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Empowering Widows in Sri Lanka

The Widows Empowerment Project in Sri Lanka ensures that widows who have been left financially disadvantaged are able to make a new start despite not having a husband to support them.

From Sewing to Buying Ready-Made

Mrs Sujanitha was a young widow who has two young daughters. She was skilled in sewing but only had an old sewing machine which was given to her by a relative and she was struggling to earn an income by sewing only.

The Widow’s Empowerment Project has enabled her to start a small ready-made garment shop for ladies and small children. She brought garments from whole sale vendors in Colombo and made a profit of 20,000 LKR on the first consignment. She is planning to go and get her second consignment as following months are festival seasons and she will have good sales. Mrs Sujanitha is now able to support her children who are very keen to start an education.

Growing Clay Pots

Mrs Chandrakala lives in a small village called Eravur with her two daughters and a young son. Mrs Chandrakala was making clay pots for a small wage – she only earned LKR 50-75 a day. Some days she didn’t get any work and thus she was struggling to support her family.

Although she knows the pottery business, Mrs Chandrakala was lacking the capital to start her own workshop. Nobody was willing to help her.

Through the Samaritan’s Purse Widows Empowerment Project she has been given capital and training on business planning and marketing strategies to help her succeed. Mrs Chandrakala now owns a pottery workshop at her home, making clay pots and selling them.

She is making good progress and earned LKR 16,000 within three months. She employed another woman in her workshop and her children also help her in their free time. Mrs Chandrakala has been able to mend her broken roof with her earnings from pottery shop. She faced a problem in getting coconut husk to fuel her pottery making but solved the problem by networking with another widow who is part of the Widows Empowerment Project.