Gender Economic Empowerment (GEE) Programme July 2011 to December 2013
Women are the most vulnerable group that needs access for economic resources
to stand on their own to enjoy the rights which men are enjoying. Gender
Economic Empowerment (GEE) Programme was implemented in six districts targeting
2000 economically inactive women. Under GEE programme FRIENDS facilitated women
to identify feasible livelihoods and provided skills and capacity development
trainings. In-kind assistance of basic tools and some raw materials were
provided to initiate production activities.
Sustaining livelihoods initiated by women in rural communities was a challenge due to lack of skills and technical knowhow, non availability of resources, less marketing opportunities, low level of education and the socio cultural context. Coordinating and strengthening service provision networks available in the area is a major requirement to minimize risk of micro businesses. Continuous monitoring and business counselling activities were conducted through the staff and community leaders to improve initiated livelihoods.
Programme has introduced two types of livelihoods, individual and groups. Group livelihood activities created opportunities to learn within the group, purchasing bulk raw materials and promoting and selling products to larger market than individual.
Gender related awareness programmes conducted for family members to understand women’s right and the importance of their role of production & reproduction. This helped women to obtain more support from family members to continue their livelihood activities.
The women’s networks established have developed leadership skills of marginalised women. This has given recognition to previously economically inactive village women securing their dignity.
Livelihood for low income families in Colombo July 2011 to December 2012
Aluthkade, Modara and Mahawatte are three GramaNiladhari Divisions selected
to provide the livelihood assistance. Aluthkade is located next to Pettah, the
famous Bazaar in Capital Colombo.
Colombo Divisional Secretariat area is highly populated commercial multi ethnic area consisting of more than 300,000 people. The low income families of these areas are living in cluster of houses separated only by a wall without any open areas. Since there is no open land or space available in houses, living conditions of these families are very poor. Some of the dwellings are even less than six square meters.
Male members or husbands of these families are working as labours or vendors in open air bazaar. Some are doing odd jobs such as buying and selling.
Objective of the programme was to improve the socio economic status of selected 150 women from low income families living in Colombo North DSD. Primary stakeholders were selected with the support of Colombo Divisional Secretary. FRIENDS have verified the list of beneficiaries by observing the families at their places. Although it was planned to provide assistance for 150 families, programme catered assistance for 182 low income families.
The selected beneficiaries were given an opportunity to identify and train on livelihood they prefer. It was provided in kind assistance to initiate and continue the activities.
Sustainable livelihoods for Resettle families in Jaffna September 2012 to December 2013
With the general situation returning to normalcy after years of man-made
disasters in north the affected population is struggling to have a stable
income. This programme was implemented to assist 100 recently resettled families
in Thelippalai Divisional Secretariat Division of Jaffna District.
The protracted displacement from their native place has resulted in the loss of assets which were once mainly used for improving their livelihoods. In consultation with the respective Divisional Secretariat, FRIENDS initiated livelihoods for the needy population paying special attention on women headed households, to uplift the living standards economically by providing assistance in kind in the form of agriculture, fishing, light machineries and food processing with skill trainings. A provision has also been made in the funding for infrastructure assistance for the above division.