Women Banking Network

Thank you to all our donors, we have met our fundraising goal!

SRI LAKSHMI

Sri Lakshmi lives in a village in Sri Lanka called Kanthansamy Nagar with her husband and two children. Sri Lakshmi and her family have been displaced multiple times as a result of the Sri Lankan Civil War, and each time, had to start again with very little. Her husband is an unskilled labourer and providing enough food for the family has been a challenge. She has been expected to raise her children and manage the household on a very small and irregular income. Her duties have meant that she has had limited capacity to contribute economically and, as a result, feels that she has not had the right to participate in critical financial decisions that relate to the household.

WHAT WE ARE DOING

We want to work with 110 women just like Sri Lakshmi to build a banking network and connect them to mainstream financial services. We will work with women to better manage their livelihoods, build financial literacy and strengthen savings practices. This will allow women to save and access loans to meet their needs and those of their families. Individually, it provides an avenue for women to engage with financial activity and strengthens their financial literacy skills. Collectively, it provides a powerful platform for women to come together to address the household, community or political challenges that they face.

WHY WE ARE DOING IT

Establishing  a banking network in Kanthansamy Nagar means that Sri Lakshmi and her neighbours will be able to keep their savings in a secure place. They will have access to low-interest and emergency loans that will help them meet their basic needs, support their livelihoods, improve their access to education and health, and see them through any emergencies. This is critical in for low income households, where interests rates can be as high as 35%. Setting up a banking network for these women means providing them with skills in financial literacy and leadership and gives them a voice in the financial decisions made in her household and community.

HOW WE ARE DOING IT

Over the course of five years, we will work with small groups of women in Kanthansamy Nagar and train them in financial literacy. Every week, the women will meet together, pool their savings and decide as a group on which member or members will receive a loan. There will be more than ten of these groups of women meeting weekly, and any money left over after the weekly meetings will be put into a cluster group that will be available for larger loans. All of the savings are recorded, meaning that should a women wish to draw upon her individual savings, she can do so. Every meeting a different member will act as the moderator, putting into practice their leadership training.

Once a month, a representative from each group will meet in this cluster group. These representatives will have additional training to help them oversee the smaller groups and maintain their sustainability and integrity. The cluster group engages with Palmera’s livelihood programming that takes place in the same village, meaning that the banking network is not only financially driven, but is also directed towards issues that directly impact upon the members and their community.

By working with the women to build their financial literacy and leadership skills and develop an advocacy platform that recognises and addresses the issues that they face, the impact of this program can continue well after we exit.

HOW CAN YOU HELP

In order to start and maintain a women’s banking network in Kanthansamy Nagar, we need to raise $41, 913. This works out a $279 per women; only $56 a year over the 5-year programme.

$56 a year to give Sri Lakshmi the gift of financial literacy and a voice in her household? We think that’s money well spent.

$41,939 of $41,913 raised

Women Banking Network

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Youth Vets

$ 25.00
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Donation Total: $25.00

$520,725 of $540,000 raised

Youth Vets

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The Cornerstone

$ 25.00
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Donation Total: $25.00

$25 of $11,813 raised

The Cornerstone

This project brings together 150 villagers and builds a value based programming to support their growth as dairy farmers. It leverages a cornerstone programme founded by Heifer International, building skills and capacity in 12 critical social and economic areas needed for effective economic engagement.

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Learning the (ground)nuts and bolts

$ 25.00
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$50 of $81,985 raised

Learning the (ground)nuts and bolts

This project brings together 300 villagers and their families, and trains them in producing groundnuts. By providing training, developing a collective and introducing new technology to these producers, they will be able to negotiate with buyers and start to make a steady income. This project costs as little as $273 per producer over the 5 years we will be working on this programme.

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Landing a Better Future

$ 25.00
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$29,400 of $118,816 raised

Landing a Better Future

This project brings together 250 farmers and their families and supports them to improve their farming skills and access critical services, while creating networks of knowledge and experience. This costs as little as $475 per family; only $95 a year over the five years that we will be providing support.

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Hunger Relief

Thank you to all our donors, we have met our fundraising goal!

When curfews hit, families were left without the daily labour that they rely on for food.

We responded with our Feed the Poor campaign to support 300 families. Through the generosity of donors, we were able to support 550 families.

The support saved lives.

But curfews have not been lifted and thousands of families remain without food – facing hunger and falling deeper into the poverty cycle.

The situation requires us to act.

We have identified 1,000 critical families through Sri Lanka’s North East. They need food immediately – dry rations including rice, dhal and the essentials.

If you can, give generously. Without your support, we cannot reach these excluded families.

Below are photos from the earlier food distribution response. For those of you who are able to donate we will be providing you an update via email in the coming weeks. Please check your spam as our updates sometimes end up there! If you miss your update, please do connect with us on Facebook or Instagram where we will also be posting regular updates. You can also reach out to us at [email protected]

If you can. Support now.

$22,261 of $20,000 raised

Hunger Relief

When curfews hit, families were left without the daily labour that they rely on for food.

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Graduating the Poor

$ 25.00
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Donation Total: $25.00

$39,937 of $250,000 raised

Graduating the Poor

Sri Lanka’s north has a number of the country’s absolute poorest. They struggle to put food on the table, find work opportunities and access support services. They aren’t ready to be connected with the market; right now, they’re worried about sheer survival. With your support, we will meet their most basic needs immediately, while also helping them lay foundations for a better future. With your support, we can give Sri Lanka’s very poorest the opportunity for a better future for just $23 a week.

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Decent Income Through Dairy

$ 25.00
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$700 of $252,719 raised

Decent Income Through Dairy

This project will benefit 300 families, supporting the development of better trained vets, and delivering training and support to dairy farmers to help them look after their cattle to the best of their abilities. It will also provide subsidies for the poor so they can purchase a cow and engage in this profitable market. This project costs $842 per family. It is enough to give them a decent income, and for these families, a decent income means everything.

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Connecting to Markets

$ 25.00
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Donation Total: $25.00

$47,583 of $52,318 raised

Connecting to Markets

Building thriving business farms in Kanthansamy Nagar costs as little as $349 per farmer; only $78 a year over the 5-year programme. Invest in an rural entrepreneur and you will be turning to dial from charity to choice.

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Banking on Change for Good

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Donation Total: $25.00

$3,108 of $75,523 raised

Banking on Change for Good

This project brings together 400 women who will be supported to set up a women’s village bank. The savings groups will let these women develop financial literacy and leadership skills, strengthen their capacity to advocate for issues that matter to them, and improve the village networks. This project costs as little as $189 per woman over the 5 years we will be working on this programme.

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Women’s Village Bank – Colony

Thank you to all our donors, we have met our fundraising goal!

 

WHY ARE WE INVESTED IN THIS PROJECT?

In each village where we support rural entrepreneurs and farmers, we simultaneously support a women’s village bank, because without a way to hold on to income gains, families remain vulnerable to falling back into poverty. This project will take place in the village of Colony.

In the village of Colony there are over 350 families and to date there has been no independent savings and loans programs in this village. We are invested in this project because building savings habits and creating a safe way to save and a platform for loans enables women to build wealth and improve their resilience to shocks which would otherwise risk their family from falling back into poverty.

It enables women to stand on their own two feet, make their own decisions and be in control of their financial circumstances.

THE BENEFITS

Increase in savings which not only increases wealth but provides a buffer to unexpected changes or shocks that may otherwise have a family fall back into poverty

  • Financial independence and improved financial knowledge
  • Improved social capital and women from different backgrounds in the village work closely together to save and lend
  • Independence from money lenders and other adverse financial providers for short terms cash requirements
  • Access in the village to safe and reliable cash injections
  • Life long improved savings practices

HOW WILL THE PROJECT WORK?

This unique savings program aims to work directly with 100 women in the village of Colony, Mulaithivu.

Savings and loan programs especially amongst women are proven to be one of the most successful and cost effective programs!

It works like this – Firstly we identify a trusted woman in the community who becomes our mobiliser. She is trained on all that she needs to know but other women from the community who have done this in their village (who we trained through previous projects).

With her we go door to door, speaking to women and engaging them on this idea. One group forms of roughly 10 – 20 women. They have never saved before and they wonder how they will be able to manage it. But slowly ideas are generated like like buying rice together in bulk. If more inspiration is needed then we visit other women who are further along the journey in other villages who can mentor and inspire!

Over time they begin to save and in doing so they inspire other groups, with the help of the mobiliser and our team. One groups turns into many. They are trained over a period of 12 months on 10 critical areas focusing on everything record keeping, to loaning money, to running a meeting to financial literacy. They are also trained on critical social issues like child abuse, domestic violence and safe migration.

They meet each week, they save, they lend and they share. In time in the village we have engaged 100 women (approx. 10 groups) and now we can form a cluster. This is a group that sits above the 10 groups with 2 representatives from each group. They gather the savings that are not lent as loans and distribute it as larger loans to a women in the group. They also undertake specialised training in some critical business environment and social matters and help coordinate a voice for the women in the village.

The group will be open to all women who want to partake in the groups – it will leave no one out!

HOW DO WE ENSURE THE PROJECT IS SUSTAINABLE AFTER WE LEAVE?

The low overhead operations makes the groups profitable and financially sustainable. Studies conducted among groups conducted through AFRICA show that 95-100% of the groups regroup after graduation and continue operations without the NGO’s support.

Training is provided for a period of 18 months to the social mobiliser and support is sustained for the social mobiliser and the group members for the 5 years that Palmera continues its presence in the village. Although the program is handed over to the members in its entirety within 18 months of inception, support and monitoring continues to ensure sustainability post our exit from the village. This program forms part of a 5 year village program in the village of Colony to increase income, savings and improve access for youth to profitable sectors.

$16,104 of $16,104 raised

Women’s Village Bank – Colony

The women in the village of Colony have never had formal savings – this women’s village bank will change that forever.

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Women’s Palmyra Business Expansion

Thank you to all our donors, we have met our fundraising goal!

 

WHY ARE WE DOING THIS?

In 2014, we helped 35 vulnerable women from the rural villages of Kannady and Nedunkerny to set up a business producing woven handicrafts from the leaves of the Palmyra tree, our namesake. This small, home-based business has been successful, with the women now earning supplementary income of between $30 – $90 AUD per month selling goods such as baskets, boxes and string hopper trays on the local market. But we think it can be even more successful. Now, we are going to help these women to expand their business by supporting them to meet national and international orders.

“In 1990, my family fled to India because of the conflict. In 2005, after 14 years living in a refugee camp, we returned back to Sri Lanka to start our life again. Now I am a member of Palmyra Products Production group. Before this project my family depended only on my husbands wage, but now I can contribute to the income of our family as well. With this extra income we can regularly buy enough food so we can eat three times a day. We have even been able to start saving.”

– Letchumanan Jegajothy, Resident of Kannady Village.

Through further training and mentorship, the second phase of this project will support these women to develop the higher-level business and design skills they need to sell their products on the national and international markets. Through investment in a new production centre, the women will be able to work together and have the resources to meet the increased production needs of these larger markets.

This will not only improve the lives of these women, but also transform the community around them as income levels rise and the increased trade has a flow on effect to other villagers. Increased income means the villagers are better able to meet their basic needs, such as food, shelter, education and healthcare.

Most importantly, the project will increase the self-sufficiency and dignity of the women involved, as they are able to lift themselves, their families and their communities out of poverty.

HOW WILL THIS PROJECT WORK?

This project aims to expand the home-based woven goods business that serves local needs into a large-scale production centre that has the capacity to meet national and international needs.

Mentoring will support the women to successfully plan their business expansion. This will involve activities such as exposure visits to successful weaving businesses in other parts of Sri Lanka, support to develop a new business model, and connections with new buyers.

Finance will be provided so that the women can construct a business premises that suits the needs of higher levels of production. Currently, because the women produce woven goods separately, there is variation between the products, which means the group has difficulty meeting large orders. Investment in new premises will mean the business is able to meet these large orders and dramatically increase profits.

Training on skills such as business management, negotiation, communication, pricing strategies, and innovative product designs will ensure the women have the knowledge and ability to successfully expand their business.

THE BENEFITS

  • By supporting this project you will be helping these women to lift themselves, their family and their community out of poverty. Specifically your investment will provide:
  • The ability to increase production will mean profits increase, and beneficiaries are better able to meet their basic needs.
  • The increased trade from having a large business operating in the local village will have a flow on effect to other villagers, meaning income levels will increase for the wider community.
  • Increased incomes means beneficiaries are better able to invest in long-term goals such as their children’s education and family savings. This means more resilience and less poverty in the future.
  • Beneficiaries self-esteem and dignity improves through the ability to develop long term business skills and the knowledge that their hard work is supporting themselves, their families, and the community.

HOW DO WE ENSURE THE PROJECT IS SUSTAINABLE AFTER WE LEAVE?

  • The project is building on an already successful business.
  • It uses materials that are in abundance in the area and builds on Palmyra weaving skills that the beneficiaries had prior to the first phase of the project, as well as business skills learned during the first phase.
  • It has been co-design with the 35 members of the Palmyra Products Production Group and the wider community, to ensure the project meets local needs.
$34,000 of $34,000 raised

Women’s Palmyra Business Expansion

Supporting the expansion of a successful handicraft business to supply to national and international markets .

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Women’s Village Bank – Irruttumadu

Thank you to all our donors, we have met our fundraising goal!

 

WHY ARE WE INVESTED IN THIS PROJECT?

In each village where we support rural entrepreneurs and farmers, we simultaneously support a women’s village bank, because without a way to hold on to income gains, families remain vulnerable to falling back into poverty. This project will take place in the village of Irruttumadu.

In the village of Irruttumadu there are over 220 families and to date there has been no independent savings and loans programs in this village. We are invested in this project because building savings habits and creating a safe way to save and a platform for loans enables women to build wealth and improve their resilience to shocks which would otherwise risk their family from falling back into poverty.

It enables women to stand on their own two feet, make their own decisions and be in control of their financial circumstances.

THE BENEFITS

Increase in savings which not only increases wealth but provides a buffer to unexpected changes or shocks that may otherwise have a family fall back into poverty

  • Financial independence and improved financial knowledge
  • Improved social capital and women from different backgrounds in the village work closely together to save and lend
  • Independence from money lenders and other adverse financial providers for short terms cash requirements
  • Access in the village to safe and reliable cash injections
  • Life long improved savings practices

HOW WILL THE PROJECT WORK?

This unique savings program aims to work directly with 100 women in the village of Irruttumadu, Mulaithivu. Savings and loan programs especially amongst women are proven to be one of the most successful and cost effective programs!

It works like this – Firstly we identify a trusted woman in the community who becomes our mobiliser. She is trained on all that she needs to know but other women from the community who have done this in their village (who we trained through previous projects).

With her we go door to door, speaking to women and engaging them on this idea. One group forms of roughly 10 – 20 women. They have never saved before and they wonder how they will be able to manage it. But slowly ideas are generated like like buying rice together in bulk. If more inspiration is needed then we visit other women who are further along the journey in other villages who can mentor and inspire!

Over time they begin to save and in doing so they inspire other groups, with the help of the mobiliser and our team. One groups turns into many. They are trained over a period of 12 months on 10 critical areas focusing on everything record keeping, to loaning money, to running a meeting to financial literacy. They are also trained on critical social issues like child abuse, domestic violence and safe migration.

They meet each week, they save, they lend and they share. In time in the village we have engaged 100 women (approx. 10 groups) and now we can form a cluster. This is a group that sits above the 10 groups with 2 representatives from each group. They gather the savings that are not lent as loans and distribute it as larger loans to a women in the group. They also undertake specialised training in some critical business environment and social matters and help coordinate a voice for the women in the village.

The group will be open to all women who want to partake in the groups – it will leave no one out!

HOW DO WE ENSURE THE PROJECT IS SUSTAINABLE AFTER WE LEAVE?

The low overhead operations makes the groups profitable and financially sustainable. Studies conducted among groups conducted through AFRICA show that 95-100% of the groups regroup after graduation and continue operations without the NGO’s support.

Training is provided for a period of 18 months to the social mobiliser and support is sustained for the social mobiliser and the group members for the 5 years that Palmera continues its presence in the village. Although the program is handed over to the members in its entirety within 18 months of inception, support and monitoring continues to ensure sustainability post our exit from the village.

This program forms part of a 5 year village program in the village of Irruttumadu to increase income, savings and improve access for youth to profitable sectors.

$16,935 of $16,935 raised

Women’s Village Bank – Irruttumadu

The women in the village of Irruttumadu have never had formal savings – this women’s village bank will change that forever.

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Water for life

Thank you to all our donors, we have met our fundraising goal!

 

WHY ARE WE DOING THIS?

For Rani living in rural Northern Sri Lanka, water is everything. Water is life. It is what will nourish her family, enable her to cultivate her land and earn an income so she can put food on the table.

We will be restoring 10 common wells that have been damaged by war to benefit 48 families who will use it for drinking water and for their farms so they can re-establish their livelihoods.

The families in the village of Valalaai fled over 2 decades ago and have not seen their homes since. Although the war ended in 2009, this village was classified a high security zone, and so they are only now being allowed to return to their homes. But with one of the worst civil wars having damaged the area, what they are returning to is ground zero – damaged homes, wells and little infrastructure. To restart their lives and continue their journey out of poverty, water is critical.

HOW WILL IT WORK?

We have identified an agricultural village where we know that restoring wells will not only provide drinking water but a sustainable livelihood. We have identified 48 families in the village and based on that 10 wells that need to be restored. Each well is a common well and through a deed, provides a right to a certain number of families to access the well. We will work with the families, requiring their labour contribution, to restore the wells so that the water quality is safe for drinking and for agricultural purposes.

THE BENEFITS

  • Access to drinking water for 48 families. Currently drinking water needs to be purchased or is supplied by the government for these families
  • Access to water to re-establish their livelihoods
  • Regenerating their lands through cultivation
  • Food security through crops grown at home for their consumption
  • Increase income from agriculture to support basic needs and improve economic well being

HOW ARE WE ENSURING SUSTAINABILITY?

Sustainability is critical in all our projects. We know we have to leave and when we do, our work and efforts must not only continue but grow. This can only occur through ownership in the community. Families will be required to contribute to the well reconstruction to ensure this. Furthermore, we will provide maintenance training to all families and transfer new knowledge on water quality testing so that they are able to manage the wells going forward. We have engaged the local village leaders, and with them will establish an ongoing monitoring system so that they can ensure that the 10 wells continue to provide for the village.

$18,052 of $18,052 raised

Water for life

Reconstruction of war damaged wells for 48 families resettling back to their homes to restart their livelihoods

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Toy Production

Thank you to all our donors, we have met our fundraising goal!

 

WHAT WE DO

Women in impoverished Puttalam District earn a living making and selling children’s toys. They have an idea to expand their toy businesses and transform the lives of their families and community. Your donation will help these women turn their idea into reality by enabling them to purchase quality materials, undertake training on design, marketing and business management, and coordinate the sale of their toys through an online platform.

We support this project from start to finish until the business owners are self-sufficient. We work with the women to identify their passions, turn their ideas into new realities, develop core skills and provide funding for initial outlay and connect the business to new markets.

Self-Generating: As part of our self-sufficiency approach, we work with the women to expand their already established businesses. This ensures the project is beneficiary owned and led from start to end.

Self-Improving: Through training we provide new skills that will last a lifetime, including:

  • Advanced product design
  • Marketing
  • Quality maintenance
  • Entrepreneurship

Innovating: We introduce a new Marketing Centre, allowing the women to coordinate the sales of their toys through a central online system. This ensures they are able to reach new national and international markets and increase sales.

WHY IT WORKS

Beneficiary Led: Ensure women feel a sense of ownership and dignity in rebuilding their livelihoods.

Empowering: Encourage women to become more involved in their community and economic decision-making.

Life Changing: Support women to increase their income levels, which means they are better able to meet the food, education and health needs of their families and contribute to the long-term prosperity of their community.

HOW WE ENSURE SUSTAINABILITY

We build on the existing toy production experience and skills of these women. Training on new toy production techniques will ensure that the women are able to develop their businesses in ways that are environmentally friendly.

$8,583 of $8,583 raised

Toy Production

Supporting women to expand their toy production businesses.

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Thervipuram A Village2Markets

Thank you to all our donors, we have met our fundraising goal!

 

SARMILA

Sarmila is a 29 year old who lives with her young daughter. At age 20 she became a widow when her husband died in the war. She also lost her father. After a life of displacement, she left the refugee camps in 2009 and returned back to her ancestral land in Thervipuram. The lands were overgrown and she started life again from nothing. Knowing she could not work as a labourer, given her care duties for her daughter, she was determined to start a thriving farm. But she had many challenges, from getting quality inputs to achieving quality that buyers now demanded, earning enough income to feed and clothe her small family was becoming increasingly difficult. The Village2Markets programme works with Sarmila and 299 other people just like her in her village to identify ways that they can increase income and savings, despite their circumstances. It leverages the power of the entrepreneurial capacity of the village and better connects them to the market so they can start to stand on their own two feet.

WHAT WE ARE DOING?

We work through an approach developed by Palmera and our local partners called Village2Markets.

It offers a bundle of services to improve economic inclusion for all, focusing not just on the individual farmer, but the market systems in which they operate. It recognises that we need to go beyond teaching families how to fish for the poorest to develop thriving businesses.

Village 2 Markets leverages the opportunity created by this diversity and addresses market barriers through the collective efforts of all producers. As a result, the village moves from a web of shared poverty to one of shared prosperity.

Click here to learn more about the approach.

WHY WE ARE DOING IT

In the village of Thervipuram A over 75% of families lives under the poverty line and 90% engage in irregular work. Here, families are living hand to mouth. We have chosen to come to this village and launch the Village2Markets programme as we believe that through increasing income, increasing savings and reducing vulnerability, the village can stand on its on two feet, families can better provide for their children and improvement can be achieved in the health, education and well being of the whole community.

At the end of this 5 year programme, launched in 2015 and set to finalise in 2020, we will aim to achieve the following:

  • 300 Families in the villages report they have substantially increased income
  • 300 Families in the villages report they have increased savings
  • 300 Families report they are now better able to provide for themselves and their children. They report that they can better feed their children, provide education and attend to medical needs
  • 300 Families in the villages report they have reduced vulnerability
  • 200 Women & men will have increased their savings & provided loans to women to manage emergency and livelihood needs
  • There will be an established women empowerment structure through the Village Bank to break down barriers women face to access the market place and have a voice in their community
  • 200 Farmers will have adopted innovative techniques in Dairy, Maize and at least 1 other sector
  • 200 Farmers yield and income will have increased by at least 35%
  • 200 Farmers will have a better understanding of their sector and have developed stronger connections with buyers
  • 200 Farmers will have better access to existing and improved / new market services and can better access adequate financial services
  • Collectives, group businesses or individual businesses servicing farmers will have been established
  • Private sector will be better engaged with the village in the selected subsectors
  • Most vulnerable will have been provided with basic assets to participate in the selected subsectors

HOW YOU CAN HELP

For as little as $200 a farmer over 5 years you can support them to improve their income in up to 3 different sectors, improve their savings by being connected with a village savings bank and mainstream financial services and reduce their vulnerability. In doing this, income will increase and they will better be able to provide for their family.

The support does not only transform a family but helps transform a whole village, allowing the village to move from a web of shared poverty to prosperity.

$300,000 of $300,000 raised

Thervipuram A Village2Markets

For as little as $200 a year for 5 years you can support a farmer to improve their income in up to 3 different sectors, improve their savings by being connected with a village savings bank and mainstream financial services and reduce their vulnerability. In doing this, income will increase and they will better be able to provide for their family. The support does not only transform a family but helps transform a whole village, allowing the village to move from a web of shared poverty to prosperity.

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Theravil Village Farm

Thank you to all our donors, we have met our fundraising goal!

 

WHY ARE WE DOING THIS?

“I always believed the farm here in our village is the only answer for all our economic needs. Now it has come to be” – Jukistra, resident of Theravil village.

Theravil village sustained significant damage during the war, and its residents were displaced to refugee camps. Returning to find their livelihoods destroyed, Palmera assisted them to begin rebuilding in 2014.

We did this through supporting a group of people to use one of the community’s key assets, a disused community owned farm, to establish a Poultry Business.This Poultry Business has been very successful, providing employment and a regular income for the people who work there. And there is more opportunity- demand currently outstrips supply for poultry projects, and there is unused land that can be used to grow crops.

The success of this business has led us in 2016 to expand the poultry business and the surrounding farm so we can employ and increase the income of more entrepreneurs in the village.

Jukistra and Sumathy both work at the Poultry Farm. They came to us with a plan to grow black gram on this unused land. They believe that with hard work and some support, they can significantly increase their income through this community farm.

Jukistra is a big believer in the power of this farm to transform the community. She is a 42-year-old widow with a 12-year-old daughter. Losing her husband due to the conflict in 2009 and sustaining an injury to her hand, Jukistra struggled to rebuild. She explains:

“I survived by doing labour work, but unfortunately this work doesn’t last for more than 10 days and the pay is only 60 cents (AUD) per day. There were times when there was no food to eat. I needed to find a way to survive for my daughter, and for myself.”

We wanted a different life and a different direction. For a long time, I couldn’t think about the past. Those years were dark times for me. When others began sharing how they lived 10 years back, I realised how far my daughter and I were pushed back because of the war. We have nearly nothing.

I always believed the farm here in our village is the only answer for all our economic needs. Now it has come to be. Because of this, I now have a sense of hope for our future.”

HOW WILL THIS PROJECT WORK?

We will support the people of Theravil village to expand their Poultry business to meet the high demand for their products.

We will also support people like Jukistra and Sumathy to establish agriculture businesses using the land available at the community farm.

To do this, we will provide:

  • Training and mentoring on small business ownership.
  • Training and mentoring on environmentally friendly, efficient and sustainable agriculture techniques
  • Interest free loans to invest in the Poultry business and other agriculture activities on the farm.
  • Support to access new markets to sell products in.

THE BENEFITS

  • Support disadvantaged people to access economic opportunities, so they can increase their income and better meet their basic needs such as food, education and shelter.
  • Support vulnerable people to learn the lifelong skills needed to be more resilient for the rest of their lives.
  • Strengthen the community by investing in local solutions to poverty.

Sumathy talks about the impact that war and poverty has had on her generation. “My dream was to be a teacher but it never became true,” she says. “I lost my education and hopes due to the war. Because of this farm, we now have a sense of hope.”

For Jukistra, this project will first and foremost give her the ability to provide three nutritious meals a day for her daughter and for herself. But it will also mean she can invest in her daughter’s education, so her daughter can realise her dreams in a way Jukistra’s generation was never able to.

Jukistra shares with us her plans for the money she and Sumathy will earn from growing black gram at the community farm:

“After the first harvest, we will repay the loan and reinvest on peanut and banana crops. And, for the first time I am going to buy something new for my daughter, and something small for myself.”

HOW DO WE ENSURE THE PROJECT IS SUSTAINABLE AFTER WE LEAVE?

  • Investing in local people to create local solutions
  • Utilising an already existing community asset, the community owned farming land
  • Expanding an already existing business, the Poultry Farm, which has shown great potential to provide income and employment for the community
$39,225 of $39,200 raised

Theravil Village Farm

Expanding a community run farm to employ 20 people and create food security for a village

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Sustainable Dairy Farming Project

Thank you to all our donors, we have met our fundraising goal!

 

WHY ARE WE DOING THIS?

Dairy farmers in war affected Vavuniya returned from refugee camps to find that their livelihoods had been destroyed. Although they have experience and skill in dairy farming, they lack the ability to restart their businesses. This means that these families struggle to meet their basic needs.

We will support the farmers to restart their dairy businesses by providing the means to purchase cows and cattle sheds, and the training to ensure their businesses are successful.

HOW WILL THIS PROJECT WORK?

Support for this project will be provided from beginning to end as we work with the community to surface their passions, generate new ideas, develop core skills, finance business inputs and connect the business to new markets.

We will provide loans to farmers for the purchase of cows and cattle sheds. The loans will be repaid over 2 years with no interest. Loans mean the farmers will feel ownership of the project as they are contributing to restarting their business.

We will also provide training on innovative and sustainable dairy farming practices to ensure the business can produce enough high quality milk to provide a regular source of income for these families.

This training will focus on the production, preservation and marketing of fresh milk, including:

  • Innovative new techniques in cattle management such as crossbreeding cows, artificial insemination and grazing.
  • Animal health and nutrition
  • Good business management practices.

THE BENEFITS

  • Loans for cows and cattle sheds will ensure farmers are able to feel a sense of ownership and dignity in rebuilding their livelihoods.
  • Training on innovative and sustainable dairy farming practices will mean farmers can increase their agriculture and business skills and maximise their businesses productivity.
  • Farmers will be able to significantly increase their income levels, allowing their families to better meet their daily food, health and education needs.

HOW DO WE ENSURE THE PROJECT IS SUSTAINABLE AFTER WE LEAVE?

The project builds on the existing dairy farming experience and skills of these people.

Training on new farming techniques will ensure that the dairy farmers are able to develop their businesses in ways that ensure the long-term health of cattle and are gentle on the environment.

$27,260 of $27,260 raised

Sustainable Dairy Farming Project

Supporting resettled farmers to grow their dairy farming businesses.

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Social Business for Vulnerable Women

Thank you to all our donors, we have met our fundraising goal!

 

WHY ARE WE DOING THIS?

At Palmera we believe a livelihood for a vulnerable woman can start with something as simple as a single stitch. This is why we are establishing a social business, “It Starts with a Stitch” (ISWAS), to empower vulnerable women in Northern Sri Lanka to run their own garment centres to earn a sustainable income from ethically producing school uniforms for children in Australia. All profits earned will be directed into expanding the business into rural villages and supporting local communities. Funding is required for a feasibility study and to select the first pilot garment business.

Initially, Palmera will undertake a feasibility study to identify potential beneficiaries, and develop an optimal business model for the export of uniforms. Based on this study a pilot garment business will then be established in Northern Sri Lanka. This pilot will be the basis for establishing a sustainable social business. Once the pilot garment centre is shown to be successful, this project will be replicated in other communities and relationships with Australian schools will be developed.

THE BENEFITS

  • Enables a safe and flexible working environment for vulnerable women by locating the garment businesses in the village so women do not travel far distances to work (which would otherwise leave them exposed to sexual abuse, violence or trafficking).
  • Alleviates poverty and aid-dependency in post-war communities with all profits earned from the business being directed into expanding ISWAS into other villages and to supporting the local community (e.g. through water, sanitation and educational initiatives).
  • Empowers and instils confidence in vulnerable women with marketable skills and training to produce garments of export quality.
  • Provides vulnerable women with a regular sustainable income stream that does not fluctuate with economic conditions or seasonal factors.
  • Creates a range of employment opportunities in underdeveloped rural markets ranging from providing a sewing livelihood to entrepreneurial opportunities to manage contracts with local and international buyers.
  • Increases education and awareness of social businesses in Australia about ethical supply chains and inspires the next generation on socially conscious capitalism.

BACKGROUND

There are over 90,000 war widows in Sri Lanka who are disempowered and lack the opportunity to move past the trauma of war. This is especially so for vulnerable women in the more isolated rural areas of Northern Sri Lanka. International bodies (such as the UN and International Crisis Group) report sexual abuse, violence, extreme poverty, and limited livelihood support for these women.

Palmera is excited to investigate options to establish a social business, “It Starts With a Stitch” (ISWAS), in apparel-production that provides a safe and flexible livelihood for these vulnerable women. School uniforms have been selected as the primary garment because the demand for school uniforms does not fluctuate in response to short or medium term economic conditions. It therefore allows for the creation of stable and predictable income for business owners and in turn, the women they employ. Sri Lanka is a leading apparel producing country and the skills learnt by the beneficiaries will be transferable and in-demand by large Sri Lankan manufacturers.

If the project is successfully piloted, Palmera will move to establish “It Starts with a Stitch” as a full-scale social business exporting ethically produced garments to Australia. “It Starts with a Stich” will showcase what can be achieved through a social business model and inspire entrepreneurs to engage in conscious capitalism. As a social business “It Starts with a Stitch” will put in place measures to ensure ethical operations and treatment of employees, including a strong focus on fair employment conditions and OH&S, especially given the global pressures for safety and remuneration reform in the industry.

In addition, exporting the garments to Australia provides an opportunity to shift Australia’s development focus in war-torn regions of Sri Lanka from aid-based assistance to an empowering commercial relationship. To date, there is no other social enterprise supplying the school uniform market in Australia so ISWAS is a truly innovative business entering the market. It allows Australian children to understand in an interactive and meaningful way about how their ethical decisions can create significant social change in a global economy

Palmera will work with a local NGO in this initial phase of the project to conduct the feasibility study and work with local communities to select a pilot centre.

Beyond this, “It Starts with a Stitch” will replicate the local pilot garment centre in other Northern Sri Lankan communities, establish a regional buying centre and work with Australian schools to market and implement the sale of the garments. 100% of the profits from the business will be reinvested back into the development of the social business and the communities in which they operate.

OUR PARTNER

LEADS is an experienced local organisation that has worked in Sri Lanka over the past three decades, specialising in disaster response, resettlement and integrated community development. LEADS has been instrumental in the delivery of shelter, water and sanitation, and medical programs in post disaster areas hit by the 2004 tsunami and the torrential rains of 2010 and 2011.

With this rich experience, LEADS is an ideal partner for Palmera to work with on developing the feasibility of this garment social business.

$5,000 of $5,000 raised

Social Business for Vulnerable Women

An exciting social business that supports and empowers vulnerable women to run their own garment centres.

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Savings for Life!

Thank you to all our donors, we have met our fundraising goal!

 

WHY ARE WE INVESTED IN THIS PROJECT?

Over 70% of people in emerging markets do not have a formal bank account (Goss, Mas, Radcliffe, & Stark, 2011). Despite exclusion from what we consider formal banking, many people in emerging markets have figured out their own ways to save money – Savings of self help groups.

This is exactly what we are investing in this project. To provide those who are normally excluded because of access the ability to not only save, but take loans from those savings and develop a strong women’s network in the village where challenges and victories can be shared!

THE BENEFITS

  • Increase in savings which not only increases wealth but provides a buffer to unexpected changes or shocks that may otherwise have a family fall back into poverty
  • Financial independence and improved financial knowledge
  • Improved social capital and women from different backgrounds in the village work closely together to save and lend
  • Independence from money lenders and other adverse financial providers for short terms cash requirements
  • Access in the village to safe and reliable cash injections
  • Life long improved savings practices

HOW WILL THE PROJECT WORK?

This unique savings program aims to work directly with 150 women in the village of Thervipuram A, Mulaithivu. Savings and loan programs especially amongst women are proven to be one of the most successful and cost effective programs!

It works like this – Firstly we identify a trusted woman in the community who becomes our mobiliser. She is trained on all that she needs to know but other women from the community who have done this in their village (who we trained through previous projects).

With her we go door to door, speaking to women and engaging them on this idea. One group forms of roughly 10 – 20 women. They have never saved before and they wonder how they will be able to manage it. But slowly ideas are generated like like buying rice together in bulk. If more inspiration is needed then we visit other women who are further along the journey in other villages who can mentor and inspire!

Over time they begin to save and in doing so they inspire other groups, with the help of the mobiliser and our team. One groups turns into many. They are trained over a period of 12 months on 10 critical areas focusing on everything record keeping, to loaning money, to running a meeting to financial literacy. They are also trained on critical social issues like child abuse, domestic violence and safe migration.

They meet each week, they save, they lend and they share.

In time in the village we have engaged 150 women (approx. 10 groups) and now we can form a cluster. This is a group that sits above the 10 groups with 2 representatives from each group. They gather the savings that are not lent as loans and distribute it as larger loans to a women in the group. They also undertake specialised training in some critical business environment and social matters and help coordinate a voice for the women in the village.

The group will be open to all women who want to partake in the groups – it will leave no one out!

HOW DO WE ENSURE THE PROJECT IS SUSTAINABLE AFTER WE LEAVE?

The low overhead operations makes the groups profitable and financially sustainable. Studies conducted among groups conducted through AFRICA show that 95-100% of the groups regroup after graduation and continue operations without the NGO’s support.

Training is provided for a period of 18 months to the social mobiliser and support is sustained for the social mobiliser and the group members for the 5 years that Palmera continues its presence in the village. Although the program is handed over to the members in its entirety within 18 months of inception, support and monitoring continues to ensure sustainability post our exit from the village.

This program forms part of a 5 year village program in the village of Thervipuram A to increase income, savings and improve access for youth to profitable sectors.

$17,512 of $17,512 raised

Savings for Life!

Over 150 women in Thervipuram A will be engaged to save and supported to strengthen their financial literacy so they have a buffer to prevent them from falling back into the poverty cycle.

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Safe Sanitation

Thank you to all our donors, we have met our fundraising goal!

 

WHY ARE WE DOING THIS?

Access to drinking water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) is critical for the survival, development and well-being of children. In the village of Iluppaikulam, Vavuniya (Northern Sri Lanka), there are 64 people that do not have this basic right.

HOW WILL THIS PROJECT WORK?

The project involves the construction of toilets and the promotion of good sanitation and hygiene practices.

Palmera will work closely with the community for the construction of 16 toilets, requiring at least 40% financial or labour contribution. This means that families will be provided with technical training which will enable ownership and maintenance of the toilets, critical to the sustainability of the project.

With the promotion of good sanitation and hygiene practices, Palmera will provide awareness sessions to the community, which will be closely monitored through the duration of the project.

These sessions will cover a range of topics, including:

  • Personal health and hygiene habits including hand washing
  • Types of diseases that can spread through lack of water hygiene
  • How to collect and store water for drinking and cooking purposes
  • Prevention of epidemic disease

THE IMPACTS

  • Reduces the incidence of diarrhoeal diseases by 32% – 37%, one of the leading causes of deaths in children under the age of 5.
  • Reduces health risks
  • Frees-up time for education and other productive activities

HOW DO WE ENSURE THE PROJECT IS SUSTAINABLE AFTER WE LEAVE?

The community is trained in all the technical maintenance aspects of the toilet construction so that they can identify and fix any technical issues that may arise once we have finished the program.

$17,060 of $17,060 raised

Safe Sanitation

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Pray for Sri Lanka Relief

Thank you to all our donors, we have met our fundraising goal!

 

WHY HELP IS NEEDED

A wave of bombings across Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday killed 321 people and injured hundreds more in Sri Lanka’s capital and East. Many of the injured are suffering intense burns, are weak, and need the physical strength to recover.

After the body’s initial shock response to the injury wears off, metabolism rates can increase up to 180 percent, heart rates can jump by up to 150 percent and the liver can increase in size by up to 200 percent.

In short, the body goes into hyperdrive to heal wounds, and it looks for nutrients wherever it can find them. Unless the patient receives large amounts of supplemental nutrients, the body will rob itself of core nutrients. Essentially, if patients aren’t able to meet the high calorie and protein requirements it takes to heal, their body will start consuming its own muscle mass in order to deliver nutrition. Muscle wasting is most obvious in the arms, legs and abdomen.

Once patients lose that muscle mass, their ability to exercise, undergo rehabilitation, and fight infection are severely compromised

HOW CAN YOU HELP

We have had a request from the General Hospital in Batticaloa for specialised protein powder and other specialised protein supplements to provide to burn victims, as a way to improve their nutritional strength and ensure a quick road to recovery.

Your donations through this campaign will fund this much-needed protein powder to assist in the recovery of those most impacted by these events.

$5,975 of $5,250 raised

Pray for Sri Lanka Relief

In the wake of the Easter Sunday bombings in Sri Lanka, there is an urgent need to heal those critically wounded back to health.

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Polonnaruwa Village2Markets

Thank you to all our donors, we have met our fundraising goal!

 

NIRUPIKA

Nirupika Priyadarshani lives with her husband, her 20 year old daughter and her 13 year old son who suffers from a hole in the heart and has an incurable mouth disease. Because of his illness he is unable to attend school and Nirupika needs to be with him all day to care for him. Because of this, her family survives on the daily labour wage of her husband but labour work is inconsistent and hard to come by. With the health bills and other daily costs, every day is a struggle for her family. The Village2Markets programme works with Nirpika and 299 other people just like her in her village to identify ways that they can increase income and savings, despite their circumstances. It leverages the power of the entrepreneurial capacity of the village and better connects them to the market so they can start to stand on their own two feet.

WHAT WE ARE DOING?

We work through an approach developed by Palmera and our local partners called Village2Markets.

It offers a bundle of services to improve economic inclusion for all, focusing not just on the individual farmer, but the market systems in which they operate. It recognises that we need to go beyond teaching families how to fish for the poorest to develop thriving businesses.

Village 2 Markets leverages the opportunity created by this diversity and addresses market barriers through the collective efforts of all producers. As a result, the village moves from a web of shared poverty to one of shared prosperity.

Click here to learn more about the approach

WHY WE ARE DOING IT

In the villages of Rajaelegama and Ungalawehera, in the Polonnaruwa district over 47% of families lives under the poverty line. With 1,134 women and 680 men, the 1 in 4 families also have a member that suffer a long term illness or disability. In these villages, families are living hand to mouth. We have chosen to come to this village and launch the Village2Markets programme as we believe that through increasing income, increasing savings and reducing vulnerability, the village can stand on its on two feet, families can better provide for their children and improvement can be achieved in the health, education and well being of the whole community.

At the end of this 5 year programme, launched in 2016 and set to finalise in 2021, we will aim to achieve the following:

  • 300 Families in the villages report they have substantially increased income
  • 300 Families in the villages report they have increased savings
  • 300 Families report they are now better able to provide for themselves and their children. The report they can better feed their children, provide education and attend to medical needs.
  • 300 Families in the villages report they have reduced vulnerability
  • 200 Women & men will have increased their savings & provided loans to women to manage emergency and livelihood needs
  • There will be an established women empowerment structure through the Village Bank to break down barriers women face to access the market place and have a voice in their community
  • 200 Farmers will have adopted innovative techniques in Dairy, Maize and at least 1 other sector
  • 200 Farmers yield and income will have increased by at least 35%
  • 200 Farmers will have a better understanding of their sector and have developed stronger connections with buyers
  • 200 Farmers will have better access to existing and improved / new market services and can better access adequate financial services
  • Collectives, group businesses or individual businesses servicing farmers will have been established
  • Private sector will be better engaged with the village in the selected subsectors
  • Most vulnerable will have been provided with basic assets to participate in the selected Subsectors

HOW YOU CAN HELP

For as little as $200 a farmer over 5 years you can support them to improve their income in up to 3 different sectors, improve their savings by being connected with a village savings bank and mainstream financial services and reduce their vulnerability. In doing this, income will increase and they will better be able to provide for their family.

The support does not only transform a family but helps transform a whole village, allowing the village to move from a web of shared poverty to prosperity.

$300,000 of $300,000 raised

Polonnaruwa Village2Markets

For as little as $200 a year for 5 years you can support a farmer to improve their income in up to 3 different sectors, improve their savings by being connected with a village savings bank and mainstream financial services and reduce their vulnerability. In doing this, income will increase and they will better be able to provide for their family. The support does not only transform a family but helps transform a whole village, allowing the village to move from a web of shared poverty to prosperity

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Passing the Gift!

Thank you to all our donors, we have met our fundraising goal!

 

WHY ARE WE INVESTED IN THIS PROJECT?

Strong women networks, especially in the village, is critical for the growth and success of livelihoods and relationships in the village.

Ranjini is a war widow and she is out-casted by many in her village. She has to go into town at different times of the day and night, for work and to attend to her children’s needs and many of the other women don’t understand what she is doing so they begin the talk amongst each other which makes Ranjini feel very alone. Ranjini doesn’t know who to turn to and longs for the day that she can be accepted in the village, where her husband once grew up.

This project not only addresses the critical needs of livelihoods, by supporting Ranjini to grow her dairy business, but even more importantly strengthens the relationships and social capital in the village by the approach the project takes – passing the gift.

48 women come together and learn about 12 critical cornerstones from technical aspects including improved animal management to Sharing, justice and full participation. Through this 12 month program, the women learn to understand each other’s challenges, better support each other and work together to strengthen their livelihoods.

THE BENEFITS

The project will directly impact 48 small scale farmers and indirectly benefit over 150 people

  • Build social capital in the village by adopting a pass the gift methodology – dairy farmers who receive a subsidised cow much pass on the baby calf to one of the other farmers in the programme
  • Farmers have an understanding and adopt new technologies and practices that will significantly improve milk production
  • Reduce the cost of maintenance by self-producing inputs, increasing the profitability of the dairy farmers businesses
  • Improved milk quality to meet more profitable market requirements
  • Increase income for families to better meet their needs and pursue goals important to them

HOW WILL THE PROJECT WORK?

The project will identify 48 women who are already working as dairy farmers or have previous experience to learn how to grow their dairy businesses through the introduction of high yielding cows.

The project will provide in-depth training to 48 women in:

  • Intensive cow management – a technique that enables high production despite the small lands of many of the women
  • Looking after the health of the cows
  • Improving the breed of the cows naturally through Artificial Insemination
  • Ensuring highest quality of milk to enable the women to access higher prices, and among other things
  • Learning how to self-produce inputs, such as fodder (feed for the cows) to reduce the cost of maintaining their dairy businesses

The program is special because the 48 women work closely together, supporting each other and sharing their learnings and their challenges. 24 women are initially provided with a subsidised high breed cow and when the cow births a calf, they pass it on to the other 24 women in the program. In this way the women pass the gift they receive to ensure others in their village thrive!

HOW DO WE ENSURE THE PROJECT IS SUSTAINABLE AFTER WE LEAVE?

The program will support the training of the new techniques and provide intensive mentoring so that in time, farmers understand and have fully adopted these improved practices. Most importantly, facilitation of farmer to farmer training enables a strong culture of support to thrive in the village as farmers begin to understand that as producers they are much stronger in the market place as a collective. With improved skills, farmers will be able to stand on their own two feet without the continued support from our local team.

This program forms part of a 5 year village program in the village of Irruttumadu. For 5 years our local team will be based in the village supporting farmers to learn new techniques and supporting them as they adopt the practices. After 5 years our team exists from the village and the farmers and the village will continue to thrive!

$34,068 of $34,043 raised

Passing the Gift!

24 women will be supported in their livelihoods and through their business growth, will pass the gift of a livelihood to 24 other women. This will build income and build women village networks!

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New Farming Project

Thank you to all our donors, we have met our fundraising goal!

 

WHY ARE WE INVESTED IN THIS PROJECT?

Sujanani knew that to increase her income she needed to make her farm more productive, but how to do it and who to trust was difficult. Sujanani can’t afford for things to go wrong on her farm because that’s her main source of income, so she decided the best thing for her was not to try anything new and stick to the traditional practices that she was more familiar with.

This is the story of so many small scale farmers. They need to adopt new practices and technologies but they need to be certain of the financial advantage that will result.

In a previous project we introduced new farming techniques to Sujanani’s village with a group that we call the early adopters. These are farmers that have an entrepreneurial spirit and more willing to trial new ideas. We shared stories and results with Sujanani and she gained a trust in the results and an understanding of how she could have the same results on her farm. New practices are critical to increase her income from her farm and with the work that we have already supported in her village, Sujanani is now ready to join the new farming project!

THE BENEFITS

The project will directly impact 36 small scale farmers and indirectly benefit over 100 people

Build social capital in the village by farmers who adopted practices earlier sharing inputs and their skills/knowledge with farmers involved in this project

  • Accelerate new technologies and practices that will significantly increase yield for 36 farmers
  • Prevent losses during flooding
  • Improved quality to meet more profitable market requirements
  • Farmers will know how to assess and self-produce seeds reducing costs of production
  • Increase income for families to better meet their needs and pursue goals important to them

HOW WILL THE PROJECT WORK?

Before this project commenced, we identified high performing peanut farmers in the Village of Colony that we call early adopters who trialled and tested the new practices and technologies.

After sharing their success, the 36 farmers in this project will undertake the training to follow in their footsteps and significantly increase their yield and income.

A very special part about this project is the sharing between the early adopters and the farmers in this project. This project is more cost effective that the initial project with the early adopters because the early adopters, for the subsidies that we provided for their inputs, now share their improved inputs with the farmers from this project – we call this passing the gift!

Not only are inputs shared, but knowledge as well – through mentoring and farmer training.

The estimated yield increase is approximately 50 – 60% and with the success of these 36 farmers more farmers will be sure to follow! We will be providing training on 7 key innovative practices during their harvest, providing close mentoring, linking with the agricultural extension services and facilitating the pass the gift program so these farmers also receive subsidised inputs required for these new practices.

HOW DO WE ENSURE THE PROJECT IS SUSTAINABLE AFTER LEAVE?

The program will support the training of the new techniques and provide intensive mentoring so that in time, farmers understand and have fully adopted these improved practices. Most importantly, facilitation of farmer to farmer training enables a strong culture of support to thrive in the village as farmers begin to understand that as producers they are much stronger in the market place as a collective. With improved skills, farmers will be able to stand on their own two feet without the continued support from our local team.

In the initial harvest inputs are subsidised, to encourage adoption of new technologies, but following that, farmers are independent in supporting themselves to purchase the improved inputs. As part of the technologies shared, farmers will learn how to assess and self-produce some inputs such as seeds.

This program forms part of a 5 year village program in the village of Colony. For 5 years our local team will be based in the village supporting farmers to learn new techniques and supporting them as they adopt the practices. After 5 years our team exists from the village and the farmers and the village will continue to thrive!

$10,026 of $8,736 raised

New Farming Project

From previous project, new farming methods have now been accepted, so this project focuses on accelerating the adoption of those practices to 36 new farms to increase income and improve lives!

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Milking it to Change Lives

Thank you to all our donors, we have met our fundraising goal!

 

WHY ARE WE INVESTED IN THIS PROJECT?

Sri Thanya is dairy farmer but she she lost half her cattle during the war. Luckily following the war, when she returned back home, she was able to find the three that remained. But they are all local breeds and they produce 1 – 2 litres a milk a day.

Milk production is a rapidly growing industry in the Northern Province of Sri Lanka. Since the conflict ended, many new private sector and semi-governmental actors have moved into the areas of dairy development such as milk collection and establishing processing centres. Milk production has long been a source of food and secondary income in the northern districts, but the arrival of businesses such as Nestle, Milco and others has raised the interest and profile of milk production as an income earning strategy. This is increasing demand for higher yielding crossbreeds that can produce three-times the daily milk production of the local cow varieties.

This project works with 48 farmers in the village to introduce higher yielding cross breeds and providing training and mentoring on best cattle practices and self producing inputs to reduce maintenance costs. This will transform the income and lives of Sri Thanya’s and the 47 other dairy farmers in her village.

THE BENEFITS

The project will directly impact 48 small scale farmers and indirectly benefit over 150 people

  • Build social capital in the village by adopting a pass the gift methodology – dairy farmers who receive a subsidised cow much pass on the baby calf to one of the other farmers in the programme
  • Farmers have an understanding and adopt new technologies and practices that will significantly improve milk production
  • Reduce the cost of maintenance by self-producing inputs, increasing the profitability of the dairy farmers businesses
  • Improved milk quality to meet more profitable market requirements
  • Increase income for families to better meet their needs and pursue goals important to them

HOW WILL THE PROJECT WORK?

The project will identify 48 women who are already working as dairy farmers or have previous experience to learn how to grow their dairy businesses through the introduction of high yielding cows.

The project will provide in-depth training to 48 women in:

  • Intensive cow management – a technique that enables high production despite the small lands of many of the women
  • Looking after the health of the cows
  • Improving the breed of the cows naturally through Artificial Insemination
  • Ensuring highest quality of milk to enable the women to access higher prices, and among other things
  • Learning how to self-produce inputs, such as fodder (feed for the cows) to reduce the cost of maintaining their dairy businesses

The program is special because the 48 women work closely together, supporting each other and sharing their learnings and their challenges. 24 women are initially provided with a subsidised high breed cow and when the cow births a calf, they pass it on to the other 24 women in the program. In this way the women pass the gift they receive to ensure others in their village thrive!

HOW DO WE ENSURE THE PROJECT IS SUSTAINABLE AFTER WE LEAVE?

The program will support the training of the new techniques and provide intensive mentoring so that in time, farmers understand and have fully adopted these improved practices. Most importantly, facilitation of farmer to farmer training enables a strong culture of support to thrive in the village as farmers begin to understand that as producers they are much stronger in the market place as a collective.

With improved skills, farmers will be able to stand on their own two feet without the continued support from our local team.

This program forms part of a 5 year village program in the village of Irruttumadu. For 5 years our local team will be based in the village supporting farmers to learn new techniques and supporting them as they adopt the practices. After 5 years our team exists from the village and the farmers and the village will continue to thrive!

$34,436 of $34,436 raised

Milking it to Change Lives

48 women will be supported to significantly improve their dairy businesses through new production practices, introduction of high yielding cows and connections to new markets.

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Loans for Livelihoods

Thank you to all our donors, we have met our fundraising goal!

 

Creating a loan fund for women who are starting new business ventures, with repayments redistributed as new loans.

WHY ARE WE DOING IT?

We are doing this because there are limited opportunities for employment for many women in the Kuttiyapulam village. As a result, they are only just meeting their families’ very basic needs. The women want this type of revolving fund so they can start their own business.

WHAT IS THIS PROJECT ABOUT?

This project is about providing women (who are often widows, managing their households) with the opportunity to start a small business so they can earn a regular income and rely less on aid.

The loan fund is a way for these women to access the capital needed to start a small business, and the loan will be repaid in instalments that are within their means.

HOW WILL IT WORK?

The fund has been designed as a revolving loan fund. This means that once the initial loans are repaid, that money is then given out as new loans to allow more women to start new businesses.

Initially 24 families will receive a loan of Rs 30,000 (approx.. AUD$250) without interest. The project will provide loans for businesses such as tailoring, snack shops, and poultry and goat rearing.

THE BENEFITS

  • The women beneficiaries are currently living in very basic conditions, not knowing what the future holds. The loans provide an opportunity to build a future.
  • The beneficiaries will build confidence and independence, relying less on aid.
  • The women can provide for their families, for instance, they can send their children to school.

The revolving nature of the fund means it is self-sustaining, provided the loans are repaid. Loan repayments are within the capacity of the beneficiaries so they will be less likely to fall behind on a payment. In addition, Palmera will work to monitor the loan repayments and address any difficulties with repayment, if they arise.

BACKGROUND

The residents of Kuttiyapulam Village in Northeastern Sri Lanka were resettled into their villages and lack basic facilities. There are limited opportunities for earning an income. As a result, women-headed households are struggling to build a life.

The women in this village want to do self employment activities such as small business, goat rearing, poultry and tailoring in their homes, as they do not want to go elsewhere for work. They want this revolving loan to earn an income for their families and build a life after years of just getting by.

$7,000 of $7,000 raised

Loans for Livelihoods

Creating job opportunities by creating a loan fund for women who are starting new business ventures, with repayments redistributed as new loans.

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Herding Together!

Thank you to all our donors, we have met our fundraising goal!

 

WHY ARE WE INVESTED IN THIS PROJECT?

“Once a herd starts moving in one direction, it is very hard to turn it, even slightly” – Dan Rather

When women work together striving for better livelihoods, nothing can stop them, not even the words or judgements of others. That is why we are investing in this project. It is not only about strengthening dairy farms and livelihoods, but it is about strengthening the social capital between women and supporting them in working together to collectively overcome their challenges and reach their goals. Together they can stand on their own two feet and earn enough income to support the needs of their families!

HOW WILL THE PROJECT WORK?

The project will identify 48 women who are already working as dairy farmers or have previous experience to learn how to grow their dairy businesses through the introduction of high yielding cows. The project will provide in-depth training to 48 women in:

  • Intensive cow management – a technique that enables high production despite the small lands of many of the women
  • Looking after the health of the cows
  • Improving the breed of the cows naturally through Artificial Insemination
  • Ensuring highest quality of milk to enable the women to access higher prices, and among other things
  • Learning how to self-produce inputs, such as fodder (feed for the cows) to reduce the cost of maintaining their dairy businesses

The program is special because the 48 women work closely together, supporting each other and sharing their learnings and their challenges. 24 women are initially provided with a subsidised high breed cow and when the cow births a calf, they pass it on to the other 24 women in the program. In this way the women pass the gift they receive to ensure others in their village thrive!

THE BENEFITS

The project will directly impact 48 small scale farmers and indirectly benefit over 150 people

  • Build social capital in the village by adopting a pass the gift methodology – dairy farmers who receive a subsidised cow much pass on the baby calf to one of the other farmers in the programme
  • Farmers have an understanding and adopt new technologies and practices that will significantly improve milk production
  • Reduce the cost of maintenance by self-producing inputs, increasing the profitability of the dairy farmers businesses
  • Improved milk quality to meet more profitable market requirements
  • Increase income for families to better meet their needs and pursue goals important to the

HOW DO WE ENSURE THE PROJECT IS SUSTAINABLE AFTER WE LEAVE?

The program will support the training of the new techniques and provide intensive mentoring so that in time, farmers understand and have fully adopted these improved practices. Most importantly, facilitation of farmer to farmer training enables a strong culture of support to thrive in the village as farmers begin to understand that as producers they are much stronger in the market place as a collective.

With improved skills, farmers will be able to stand on their own two feet without the continued support from our local team. This program forms part of a 5 year village program in the village of Irruttumadu. For 5 years our local team will be based in the village supporting farmers to learn new techniques and supporting them as they adopt the practices. After 5 years our team exists from the village and the farmers and the village will continue to thrive!

$38,627 of $37,025 raised

Herding Together!

48 women will be supported to significantly improve their dairy businesses through new production practices, introduction of high yielding cows and connections to new markets

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Healthy Smiles, Better Lives

Thank you to all our donors, we have met our fundraising goal!

 

Laavanya’s 5-year-old daughter Asheni loves going to school and playing with her friends. Yet some days she can’t because she is in so much pain from tooth aches that have been troubling her for more than a year. Asheni, nor her brother and sister, have ever been to a dentist. They live in a remote fishing village where there is none. In fact, there are no oral health services in the village and the nearest hospital is way too far for them to travel. When Asheni has a flare up, Laavanya rubs herbal medicine on her gums but it doesn’t seem to help. She has noticed Asheni withdrawing from her friends and smiling less. Laavanya is at a loss as to what to do. With her husband taking off for months at a time, she has a never-ending to do list and little time or money to spare for travelling long distances to a dentist.

WHAT WE ARE DOING

Building the infrastructure for a mobile dental clinic that will deliver oral health services and education to children, pregnant mothers and families in the most vulnerable and remote communities of the Mannar district of North Western Sri Lanka. In doing so, we will give communities access to ongoing and holistic oral health care made up of preventive treatment, curative treatment, and awesome resources showing families how to improve and keep up good dental health at home.

WHY WE ARE DOING IT

Simply put, to give kids better lives. Poor oral health in childhood is a widespread problem in areas of Sri Lanka where communities have limited or no access to dental health care. This impacts hugely on kids’ general health and wellbeing while they are young and has far reaching effects into adulthood.

As a child, mouth pain and oral disease can:

  • Stop participation in schooling
  • Disrupt sleep
  • Inhibit growth
  • Affect physical appearance, shaking self-confidence and making it harder (and physically painful!) to socialise

As an adult, these problems persist and it’s often too late for treatment. Mouth pain, infection and tooth loss exacerbate other health conditions and impair overall wellbeing – physically, psychologically and financially.

HOW WE ARE DOING IT

Over the next two years, we will work with the local health department in Mannar to:

  • Design a mobile health clinic that best serves the community’s needs
  • Equip the clinic to provide the critical dental care and services critical
  • Design an extensive schedule and communications plan with the local government to ensure that we reach every school in the district and visit as many villages each year to access the wider community
  • Establish monitoring systems to ensure that these communities are adequately served
  • Design an oral education programme that can support the clinic services and create longer term improvement in oral health
  • Work with the local government to resource the clinic with a full professional dental team and sufficient budget
  • Engage local health and education agencies creating local buy-in for the ongoing operation of the clinic in the long-term

HOW YOU CAN HELP

With your support you can help 24,000 children and families access a dentist – in most cases, for the first time in their lives! With your support, the clinic will have the resources to reach 350 schools at least once a year, the most remote schools twice, and share educational resources on oral self-care in every community visited.

$150,000 of $150,000 raised

Healthy Smiles, Better Lives

Imagine your child, or a child you know, has a toothache so bad that she cries each night in pain. Without the money or access to a dentist or a hospital, all you can do is rub her back telling her that in time it will pass. No child should have to go through this. Every child should have access to oral health care. With your support, you can help a mobile dental clinic reach 24,000 children and families throughout North Western Sri Lanka. This will bring life-changing oral health services and education to the most vulnerable communities.

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Growing Papayas for Export

Thank you to all our donors, we have met our fundraising goal.

BACKGROUND

In 2011 a number of war-affected families were resettled in Palamoddai GN division. Prior to this, they had spent more than 3 years living in welfare villages and transit sites and IDP’s. As a result of the conflict, basic social and economic needs are unmet in this area. While there is temporary housing, there has been little focus on developing livelihoods and there are few jobs for the families in this village. The families have at least an acre of land and most are currently farming.

In this project, each farmer will be provided with 160 papaya seedlings for cultivation. 50% of the cost of the seedlings will be paid back after the first successful harvest. An agreement will determine what a successful harvest is, and other conditions of payback and will be signed by the farmer.

We have arranged for a buying company to collect the harvested papaya from the individual farmer gate, with the transport cost to be borne by the buying company. The buying company will pay the rate per kg of papaya based on the existing pricing structure, which includes the cost of transportation.

The buying company will select export quality papaya and will also manage the collection of domestic quality fruits to market to other buyers in national markets.

WHY ARE WE DOING THIS?

Most of the families in the Vavuniya District are farmers, however, many do not have the tools or market knowledge to successfully grow export crops. Some of the families have been growing crops for the local market (earning a lower income) while others have been out of the workforce for some time, so they lack the confidence and awareness of how to restart farming. The region has also seen drought conditions for many years. The project will enable the participating farmers to use drip irrigation to save water so that they can farm more efficiently and sustainably. By growing export quality papaya they can gain a higher income on which to support their families and build a promising future.

THE PROJECT

This project is about giving 30 farmers 160 papaya plants to grow on part of their land, and training them in sustainably growing papayas for export. The training will cover how to cultivate export quality papaya, and sustainable farming including using drip irrigation to conserve water. Setting up drip irrigation is an important aspect of this project as there has been a lot of drought in this part of Sri Lanka.

The farmers will also pay back 50% of the cost of the seedlings after the first successful harvest. This is a way for the farmers to stay committed to the project goals, and to experience the reality of running this type of export business.

HOW WILL IT WORK?

We will select the beneficiaries, focussing on women-headed householders and people with disability. We will provide training on farming techniques, especially those that are sustainable such as drip irrigation. The farmers will also visit and learn from existing papaya exporters. Each farmer will receive seedlings and other tools required for growing the papayas. A buying company has agreed to inspect, collect and pay for papayas for the international markets at each farmer’s gate. Papaya that don’t meet the requirements for export can be sold in the local market. The farmers will then pay 50% of the cost of the seedlings back to us, and keep the remainder as income.

THE BENEFITS

  • Training 30 farmers to grow papaya plants for sale both domestically and internationally
  • Connecting farmers to international markets so the farmers can get a higher price for the papayas
  • Training farmers in setting up a drip irrigation system to conserve water
  • Drip irrigation will be useful in farming any crop (not only papaya) given the drought conditions in this part of Sri Lanka
  • The farmers will pay back 50% of the cost of the seedlings so they are both committed to seeing the papayas earn the highest price, and also exposed to the realities of the export business.

HOW WE ENSURE SUSTAINABILITY

Part of the goal of this project is to see whether farming papayas for export is a good way for farmers in this village to increase their regular income. If it is, then we can expand the project and bring more farmers into the papaya growing business (based on demand).

The farmers have to repay 50% of the cost of the seedlings. This ensures the farmers are committed to the project and invested in its success, and exposes them to the reality of the export business. Once one successful harvest has been sold, the farmers can use the income from that sale to buy more seedlings, and so on.

Regardless of the outcome of the papaya export business, the training on drip irrigation and farming papaya will be useful for the farmers to successfully grow any crops using limited water.

$31,150 of $31,150 raised

Growing Papayas for Export

Supporting 30 farmers to grow papaya for export. Provides training, tools and drip irrigation to save water during drought.

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Goat Rearing for Women and Disabled

Thank you to all our donors, we have met our fundraising goal.

WHY ARE WE DOING THIS?

As part of Palmera’s sustainable livelihoods focus, Palmera will provide goats and the appropriate training in goat-rearing to 30 families in Korakkankaddu in the Kilinochchi District. This project will focus on widows and people with disability who are struggling to meet their basic needs such as food and shelter after returning to their village from IDP camps. The milk from the goats will provide a nourishing food source for these families, and the milk and meat can be sold to earn an income.

The village was largely goat-rearing prior to the war, so the households will possess strong skills in goat-rearing already. Palmera will work with local organizations and surrounding districts to source and deliver 2 goats to each family. Training will also be provided twice a year to the households so that they are able to successfully rebuild livelihoods in goat-rearing. The lands in the village are already suitable for goat-rearing and grazing. The necessary medical treatments such as vaccines will be given to the goats twice a year.

THE BENEFITS

  • provides a regular source of income to widows and people with disability, which will enable these families to access other basic needs such as food and water
  • provides a nutritional food source for the widows, people with disability and their families
  • utilizes the existing skills and expertise of the community – which was largely goat-rearing before the war – and enhances these skills through further training
  • will develop the local economy by improving trade within and across communities

BACKGROUND

Korakkankaddu is one of the villages in the Kilinochchi District, in the Northern Province of Sri Lanka. During the civil war, many women from this village lost their husbands and young ones. They have faced displacement for several years and are now returning to their village. What was once a primarily goat-rearing village, now lacks any secure form of livelihood or food source for its people. The goats were destroyed during the war. There are increased numbers of widows and people with disability in the northern parts of the country. Many survive on just one meal a day.

To begin this project, the appropriate beneficiaries will be selected from the village, with a focus on selecting widows and people with disability. Each beneficiary will be provided with 2 goats. Palmera will work with surrounding Districts to source the goats and transport them to Korakkankaddu. There is sufficient land available in the village that is suitable for goat-rearing and grazing. The selected beneficiaries will be provided with training twice a year In topics such as sheltering, breeding, feeding, caring, animal health and manure use.

It is expected that the milk from the goats will be a nutritional food source, and the meat and milk can be sold for income. This will enable this vulnerable group in society to begin rebuilding their lives.

OUR PARTNER

BOLO seeks to help and work among the poor, afflicted and oppressed to alleviate their miserable condition and improve their livelihood. BOLO has successfully completed a range of development projects in Sri Lanka and has worked with Palmera in the past to implement a successful project providing chickens and training to war widows in Sri Lanka.

Palmera looks forward to once again working with BOLO and their expert team to rebuild livelihoods in Korakkankaddu in the Killinochchi District.

$8,000 of $8,000 raised

Goat Rearing for Women and Disabled

Restoring livelihoods for women and people with disabilities to earn an income from goat-rearing and begin to rebuild their lives.

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Fresh Start with New Toilets

Thank you to all our donors, we have met our fundraising goal.

BACKGROUND

In 1994, 75 Indian families were relocated to Kappachchi by the Government. At the time, the Government provided 20 families with permanent toilets and the rest with semi-permanent toilets. After years of conflict and ongoing displacement of these and other families, the semi-permanent toilets have been damaged beyond use.

Today, 55 families have no toilet facilities at all, and have to use open areas. This has led to a number of health problems and security problems particularly for women and young children.

In addition to the toilet problem there is also a lack of access to water. The entire village depends on 6 common tube wells and 3 common dug wells for drinking, cooking and other domestic purposes.

Part of this project is to provide water drums to each beneficiary family for use with the toilets. The village will also receive training on how to collect and store water to avoid waterborne diseases.

THE PROJECT

Currently many families in the Kappachchi Village have to use open areas as toilets. This poses risks of attacks particularly to women and children as they walk from the safety of their homes. There are also serious health issues like diarrhoea in the Kappachchi Village, resulting from factors such as insufficient hand washing and contaminated water. According to UNICEF in 2008, more children died from diarrhoea than from malaria, HIV/AIDS and measles.

With the help of the 35 beneficiary families, we are building 35 toilets to improve sanitation and reduce the risk of attacks on women and children who currently have to use open areas. The families will receive training on proper use and maintenance of the toilets.

We will also train the Kappachchi Village in health and hygiene to reduce the incidence of waterborne illness such as diarrhoea which can otherwise prove life-threatening.

HOW IT WILL WORK

We will identify 35 of the most in need families (focusing on women-headed households and people with disability) and give a demonstration on how to build the toilets. We will then work with them (depending on their capabilities) to build toilets close to their homes. The 35 beneficiary families will receive training on using and maintaining the toilets so they are properly functioning in the future. By personally contributing to building the toilets (to the extent possible) the beneficiaries can feel a sense of accomplishment and will more likely be keen to ensure the toilets are well maintained.

The Kappachchi Village will receive training on prevention and management of waterborne diseases (eg. handwashing, how to collect and store water for domestic use) so the prevalence of health issues such as diarrhoea can be reduced.

THE BENEFITS

35 of the most in need families in the Kappachchi Village will have their own toilets (with water drums) and to the extent possible, they will help to build the toilets

The beneficiary families will learn how to clean, use and maintain their toilets into the future

Improved safety in the village as women and children from the 35 families will no longer have to go far from their home to use the toilet

Reduced incidence of waterborne disease across the community, as village members will better understand the importance of good hygiene and prevention measures such as boiling water for drinking

With access to clean water and sanitation, the 35 most vulnerable families will begin to have renewed confidence and good health to improve other areas of their lives such as seeking employment.

HOW WE ENSURE SUSTAINABILITY

The training is a key part of this project. By training the families in the use and maintenance of the toilets, the toilets can be useful for many years. By training the village in health and hygiene, they can gain the knowledge to ensure the incidence of waterborne illness continues to decrease.

$26,128 of $26,128 raised

Fresh Start with New Toilets

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Flooding Relief

Thank you to all our donors, we have met our fundraising goal.

Palmera is raising funding for urgent emergency flooding relief for 560 families in desperate need across remote villages in Batticola.

Family Food Ration Pack: $35 each

Post Flood Cash Grant: $113 each

Due to heavy flooding in the remote villages of Batticola, in Koralai Pattu South, families are urgently in need of aid and support. The remoteness of this region makes it difficult and time-consuming to mobilise such help.

However, Palmera works with a network of local agencies, who are present on the ground and able to respond quickly in times such as these.

Across 7 villages we have been notified of families who have not been able to access needed and critical support during this time.

Across 7 villages we have been notified of 1,661 families who have not been able to access needed and critical support during this time.

We are aiming to support 560 of these families with these critical supplies by raising $35 per family for a dry ration kit. These kits include basic food items which are sufficient for a families’ survival.

Once the flooding is over, we seek to provide a one off cash grant to 150 of the most affected families.

With the floods, agricultural lands will be completed destroyed. The poorest rely on labour work to feed their families, without this, the aftermath of the floods can be devastating.

Without this assistance, disasters such as this can undo years of progress.

Your donation towards the purchase of these relief kits will go a long way towards helping these families recover from this disaster and get back on their feet, and the one-off cash grants can provide a much-needed safety net for their future. Thank you for your support.

$36,752 of $36,752 raised

Flooding Relief

Heavy rain inundated most districts of the North, East, North Central, Uva and Sabaragamuwa provinces of Sri Lanka from early in the afternoon of 30 November 2019, resulting in flooding, high winds and landslides in nine districts.

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Farming for Life!

Thank you to all our donors, we have met our fundraising goal.

WHY ARE WE INVESTED IN THIS PROJECT?

Doing the same thing worked for a long time, but with the ever changing and dynamic markets that Keerthyani now finds herself in, this now means declining profits and rising costs. Lower profits means that she struggles to give the best to her children. However she has an entrepreneurial spirit and always willing to trial new techniques to improve the way her farm works. However because she is based in a hard to reach village and she has little access to new techniques and practices.

In order to increase her yield, better farming practices and technologies has been identified with the assistance of local experts that will transform Keerthyani’s farm enabling her to increase her income and better meet her family’s needs.

THE BENEFITS

The project will directly impact 30 small scale farmers and indirectly benefit over 100 people

  • Introduction of new technologies and practices that will significantly increase yield
  • Prevent losses during flooding
  • Improved quality to meet more profitable market requirements
  • Farmers will know how to assess and self-produce seeds reducing costs of production
  • Increase income for families to better meet their needs and pursue goals important to them

HOW WILL THE PROJECT WORK?

We have identified high performing peanut farmers in the Village of Colony. With these farmers, we worked with local experts and identified new practices and technologies that could significantly improve the yield of the farmers in the village. The estimated yield increase is approximately 50 – 60%.

Adoption of new practices takes time and in many instances, the poorest are reluctant to engage with these practices because of the risks of the unfamiliar.

In this project we will be working closely with 30 small scale farmers in the village who we call early adopters. They are stronger peanut farmers who see the potential of these practices and are willing to trial and test the method.

We will be providing training on 7 key innovative practices during their harvest, providing close mentoring, linking with the agricultural extension services and subsidising the inputs required for these new practices.

Through the engagement of these early adopters and through the results they produce, we can accelerate adoption through the village to significantly improve their production and quality. This will in turn enable Ranjini and the other farmers to better access profitable markets, increase their incomes and improve their ability to meet their daily needs.

HOW DO WE ENSURE THE PROJECT IS SUSTAINABLE AFTER WE LEAVE?

The program will support the training of the new techniques and provide intensive mentoring so that in time, farmers understand and have fully adopted these improved practices. With improved skills, farmers will be able to stand on their own two feet without the continued support from our local team.

In the initial harvest inputs are subsidised, to encourage adoption of new technologies, but following that, farmers are independent in supporting themselves to purchase the improved inputs. As part of the technologies shared, farmers will learn how to assess and self-produce some inputs such as seeds.

This program forms part of a 5 year village program in the village of Colony. For 5 years our local team will be based in the village supporting farmers to learn new techniques and supporting them as they adopt the practices. After 5 years our team exists from the village and the farmers and the village will continue to thrive!

$13,975 of $12,512 raised

Farming for Life!

The trial blazing farmers engaged in this project will pave the way for innovative farming techniques and technologies to be adopted in their village, transforming the way the farmers do business forever!

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Emergency Flood Relief

Thank you to all our donors, we have met our fundraising goal.

Providing emergency support to meet the food and health needs of families affected by devastating flash flooding.

WHY ARE WE DOING THIS?

Thousands of people have been affected by devastating flash flooding throughout North and East Sri Lanka. This has destroyed homes, destroyed livelihoods, and left many families displaced.

We will be providing 691 families with emergency relief packages including basic necessities like nutritious food, soap, mosquito coils, candles and matchboxes.

WHY IS IT SO IMPORTANT?

Natural disasters like flash flooding affect already vulnerable people the most. Recently resettled refugees and internally displaced persons are particularly in danger because they live in temporary housing which is easily washed away.

Young children, elderly people and those with long term illnesses are particularly affected by temporary periods of malnutrition, waterborne diseases and unhygienic conditions in emergency camps.

By providing emergency relief to families in their time of need we can prevent the long term affects of this disaster.

HOW WILL THIS PROJECT WORK?

We have identified 691 families who have been severely affected by flash flooding in Jaffna, Kilinochchi, Mullaitivu and Batticaloa Districts of North and East Sri Lanka.

With your help, we will provide each of these families with emergency relief packages containing basic foods such as rice, flour, milk, dhal and tinned fish. This means parents will be able to feed their children nutritious food while they are waiting to return home.

We will also provide each of these families basic supplies such as soap, tooth powder, mosquito coils, matchboxes and candles to ensure health and safety.

THE BENEFITS

  • Meeting the basic food and health needs of 691 flood affected families.
  • Preventing the long term affects of the malnutrition and ill-health caused by this natural disaster.
  • Supporting those most vulnerable to be healthy enough that they can rebuild their homes and restart their livelihoods once the flood waters have receded.
$30,000 of $30,000 raised

Emergency Flood Relief

Providing emergency support to meet the food and health needs of families affected by devastating flash flooding

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Emergency Appeal for Landslide Victims

Thank you to all our donors, we have met our fundraising goal.

$15,000 of $15,000 raised

Emergency Appeal for Landslide Victims

Urgent relief for survivors of the 29 October 2014 landslide which has killed at least 12 people with 26 declared missing

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Easy as Peanuts

Thank you to all our donors, we have met our fundraising goal.

RANJINI

Ranjini lives in a village in Sri Lanka’s North called Irruttumaddu with her husband and four children. Ranjini used to make her living by selling ground nuts. Since returning to her land, after being in refugee camps for over 2 years, Ranjini has been able to slowly rebuild her business and her life. But these days, running her business is getting harder. Costs are rising, the market has new quality requirements and the middle man seems to be eating into her profits. Ranjini’s way of farming is no longer providing her the profits she once benefited from. She is worried about how she will earn enough income from her farm to continue to support the needs of her family.

WHAT WE ARE DOING

We will be working with 223 farmers to introduce new agricultural techniques that allow them to self produce inputs, improve water management, strengthened soil management and improve farm productivity. This will improve yield by and estimated 50 – 60%. This will in turn significantly improve income and allow families to better stand on their own two feet.

Collectively, we will then work with all 223 farmers to create powerful platform to better engage with the market, to improve bargaining skills, so that the farmers can improve their market power and in turn their price and their profit.

WHY WE ARE DOING IT

In Sri Lanka most of the country’s poor live in rural areas. Their farms are their main source of income. However the poorest are increasingly being left out, due to rising market barriers which means they are unable to access the best price and the best buyers. A lack of knowledge means that they have minimal bargaining power and can be easily taken advantage of more powerful private actors. Empowering farmers with critical market knowledge and teaching innovative agricultural techniques to improve farm productivity and manage the rising water and environmental challenges is critical for them to continue to earn an income from their farms and be included in profitable markets.

By earning an income, families then can stand on their own two feet and not be dependent on aid or welfare. They are able to meet their basic needs and pursue goals important to them. Women like Ranjini can send her children to school, pay for health care facilities and even take them to beach for an ice cream one day!

HOW WE ARE DOING IT

We have identified entrepreneurial peanut farmers in the Village of Irruttumadu, just like Ranjini. With these farmers, we worked with local experts and identified new practices and technologies that could significantly improve the yield of the farmers in the village. The estimated yield increase is approximately 50 – 60%.

Adoption of new practices takes time and in many instances, the poorest are reluctant to engage with these practices because of the risks of the unfamiliar.

In this project we will be working closely with 30 small scale farmers in the village who we call early adopters. They are stronger peanut farmers who see the potential of these practices and are willing to trial and test the method.

We will be providing training on 18 key innovative practices during their harvest, providing close mentoring, linking with the agricultural extension services and subsidising the inputs required for these new practices as an incentive to adopt these new techniques.

A key part of these innovative techniques is training farmers on how to self produce some of their inputs, including seeds. This is critical as quality seeds is one of the key barriers that prevents many from having thriving farms.

Through the engagement of these early adopters and through the results they produce, we want to accelerate adoption through the village to significantly improve their production and quality of another 193 farmers (working with a total of 223 farmers). This will in turn enable Ranjini and the other farmers to better access profitable markets, increase their incomes and improve their ability to meet their daily needs.

Palmera technical training is underpinned by a values based approach which forms the foundation of how we work. This includes many activities, including Pass the Gift, which is a process by which farmers have to pass some of their inputs to the next group of farmers as a way of sharing learnings and giving back to their community. The social capital created through this programme is critical for the ongoing sustainability of the livelihoods in this village.

A HOLISTIC APPROACH

Palmera follows a holistic village approach in how we work. We call this Village2Markets and you can read more about it here.

Easy as peanuts is part of a 5 – 7 year village wide programme that we will run in Irruttumaddu between January 2017 – December 2021 / December 2023. Our approach seeks to improve income in a range of subsectors, as the poorest work in diversified businesses in order to sustain their income. Our model also seeks to improve savings, as without a safety net there is no long resilience and finally to build social capital and reduce vulnerability.

HOW YOU CAN HELP

In order to transform the livelihoods of 223 farmers in Irruttumaddu the cost is as little as $324 per farmer; only $65 a year over the 5-year programme. When everyone comes together, we hope to raise $72,186 so we can support all the farmers in the village to stand on their own two feet.

$72,186 of $72,186 raised

Easy as Peanuts

This project seeks to work with 223 farmers, indirectly impacting over 1000 people.
Introducing innovative agricultural techniques and connect farmers to better buyers to improve their yield, price and income in Irruttumaddu costs as little as $324 per farmer; only $65 a year over the 5-year programme. Invest in a rural entrepreneur and you will be turning to dial from charity to choice.

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Drought Relief: Work for Food Program

Thank you to all our donors, we have met our fundraising goal!

 

WHY ARE WE DOING THIS?

Sri Lanka is currently experiencing one of the worst droughts in recent history. This drought has caused widespread crop failures, which in Sri Lanka’s primarily agricultural economy means rural families have lost their livelihoods and are now struggling to meet their basic needs. Since most rural families’ major source of food comes from farming their own land, malnutrition has significantly increased and immediate help is needed to prevent famine.

In order to cope, families have often had to sell assets or take on loans. This causes problems as it means the effects of the drought will continue long after weather conditions improve. Many people have also had to leave their homes in order to find day labourer work, but these jobs are few and far between. This also creates serious social problems as families are separated and parents are unable to look after their children. Palmera’s Emergency Relief Appeal will provide much needed help to villagers in Sri Lanka’s worst hit Vavuniya District.

WHAT IS THIS PROJECT ABOUT?

Palmera will work with our project partner FOSDOO to provide short-term emergency food packages to 289 people in four of the most severely drought affected villages. These food packages will be a replacement source of food until the drought is over and the people of Vavuniya District are able to return to agricultural production for their livelihoods. In exchange for this short-term support beneficiaries will be asked to participate in community works projects that benefit the village.

HOW WILL IT WORK?

Over a period of two months Palmera and FOSDOO will purchase and deliver emergency relief packages consisting of basic foods such as rice, flour and soya meat to the beneficiaries. These food packages will meet the families’ nutritional needs until the worst of the drought is over.

In exchange for these food packages, Palmera and FOSDOO will organise common works projects in the village that the beneficiaries will be asked to contribute to. These common works projects will involve jobs such as clearing roads and vegetation and fixing drainage systems. Work for food programs discourage aid reliance and ensure communities are sustainable. By asking beneficiaries to help their community in exchange for support, they gain a sense of self-efficacy as well as the long term benefits that come from improving their communities.

THE BENEFITS

  • Villagers will be able to meet their basic food needs until the drought is over.
  • Long-term impact of the drought is reduced, as families are not forced to sell assets or take out loans to meet food needs.
  • Families stay together, and parents will be able to stay in their home villages and care for their children.
  • Beneficiaries can return to local agricultural production when the drought is over.
  • Common works programs allow beneficiaries to contribute to the long term benefits of their villages.

BACKGROUND

This current drought comes at the end of three previous years of unpredictable and extreme weather, which has seriously damaged agricultural production. Drought in 2012 and flooding in 2013 have meant that rural families have built up unsustainable levels of debt, lack water stockpiles for irrigation, have limited quality seed supply and have experienced long-term declines in income. Since 2012, it is estimated food insecurity has doubled to affect 768,000 people in 2014.

Now this current drought is believed to be even more severe. Sri Lanka’s economy is dependent on agricultural production. For people in the Vavuniya District, a rural area that is especially reliant on agricultural production, the consequences of this extreme drought are especially significant. Urgent help is needed to meet short-term food needs.

$11,600 of $11,600 raised

Drought Relief: Work for Food Program

Urgent emergency relief appeal to help people affected by severe drought in Sri Lanka

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Creating Leaders

Thank you to all our donors, we have met our fundraising goal!

WHY ARE WE DOING THIS?

Children and youth in rural villages rarely get the benefit of structured activities outside of schooling, because of the lack of services that reach these isolated areas.

In Sri Lanka schooling has not adapted for more children friendly learning styles and critical life and employment skills necessary for children to succeed. Rather schooling is focused on examinations and admissions into university, of which only 2% of children in Sri Lanka have access to

THE BENEFITS

The project will directly impact 80 children and youth between the ages of 8 – 28.

  • Provide critical life and employment based skills for youth transitioning from school to employment
  • Provide access to new skills for children ages 8 – 14 and a platform for them to understand and voice their concerns in areas not discussed in schools
  • Strengthen social capital in the village by connecting children and youth
  • Develop community connections between the children and youth through community service learning projects where children engage to help build the community

HOW WILL THE PROJECT WORK

We will engage with children, youth and their parents to firstly communicate the value of children and youth clubs.

We will share a structured syllabus, licensed from New Horizon’s IMPACT CLUBS, which leverages a evidenced based approaches. Each week children and youth will meet with trained facilitators and work through core modules, from environment, nutrition, human rights, leadership etc.

Youth will also engage in modules that will prepare them for both formal employment, such as time management, team work etc as well as build entrepreneurship skills, teaching base business skills, budgeting etc.

Critical to the programs is a Community Service Learning project. Here, youth members will identify and engage in community projects in which they can apply the skills that they are trained in.

HOW WE ENSURE THE PROJECT IS SUSTAINABLE AFTER WE LEAVE

This program forms part of a 5 year village program in the village of Kanthansamy Nagar.

A local facilitator will be identified and will participate in leading each of the weekly sessions. We aim to build the capacity of local village leaders so they can continue these programs once we exit.

$10,025 of $10,000 raised

Creating Leaders

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Cow Rearing For War Affected Families

Thank you to all our donors, we have met our fundraising goal.

WHY ARE WE DOING THIS?

There are currently no sustainable sources of income for families in Timbalee village, Mullaithivu District. As a result, families struggle to meet their daily needs for water & food, and exposed to the changing weather as they are living in temporary shelters. There is also no school in the village which means children have to walk long distances to the neighbouring village.

This project will provide 20 female headed families in Timbalee village with a hybrid cow and 12 months training on cattle management & business marketing. Twice a year the cattle will also receive free vaccination through the local agricultural department.

The project will reduce their food insecurity with the cow’s milk as a nutritious food source; the milk will also be sold in the market to earn an income. The income will allow them to weather proof their homes and provide bicycles for children’s daily travel. The project will also provide income generating opportunities for others in the community as the hybrid cow is expected to breed multiple calves over its lifetime.

THE BENEFITS

  • Provides a nutritious food source for the families (5-6L milk per day)
  • Provides families an income to meet basic needs like water, food and shelter. An expected income of 50,000-115,000 rupees per year
  • Assist children’s education through purchase of bicycles for daily travels
  • The project is replicable for others in the community as the hybrid cow will breed multiple calves over its lifetime

BACKGROUND

In September 2012 around 300 families were resettled from the Menik farm IDP camp to the village of Mallikaithivu in Mullituvu. The village was destroyed during the war and as a consequence, there are very few opportunities for livelihoods. Families are unable to fulfil even basic needs such as food, water and shelter. With Palmera’s support, the 20 beneficiaries can begin earning an income to fulfil these daily needs.

Palmera has recently worked with the Centre for Child Development in Mullituvu, to provide banana plants, water pumps and farming equipment to 20 families when they first returned to the village in early 2013. These families have started selling their bananas in the market and earning an income.

OUR PARTNER

The Centre for Child Development is a local NGO that works towards improving the lives of children in Sri Lanka. The organization has experience and expertise in working with communities that have resettled in Sri Lanka. As noted above, Palmera has worked successfully with CFCD in the past and looks forward to working together again.

$13,935 of $13,935 raised

Cow Rearing For War Affected Families

Providing cattle and business training to war widows in Timbalee so they can earn an income to support needs and their children’s education…

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Community Owned Revolving Fund

Thank you to all our donors, we have met our fundraising goal.

HOW DOES THE FUND WORK?

The fund has been designed as a revolving community fund. This means that once the initial loans are repaid, that money is then given out as new loans to allow more women to start new businesses.

The fund is owned and managed by the community and does not make any profit – it’s really set up purely for the benefit of the community. It allows for women to try new and/or slightly risky business ventures. Ultimately, this is aimed at creating opportunities for these courageous and dedicated women to earn a regular income and set up a meaningful life for themselves and their families.

COMMUNITY OWNERSHIP

The community currently meets regularly. Initially a volunteer NGO officer will manage the fund and discuss loans with the community members. But over the course of three years, the community members will take ownership and decide who receives a loan and manage the flow of funds. It also means that women are more likely to repay the loans as, in a sense, they are paying back the loan to their fellow community members. In time, investments can also be bigger, say for a community-wide project.

SUSTAINABILITY

Over time, as the fund can loan out larger sums of money to community-wide projects, the community will become less reliant on aid. This type of self-managed loan fund really empowers the community. The people can decide which businesses or projects get funds, and can direct funds to the areas of the economy that it sees as needing investment.

THE BENEFITS

  • Women receiving the loans will also receive training on how to regularly save and repay the loan so they can succeed in become financially independent.
  • Loan repayments will be in line with the expected income of the women receiving the loan so they will be less likely to fall behind on a repayment
  • The women will also receive training in skills related to running their business (eg. skills for home gardening or goat rearing)
  • A 12-18 month loan will allow the beneficiary to take small risks which they ordinarily couldn’t, for instance, goat-rearing requires an initial outlay to buy the pregnant goat and only a small income for the first 12 months. The mother goat is then sold in the market. As the birthing cycle is established, income becomes more regular.
$8,984 of $8,984 raised

Community Owned Revolving Fund

Improving livelihoods by creating a loan fund for women who are starting new business ventures, with the fund to be managed by community members.

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Cafe Providing Training For Street Kids

Thank you to all our donors, we have met our fundraising goal.

WHY ARE WE DOING THIS?

Palmera will provide capacity building in business development for a social enterprise Café set up Battambang, a town on the border of Cambodia and Thailand. The primary purpose of the Café will be to provide hospitality training and support to disadvantaged youth in Battambang, to enable them to gain employment and livelihoods. The café is a profit-making enterprise with profits directed to initiatives to rescue kids from the streets and reintegrate them back with their families and society. These initiatives are run by Homeland, a local partner of Palmera.

Palmera will review the commercial strategy of the Café and provide support in financial management, marketing and other aspects of the business. Palmera’s focus is ensuring the sustainability of this enterprise—both as a social and for-profit business. This sustainability will enable Homeland to continue to provide the range of social services that it currently provides in the region.

THE BENEFITS

  • Provides skills and training to the Café employees in running a successful business – both commercially and for social gain
  • Enables the Café’s Fresh Eats training program to operate successfully
  • Enables skills and values training for the most disadvantaged and high-potential youth, culminating in a graduate which will enable them to gain employment and independence
  • Through giving priority to women, who are often more vulnerable in Cambodian culture, the project will seek to address gender inequalities in the community
  • Contributes to meeting the demand for high-quality hospitality graduates in Battambang’s growing tourism industry.
  • Contributes a local source of income for the local NGO Homeland’s principal function as a care centre for at risk children.

BACKGROUND

The Fresh Eats Café has been operating for 2 years as a social enterprise. This capacity building will enable the Café to continue operating and successfully deliver the Fresh Eats training program as well as make a profit which can be redirected to Homeland, the local NGO.

Battambang in Cambodia has a growing tourism industry. It is the main hub of the Northwest, connecting the entire region with Phnom Penh and Thailand, and as such it’s a vital link for Cambodia. Improving the hospitality skills of the local youth will lead to higher employment and economic growth in the region. These youth can also then serve as role models for future generations.

The participants for Fresh Eats training program are selected carefully through an extensive social outreach initiative with selection based on disadvantage and potential for successful completion of the program. Women are given priority as in Cambodia women often lack access to employment and education opportunities compared to their male counterparts.

OUR PARTNER

For this project, Palmera will continue to work with Homeland (Meato Phum Ko’Mah), a locally registered Cambodian NGO. Since 1997 Homeland has been supporting street children, trafficked children and children affected by HIV/AIDS at the Homeland residential centre in Battambang. Cambodia.

Homeland’s approach is to work sustainably and in partnership with the community to improve the lives and well being of vulnerable children and families and to facilitate family reunification wherever possible, while at all times upholding the best interests of the children.

As the children grow older, Homeland tries to equip them through vocational training with a skill set that will enhance their employment prospects and give them the independence they need to begin to build their own lives as adults.

$10,000 of $10,000 raised

Cafe Providing Training For Street Kids

Capacity building for a social enterprise Café designed to train disadvantaged youth in Cambodia for careers in hospitality…

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Building Food Security

Thank you to all our donors, we have met our fundraising goal.

WHY ARE WE DOING THIS?

Growing population pressure and urbanization, coupled with land degradation and frequent climate change are causing food insufficiency in most parts of Sri Lanka.

A well-developed and maintained home garden has the potential to supply most of the non-staple food that a family needs every day of the year, providing adequate nutrition to the family on a regular basis and may even bring a small side income. The significance of homegardens to rural livelihoods is well appreciated throughout the world. Homegarden has been described as an important social and economic unit of rural households, from which a diverse and stable supply of economic products and benefits are derived. Therefore is it a great way to overcome lack of basic food and nutrition security among most vulnerable families.

THE BENEFITS

The project will directly impact 40 families and indirectly benefit 120 people.

  • Provide food security for 40 families, giving them access to nutritious foods to feed their families. Raising different vegetables, fruits and medicinal plants on available land in and around the house premises is the easiest way to ensure access to healthy, fresh and poison-free food. This is especially important in rural areas where people have limited income-earning opportunities and the economically poor have less or no access to healthy food markets.
  • Alleviate the micro nutrient deficiencies, quite a common phenomenon in rural areas
  • Improve financial literacy so they can understand the different financial providers and have access to more effective and reasonable financial providers
  • Reduce Mal nourishment and nutrition deficiency disorders which are common among rural women and children
  • Teach families important agricultural techniques which can be utilised for crops grown for commercial purposes

HOW WILL THE PROJECT WORK?

We will identify farmers who are both vulnerable and have a propensity to extend what they learn through the home gardening techniques to grow crops for commercial purposes. The purpose of this is to ensure both food security and a pathway to increasing income.

We will engage experts to train families on how to grow a variety of crops to best meet their nutritional needs and effectively utilise scarce water resources.

HOW DO WE ENSURE THE PROJECT IS SUSTAINABLE AFTER WE LEAVE?

This program forms part of a 5 year village program in the village of Kanthansamy Nagar.

By working with the farmers to build the necessary skills & develop their knowledge, the impact of this program can continue well after we exit.

$9,367 of $9,367 raised

Building Food Security

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Banana Cultivation for War Affected Families

Thank you to all our donors, we have met our fundraising goal.

WHY ARE WE DOING THIS?

Palmera will provide assistance to 20 farmers in the village of Mallikaithivu, Mullituvu to recommence banana cultivation, enabling them to earn an income and supplement other food sources. These beneficiary families have returned to their village of Mallikaithivu after two and a half years in IDP camps. Their village was destroyed during the war and there are little opportunities for livelihoods. The families lack access to water, sanitation and food.

Palmera will assist by providing banana plants, water pumps and farming equipment. These farmers already have the skills and knowledge to successfully farm the land. This assistance will enable them to recommence banana cultivation, earning a regular income. The banana plantation will begin yielding bananas as soon as December 2013, and will continue to yield bananas for 3 years. The water pumps and farming equipment can be used for future agriculture.

THE BENEFITS

  • Provides 20 farmers and their families with the means to earn a regular income for at least 3 years (around 60,000-100,000 rupees over the 3 years)
  • With a regular income, these families can access food, water and other basic needs
  • The bananas will provide a highly nutritional food source to supplement the families’ diets
  • Recommencing farming utilizes the farmers’ skills and knowledge, and provides them with a livelihood through which they can contribute to development of the local economy
  • The water pumps which will be a significant component of this investment, will also be used to cultivate vegetables in the nearby areas

BACKGROUND

In September 2012 around 300 families were resettled from the Menik farm IDP camp to the village of Mallikaithivu in Mullituvu. The village was destroyed during the war and as a consequence, there are very few opportunities for livelihoods. Families are unable to fulfil even basic needs such as food, water and shelter. Many of the families were farming prior to the war. With Palmera’s support, the 20 beneficiary farmers can recommence cultivating bananas, and earn a regular income.

A major investment component of this project is installing water pumps which will pump water from wells to the plantation area. In addition to being used for other vegetable farms nearby, the water pumps will be available for future water intensive projects.

Palmera has recently worked with the Centre for Child Development in Mullituvu, to provide peanut grains and agricultural assistance to 150 families when they first returned to the village in late 2012. These families have successfully recommenced farming. x

OUR PARTNER

The Centre for Child Development is a local NGO that works towards improving the lives of children in Sri Lanka. The organization has experience and expertise in working with communities that have resettled in Sri Lanka. As noted above, Palmera has worked successfully with CFCD in the past and looks forward to working together again.

$6,500 of $6,500 raised

Banana Cultivation for War Affected Families

Agricultural assistance to enable 20 farmers in Northern Sri Lanka to recommence banana cultivation, earning an income and providing a supplemental food source …

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Back to Basics

Thank you to all our donors, we have met our fundraising goal.

Helping restore lives, health and dignity by providing toilets and tube wells for 32 families in Kandasamynagar Village.

WHY ARE WE DOING THIS?

The 32 families of this village were forced to leave during the 1990s and have only just returned after spending two decades in refugee camps in India.

“We had lived in the camps in India for 21 years. There, we had toilets in our home; here we do not. We try to eat fewer foods because we fear going long distances at night. When our relatives or classmates wish to come to our house, we are not in a position to invite them. We will not tell them that there is no toilet facility on our house. Everyday my sister is crying about this situation.”

– Sundareshwari, Resident of the village

Returning to their village after 2010, the 32 families found that their homes and land were destroyed, and they were left with nothing. They are currently living in temporary shelters with no toilet facilities and only one common well in the village that does not provide enough water for everyone.

The lack of access to water and sanitation causes many problems. Without toilets, the villagers have to go into the forest for this basic need. This is especially unsafe for women, young children and people with a disability.

Without an adequate source of water, sometimes the villagers have to travel more than 1-2 km to collect water for drinking. Also, the local Kallaru River is being used for bathing and laundering purposes. Ultimately, all these issues cause poor health and hygiene, many cases of water-borne diseases and environmental degradation.

Kumari, one of the mothers in the village shares that There is the school in front of our house and behind is the temple of Goddess Kali. Therefore, we need to go far away to the jungle, which is a huge threat. Most of the time, the men are going there for work purposes and we don’t have any privacy. A toilet will make a big difference for our family.

HOW THIS PROJECT WILL WORK?

Palmera will provide toilets, 2 additional communal tube wells, and training on health and hygiene to the 32 families in Kandasamynagar village.

As part of constructing the toilets, we will incorporate the needs of the 4 families that include people with a disability. The construction of the toilets for these families will be tailored to ensure disability access is provided. Additionally, bore wells will be constructed to ensure they can be used by people with a disability as well.

Training through our Health Awareness Program is essential to this project because it is education that creates long-term behavioural changes. Knowledge of health, hygiene and the maintenance of toilets ensures the villagers are able to experience better health for the rest of their lives.

Local employment will be hired for the toilet and tube well construction. This will create a sense of ownership of the project and provide much needed income to the villagers.

THE BENEFITS

By supporting this project you will be helping these villagers to rebuild their community. Specifically your investment will provide:

  • Access to clean water and sanitation so infection from water-borne disease will be reduced and the men, women and children of the village can lead healthier lives.
  • Better health so that children can spend more time at school, and adults miss less days of work. This means in the long-term, education and income will increase, and poverty will be reduced in this village.
  • Increased safety because water and toilets are closer to home. Travelling long distances into the forest areas alone is dangerous, especially for women and children.
  • Above all, access to clean water and sanitation means improved dignity, freedom and choice, as the villagers can take pride in their homes and community.

HOW DO WE ENSURE THE PROJECT IS SUSTAINABLE AFTER WE LEAVE?

  • The project was co-designed with the villagers, to ensure local needs are best being met.
  • A village committee will be formed to manage the maintenance of the bore wells. The first two years maintenance costs is included in this project.
  • Toilets have been designed with local weather conditions in mind, ensuring that they can withstand floods. Training on the maintenance of these toilets will be given to all 32 families.
$40,000 of $40,000 raised

Back to Basics

Helping restore lives, health and dignity by providing toilets and tube wells for 32 families in Kandasamynagar Village.

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Accelerating Thriving Farms!

Thank you to all our donors, we have met our fundraising goal.

WHY ARE WE INVESTED IN THIS PROJECT?

Without new technologies and practices, farmers like Saraanya continue to be excluded from the most profitable markets.

Saraanya lacks the skills to get her peanuts the right size now required by the most profitable buyer who exports the peanuts internationally, she doesn’t know how to protect her crops from the increasing risk of flood in the area and with the rising costs of inputs, her farm is losing money which makes it tough for her to meet her family’s daily needs.

In order to address these new challenges, better farming practices and technologies has been identified with the assistance of local experts that will transform Saraanya’s farm enabling her to increase her income and help her family stand on their own two feet.

THE BENEFITS

The project will directly impact 36 small scale farmers and indirectly benefit over 100 people

  • Build social capital in the village by farmers who adopted practices earlier sharing inputs and their skills/knowledge with farmers from this project
  • Accelerate new technologies and practices that will significantly increase yield
  • Prevent losses during flooding
  • Improved quality to meet more profitable market requirements
  • Farmers will know how to assess and self-produce seeds reducing costs of production
  • Increase income for families to better meet their needs and pursue goals important to them

HOW WILL THE PROJECT WORK?

Before this project commenced, we identified high performing peanut farmers in the Village of Irruttumadu that we call early adopters who trialled and tested the new practices and technologies.

After sharing their success, the 36 farmers in this project will undertake the training to follow in their footsteps and significantly increase their yield and income.

A very special part about this project is the sharing between the early adopters and the farmers in this project. This project is more cost effective that the initial project with the early adopters because the early adopters, for the subsidies that we provided for their inputs, now share their improved inputs with the farmers from this project – we call this passing the gift!

Not only are inputs shared, but knowledge as well – through mentoring and farmer training.

The estimated yield increase is approximately 50 – 60% and with the success of these 36 farmers more farmers will be sure to follow!

We will be providing training on 7 key innovative practices during their harvest, providing close mentoring, linking with the agricultural extension services and facilitating the pass the gift program so these farmers also receive subsidised inputs required for these new practices.

HOW DO WE ENSURE THE PROJECT IS SUSTAINABLE AFTER WE LEAVE?

The program will support the training of the new techniques and provide intensive mentoring so that in time, farmers understand and have fully adopted these improved practices. Most importantly, facilitation of farmer to farmer training enables a strong culture of support to thrive in the village as farmers begin to understand that as producers they are much stronger in the market place as a collective. With improved skills, farmers will be able to stand on their own two feet without the continued support from our local team.

In the initial harvest inputs are subsidised, to encourage adoption of new technologies, but following that, farmers are independent in supporting themselves to purchase the improved inputs. As part of the technologies shared, farmers will learn how to assess and self-produce some inputs such as seeds.

This program forms part of a 5 year village program in the village of Irruttumadu. For 5 years our local team will be based in the village supporting farmers to learn new techniques and supporting them as they adopt the practices. After 5 years our team exists from the village and the farmers and the village will continue to thrive!

 

$9,031 of $9,031 raised

Accelerating Thriving Farms!

Having trialled new techniques and technologies in the village, this project accelerates the adoption of those practices to transform 36 more farms and families lives!

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Loan Fund for Women

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$75 of $10,000 raised

Loan Fund for Women

Creating job opportunities by creating a loan fund for women who are starting new business ventures, with repayments redistributed as new loans.

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Livelihood Kickstarter

Thank you to all our donors, we have met our fundraising goal.

WHY ARE WE INVESTED IN THIS PROJECT?

There is a growing body of evidence that shows that there are better solutions to many of the basic problems plaguing the nation’s food chain can be realised by means of the small family farm rather than through large, capital-intensive, fossil fuel-based operations. But in order to achieve that traditional farms need to become more efficient, which required leveraging new techniques, practices and technologies.

This project focuses on doing just that! Having identified new techniques to make peanut farming more efficient, we will be engaging 36 farmers to trial the methods in their village and then upon success, we will accelerate adoption to other farmers in the village.

THE BENEFITS

The project will directly impact 36 small scale farmers and indirectly benefit over 120 people

  • Introduction of new technologies and practices that will significantly increase yield
  • Prevent losses during flooding
  • Improved quality to meet more profitable market requirements
  • Farmers will know how to assess and self-produce seeds reducing costs of production
  • Increase income for families to better meet their needs and pursue goals important to them

HOW WILL THE PROJECT WORK?

We have identified high performing peanut farmers in the Village of Thervipuram A. With these farmers, we worked with local experts and identified new practices and technologies that could significantly improve the yield of the farmers in the village. The estimated yield increase is approximately 50 – 60%.

Adoption of new practices takes time and in many instances, the poorest are reluctant to engage with these practices because of the risks of the unfamiliar.

In this project we will be working closely with 30 small scale farmers in the village who we call early adopters. They are stronger peanut farmers who see the potential of these practices and are willing to trial and test the method.

We will be providing training on 7 key innovative practices during their harvest, providing close mentoring, linking with the agricultural extension services and subsidising the inputs required for these new practices.

Through the engagement of these early adopters and through the results they produce, we can accelerate adoption through the village to significantly improve their production and quality. This will in turn enable Ranjini and the other farmers to better access profitable markets, increase their incomes and improve their ability to meet their daily needs.

HOW DO WE ENSURE THE PROJECT IS SUSTAINABLE AFTER WE LEAVE?

The program will support the training of the new techniques and provide intensive mentoring so that in time, farmers understand and have fully adopted these improved practices. With improved skills, farmers will be able to stand on their own two feet without the continued support from our local team.

In the initial harvest inputs are subsidised, to encourage adoption of new technologies, but following that, farmers are independent in supporting themselves to purchase the improved inputs. As part of the technologies shared, farmers will learn how to assess and self-produce some inputs such as seeds.

This program forms part of a 5 year village program in the village of Thervipuram A. For 5 years our local team will be based in the village supporting farmers to learn new techniques and supporting them as they adopt the practices. After 5 years our team exists from the village and the farmers and the village will continue to thrive!

$24,559 of $24,559 raised

Livelihood Kickstarter

Livelihoods have recommenced for these 36 farmers but with new techniques, practices and technologies they can be kick started for success!

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Farming for Food Security and Livelihoods

Thank you to all our donors, we have met our fundraising goal.

WHY ARE WE DOING THIS

Home gardens, water irrigation and training for 25 families so they can both eat what they grow and sell the remainder for a regular income.

Growing the fruit and vegetables at home means:

  • These families can always have food to eat, and don’t need to spend money on buying it. (In Sri Lanka, staple food is costly due to lack of supply from drought and other factors. A family can spend 40-60% of a family’s income compared to 8-12% spent in Australia.)
  • The savings that a family can make from growing their own vegetables can be used for other household expenses or saved for future use
  • Families will also earn a regular income, by increasing the amount of fruit and vegetables grown and selling the excess for a profit.

In order to ensure these 25 families succeed in their home garden businesses, our project partner will provide training on farming, financial management and small business.

Over the year, each family will be trained and supported to:

  • Grow fruit and vegetables using organic and modern farming techniques
  • Grow their farming business by increasing the amount of fruit and vegetables produced by the plants and good marketing
  • Manage household expenses
  • Save regularly, using savings to start their own small business, for instance, as a bee keeper for honey.

THE BENEFITS

  • 25 families will have food to eat each day from the crops they grow in their own back yard
  • By using organic farming practices these families can reduce the costs of farming and will be self-sufficient by using natural fertilizers and organic pesticides
  • 25 families will have food security into the future
  • By growing the produce in their own home gardens, these families will save money that they would otherwise have spent to buy food
  • In addition, the families will earn a regular income by selling the fruit and vegetables locally
  • Over the longer term, the beneficiary families can save and seek out new business opportunities.

After the project is finished, the 25 families will have home gardens set up which will provide them with food and a regular income through selling produce locally. They will also have saved over the course of the year and can look at starting their own small business, such as in bee keeping.

BACKGROUND

Many of the resettled families in the Korakankattu village in the Kilinochchi region already have farming skills. Prior to the civil war, these families were self sufficient, earning a regular income through farming, fishing and livestock. During the civil war, an economic embargo on raw materials heavily affected the ability of families in this region to continue farming activities.

The beneficiary families are now facing food insecurity. Due to the lack of tools and uncleared land, they are unable to commence a real farming livelihood. This project seeks to address food insecurity first, and then enable these families to build a farming business through which they can earn a regular income. Through the training provided, these families will have the skills to save and use these savings to establish other small businesses. BOLO proposes to establish a small business in bee keeping for honey as a pilot project to help establish the small or “micro” business culture within the community.

$25,025 of $25,025 raised

Farming for Food Security and Livelihoods

Home gardens, water irrigation and training for 25 families so they can eat what they grow and sell the remainder for a regular income.

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Sustainable Agri Business for Families Returning from IDP Camps

Thank you to all our donors, we have met our fundraising goal.

Developing sustainable agri businesses in the village of Iththavil, Northern Sri Lanka, to provide a source of food and income for 40 families who are rebuilding their lives from scratch. As part of Palmera’s sustainable livelihoods focus, Palmera will provide agricultural training, equipment and infrastructure for 40 families to begin farming in the village of Iththavil in Kilinochhi District. The produce will be sold locally to provide income to allow these families to start rebuilding their lives. Palmera will work with local organizations to assist the community to clear the land and set up irrigation so the land is ready for farming. The main water source, the agricultural well, will be reconstructed to provide a reliable water source. In addition to assisting with tools and infrastructure for farming, local organizations will work with the community to develop strategies to grow the farmers’ business, such as identifying marketing opportunities and potential markets for sale. The local community will undertake the construction involved in the project and the maintenance associated with farming. This will promote ownership and avoid the need for reliance on aid in the future. Once the land is suitable for farming and the agricultural well is repaired, around 40 families can earn a regular income. The grains also provide a good food source for the families. In time, these families and the community can begin to rebuild their lives after the devastation of the war. Kacharveli – Well Village

THE BENEFITS

  • Provides a regular source of income to the farmers, which will enable these families to access other basic needs such as food, water and education
  • Utilizes the existing skills and expertise of the community – which was largely farming before the war – and will further enhance the farmers’ business through collaboration with local organizations which can assist with business development
  • Will develop the local economy by improving trade within and across communities
  • Provides a secure food source for the farmers and their families
  • Provides an interim income source for some members of the community by paying them wages for assistance with clearing the land

BACKGROUND

The people of this village of Iththavil have faced continuous displacement since 1995. In the final stages of the war, the families from this village were released from the Menik farm IDP camps and returned to their village. While approximately 70 families have been provided with temporary shelter, they still lack access to basic facilities such as sanitation, clean water, and food. The majority of the community in Iththavil is dependent on agriculture as their primary source of income. However the agricultural well, which was the primary source of water for the farmers, has been damaged and is no longer usable. As a result, farming has been abandoned and farmers are forced to undertake manual labour work to earn a small income. Local employment opportunities are limited and inconsistent so most of the community is without a source of income. The land that has been identified for setting up farming is a common space and will be allocated to a group of civil society organizations who will work together to make the best use of the land. Palmera will work with these local organizations (Eg. women’s groups, farmers) to devise an effective plan for utilizing the land to generate sufficient income for the group.

 

$11,600 of $11,600 raised

Sustainable Agri Business for Families Returning from IDP Camps

Intro for main landing page Developing sustainable agri businesses in the village of Iththavil, Northern Sri Lanka, to provide a source of food and income for 40 families who are rebuilding their lives from scratch

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Improving Livelihoods for a Farming Community

Thank you to all our donors, we have met our fundraising goal.

To improve the livelihoods of a largely farming community, Palmera has revived an agricultural well that was in dire need of reconstruction in Malayalapuram, Killinochchi. The well was falling apart, and unsafe for farmers and the community to access, resulting in lost production and income. The new well, completed in August 2012, will improve a majority of the 500 farmers’ ability to gain a regular income and thereby improve the wellbeing of their families and the community.

BACKGROUND

Prior to the Sri Lankan civil war, Malayalapuram was a largely farming community with farmers comprising around 95% of the working population. Due to the lack of clean water, only a small number of farmers can today gain a regular income from farming. The current farming well in South Malayalapuram is in a dilapidated condition – its walls falling apart, its depth shrinking due to debris, and the lack of farming specific attachments has meant it is cumbersome, inefficient and dangerous to use. Lack of access to a sustainable source of water has severely restricted the quantity and quality of the rice that the farmer’s can produce and therefore, contributed to the farmers’ struggle in providing for their loved ones. Nearby families have also suffered from ill health due to the lack of access to clean water.

THE BENEFITS

  • Provides a sustainable source of water to a majority of the 500 South Malayalapuram farmers, thus allowing them to earn a regular income
  • Enables regular production of rice to support farmers, the residents of Malayalapuram and residents of the larger nearby centre of Killinochchi
  • A multi-purpose well, also providing a safe and sustainable source of drinking water for around 50 people from communities living close by.

The well will now be managed and maintained by representatives from the local community. Palmera has provided the representatives with the appropriate training and information to up keep the well in good condition.

$15,000 of $15,000 raised

Improving Livelihoods for a Farming Community

Much needed revival of an agricultural well in the largely farming community of Malayalapuram, Killinochchi, where over half of the paddy farmers are struggling to earn a regular income

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Clean Water for School Children

Thank you to all our donors, we have met our fundraising goal.

As part of Palmera’s water and sanitation post emergency development focus, Palmera has undertaken the reconstruction of a well at a local school in Malayalapuram, Killinochchi.  Around 100 students attending the school have had no access to safe drinking water, resulting in chronic illness and hampering the children’s ability to learn.The reconstruction, which was completed in August 2012, provides the children with a safe source of drinking water so they can attend school and effectively engage in education.

BACKGROUND

In its original state, the school well was unusable and a very unsafe area for the students. The children relied on rivers, streams and other unprotected water sources for their drinking water. Even at home, these children often do not have access to clean drinking water. Lack of access to safe drinking water has meant that the children are often contracting water borne illnesses. There are no doctors in the village itself, so these illnesses can seriously impact the children health and access to education. It has also impacted the health of approximately 12 surrounding families who currently do not have access to clean water.

THE BENEFITS

  • Provides safe drinking water to around 100 children attending the school , and to 12 neighbouring households
  • Provides water all year round, including in the dry season (the well is approximately 47 feet deep)
  • Reduces water borne illnesses
  • Provides a very safe area for children
  • Increases student attendance in schools
  • Improves the health and wellbeing of surrounding families who currently do not have any access to clean water
  • Supports local employment as skilled labourers from the local village were employed to complete the reconstruction, providing a source of income and enhancing the labourers’ skill sets.

The reconstructed well will now be managed and maintained by the local school. Palmera has ensured that the school has been provided with the appropriate training and information to upkeep the well in good condition.

 

$3,000 of $3,000 raised

Clean Water for School Children

Urgent reconstruction of a well at a local school in Malayalapuram, Killinochchi will provide around 100 students, as young as 5, access to safe drinking water

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Rice Mill for Women

Thank you to all our donors, we have met our fundraising goal.

As part of Palmera’s sustainable livelihoods focus, Palmera will support the establishment of a rice mill business, a business fund and provide required capacity building for the women entrepreneurs. The project includes the purchase of equipment, construction of a facility and training to establish a rice mill that will provide milling service. Income from the rice mill business will be used to support expansion of the business. In addition, profits from the rice mill will be pooled in a business fund and used to make loans to other women to support new businesses. The rice mill will be managed by the women in the local community. To support the local area, rice milling will be provided at a subsidized cost to local farmers, these farmers can increase their profits.

This social business replicates a similar model implemented by OfERR, our on the ground partner, in war torn regions of east Sri Lanka.

THE BENEFITS

  • Provides a regular source of income for the beneficiaries, who are primarily women. This will enable the families of these women to access other basic needs such as food and water.
  • Improves the business acumen of women headed households and other beneficiaries so that the rice mill business (and other business ventures) can continue successfully into the future.
  • A combination of grants and loans encourages the beneficiaries to maintain the business and take ownership and responsibility for its operation. The profits from the rice mill will be pooled in a fund and used to make loans to other women to support new businesses.
  • Will enable community members to access the rice mill at reduced cost, thereby enabling them to increase their profits and standard of living.
  • Storage facilities for paddy will enable storage for use during low season months, offering regular income.

BACKGROUND

The Manthai West District in Mannar, Sri Lanka, is a region that was devastated by the civil war. Now, as displaced families return to their original village, they are faced with the challenge of starting their lives from scratch. Many women in this area were left widowed following the civil war, and there is little by way of livelihood opportunities in the region. Following the devastation of the civil war, this area has limited rice milling facilities available. As a result, community members are required to travel long distances to have their paddy milled. Both the travel and the rice milling services impose burdensome costs on the farmers.

The purpose of this project is to provide a sustainable livelihood to the beneficiaries, who are primarily women, and to establish a profit-making business. In addition to training the mill operators in the equipment, training will also be provided to the women to assist their understanding of business practices and procedures. The operation of the rice mill will be managed by the Women’s Rural Development Scheme (WRDS) – which is a community group comprising of one woman from each family in the area.

A grant and loan combination will be provided to the rice mill operators. A portion of the loan will be repaid once revenue is such that repayments are not burdensome on the beneficiaries. In addition, profits from the rice mill will be pooled in a fund from which new loans will be made to other women setting up new businesses. As such, the project has the potential to develop a range of new businesses in the area.

Finally, by providing milling services at a subsidized rate, the farmers in the community can have their rice milled at a reduced cost and increase their profits.

$17,000 of $17,000 raised

Rice Mill for Women

Building a rice mill and creating a business fund to provide livelihoods to vulnerable women in the Manthai West region, Sri Lanka

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Access to Improved Sanitation and Electricity

Thank you to all our donors, we have met our fundraising goal.

Palmera will build 5 sanitation facilities and provide 35 solar lamps for families in the Parapankandal East and West Grama Sevaka divisions of the Manthai West region, Mannar.

During the war, a significant amount of sanitation facilities were destroyed. Households are currently forced to use unhygienic environments leading to a higher chance of disease. Women in the community are at risk of attacks when accessing remote facilities.

Palmera has targeted its project to those families with a large number of women, and that are particularly vulnerable to security or safety threats. Without adequate electricity in the region, many children of IDP returnees are significantly limited in their ability to completing their studies after dark. These results in reduced engagement in education and can limit future livelihood opportunities for these children. Palmera will provide 35 solar lamps out of 60 to be provided under the program, for families with children who are studying.

THE BENEFITS

  • Provides 5 hygienic sanitation facilities which will improve health outcomes for impacted families (OfERR is building a total of 10 for the community)
  • The sanitation facilities will be targeted to those families with a large number of women, which will reduce the risk of potential attacks on women accessing remote facilities.
  • Solar lamps will enable students in the community to study after dark, improving their opportunities for education.
$1,820 of $1,820 raised

Access to Improved Sanitation and Electricity

Enabling several families in war effected regions of the Manthai West region of Sri Lanka to access hygienic sanitation facilities to improve health outcomes and providing solar lamps which will enable students to study after dark

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A Chicken’s Business

Thank you to all our donors, we have met our fundraising goal.

Palmera will ensure that 30 women-headed households in the village of Korakankattu in Northern Province will receive training and support to successfully commence and manage poultry farming. Each woman beneficiary will receive thirty chickens and support material such as medicine. The women will participate in group seminars with agricultural experts once every three months to learn and refresh on effective poultry rearing techniques.

Many of these women were widowed at a young age and currently are the sole breadwinners for their extended families. There are limited opportunities for livelihoods for these women. Many previously tried poultry farming but were unsuccessful due to lack of knowledge and expertise. This support for running a successful business will enable these women to provide for their families, gain confidence and contribute to development of the local economy.

THE BENEFITS

  • Provides 30 women and their families with the means to earn a regular income
  • With a regular income, these families can better access food, water and other basic needs
  • The eggs and meat will provide a highly nutritional food source to supplement the families’ diets
  • The poultry farming can be the basis for successful micro businesses, contributing to the local economy.

BACKGROUND

As a result of the civil war in Sri Lanka, many women who resided in Korakankattu (a village in the Kilinochichi District, Northern Province), had most of their property and personal effects destroyed. Many of these women lost their husbands during the war and are currently the sole providers for their families. There are limited opportunities for employment in the village.

In the past, many women in the village of Korakankattu have tried poultry farming but have failed due to lack of knowledge and expertise. This project will ensure the beneficiaries receive the knowledge and skills to successfully farm poultry and generate an ongoing income. A key aspect of the project design is the role of a project coordinator who will visit each beneficiary once a month over a six month period to review progress and provide support with any issues they encounter.

 

$4,976 of $4,976 raised

A Chicken’s Business

Training and equipment to support 30 women-headed households to successfully farm poultry in Northern Province, Sri Lanka.

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Bore Wells for Livelihoods

Thank you to all our donors, we have met our fundraising goal.

Palmera will work with the local community in Manthai West, Mannar, to build bore wells for the community to use. These bore wells will enable the 120 families in the Parapankandal East and West Grama Sevaka divisions of the Manthai West region to access clean water within close proximity to their land. The water supply in this areaese villages were has been destroyed or contaminated as a result of the civil war. Many households are currently walkwalking several kilometres to access drinking water. This has also made agriculture and animal rearing difficult livelihoods to maintain.

THE BENEFITS

  • Provides drinking water to for 120 families
  • Provides opportunities for these families to build and maintain livelihoods in agriculture and animal rearing by providing access to clean water
  • Engages the local community in building the bore wells.

$15,000 of $15,000 raised

Bore Wells for Livelihoods

Enabling 120 families to access clean water through the construction of bore wells that will be used for drinking water and for agriculture and animal rearing in the Manthai West region ofMannar, Sri Lanka

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Training English Teachers to Improve Literacy

Thank you to all our donors, we have met our fundraising goal!

Palmera will support the development and implementation of a curriculum for teacher training at an English school in Siem Reap, Cambodia. English competency has long been poor in vulnerable communities in Cambodia with little investment provided to local teachers servicing these areas.

This project aims to develop a 2-year curriculum for 20 teachers. The training will be conducted by the Australian Centre for Education at the school (Volunteer Development Children’s Association).

The training will take into account culturally sensitive issues. Some teachers will also be trained to provide ongoing training to future new teachers so that a long-term sustainable solution is achieved.

THE BENEFITS

  • Provides 20 teachers with English language training
  • By improving teacher standards, school students can improve their English competency and gain access to employment in the hospitality industry or further education
  • Provides training in teaching methods and culturally sensitive issues
  • Provides training to some teachers to provide ongoing training to future new teachers
  • Identifies high performing school students so they can partake in the teacher training course which would lead them to become teachers.

BACKGROUND

The Volunteer Development Children’s Association (VCDA) is an English school that focuses on free supplemental English teaching for any child, irrespective of their financial status. Cambodia has struggled with improving the level of English in vulnerable communities as little investment has been provided to the local teachers servicing this community. There is a large reliance placed on visiting teachers, however, this also presents challenges due to short timeframes, inconsistent teaching approaches and a lack of appreciation of teaching English as a second language.

This project aims to provide English language training to 20 teachers over two years. It also provides training in teaching methods. The objective is that these teachers can then develop the competencies of the students at the VCDA school.

OUR PARTNER

In Cambodia, the mission of the Australian Centre for Education (ACE) is to provide quality English instruction to foster human resource development. ACE is part of IDP Cambodia’s English language school and has earned official accreditation with the National ELT Accreditation Scheme (NEAS), the official accrediting body for English Language Training (ELT) schools in Australia.

$15,000 of $15,000 raised

Training English Teachers to Improve Literacy

Training teachers at an English school in Siem Reap, Cambodia, so that students can gain English competency and gain employment in the hospitality industry or seek higher education.

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Urgent Livelihoods For Displaced

Thank you to all our donors, we have met our fundraising goal!

Urgent livelihood assistance will provide grains and initial farming support to 150 families who have been resettled from Menik farm IDP camp. Palmera will provide urgent livelihood assistance to 150 families who have recently been resettled after the closure of the Menik farm IDP camp to Mullituvu. Escaping the war in 2009, these families have lost almost all their possessions and have endured two and a half years of hardship. They are unable to return to their original homes and are therefore starting from scratch. Palmera will urgently provide 150 families with grains and initial farming assistance to grow peanuts and cowpeas. It is crucial that this assistance is provided now as this is the optimal season for farming. These families were farming prior to the war and therefore already have the knowledge and skills to grow the crops. This assistance will enable farming to commence and with income earned from selling the crops, these families can access basic needs such as food, water and shelter. Slowly, these families can begin to rebuild their lives after the devastation of the war.

THE BENEFITS

  • Provides immediate relief to 150 families by enabling farming of peanuts and cowpeas for an income
  • With this income, these families can access food, shelter and clean water
  • The grains selected do not require much water so farmers can grow crops regardless of access to water (rain water is sufficient)
  • A regular income will also assist these families to gain confidence, become self-sufficient and slowly develop an economy for this new community

BACKGROUND

In September 2012 around 300 families were resettled from the Menik farm IDP camp to the village of Mallikaithivu in Mullituvu. Currently, these families are unable to fulfill even basic needs such as food, water and shelter. While most of the families were originally farming, without assistance they do not have sufficient funds to acquire grains, and the land in this village is presently not appropriate for farming. Palmera will support ploughing of the land and fencing so that farming can begin.

$15,000 of $15,000 raised

Urgent Livelihoods For Displaced

Urgent livelihood assistance will provide grains and initial farming support to 150 families who have been resettled from Menik farm IDP camp

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Feed The Poor

Thank you to all our donors, we have met our fundraising goal!

300 Families. $25 AUD each. If you can. Feed the poor.

The Coronavirus is coming for the world’s poor.

Poorer countries lack the economic resources and medical infrastructure of their more developed counterparts and so are taking more draconian measures to prevent the outbreak.

They know all too well what will happen if they don’t.

But this has impacts on the poorest. These families rely on daily wages from labour. Without this income, they are left with nothing.

Those relying on income from home-based farms struggle to access the marketplace as most last mile services have ceased operations.

With communities in lock down, families are isolated and suffering in silence.

If you can, now is the time to respond.

We have identified 300 families who are in critical stages. They are families with children, the elderly and the sick. The emergency relief will be made up of dry rations sufficient to last for 1 to 3 months.

If you can. Support now.

$8,003 of $8,000 raised

Feed The Poor

The Coronavirus is coming for the world’s poor

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