water distribution in many parts of Sri Lanka, they have little or no access to the knowledge and advice they need to manage and develop their projects or to improve their lives,” said Brandix Group Head of CSR Anusha Alles. “Women are also the worst affected in times and areas where water is scarce. The Jalavahini and Junior Jalavahini programs seek to systematically remedy this problem.”
Sri Lanka has about 3,500 community based organisations in the water sector, functioning at differing levels of success. They are estimated to be responsible for a sixth of the country’s water supply.
The Brandix Group’s principal Corporate Social Responsibility efforts are driven by the CSR division of the company – The Bindu Foundation – under the central theme of ‘Water’, and constitute a long term commitment to increasing the availability of water and the provision of safe drinking water to those most in need.