Cultural norms in the North and East, in general, ensure dominance by men. Generally, women as well as the children and adults who are physically or otherwise challenged do not have a say in how they should progress in life. The three-decade civil war exacerbated the discrimination against these sections of the community. It produced a great number of women headed families, women breadwinners and adults with mainly physical challenges, and they needed support to enhance their livelihood. Similarly children who face physical and other challenges like visual, hearing, speaking, brain development, etc are neglected even by their own families need special care, education and training in appropriate trades. SCOT General Council members appreciate the importance of empowering these groups in the society, and therefore engaged with 11 organisations in the North & East that were providing support to the groups and funded some of their projects. Click here to read brief statements relating to a few of the SCOT funded Endowment projects.
Hindu Council of Sri Lanka
Mangaiyar Mandram Project
Completed in 2016
Project Implementation Partner
Hindu Council of Sri Lanka (HCSL), Colombo
Women as heads of families or breadwinners faced major discrimination when government agencies, NGOs and other organisations distribute reliefs or provide funds for any livelihood programmes. They had their own dependents at home and did lowly paid work to support their families. They needed support to start enterprises that could operate from home.
There were demand for ground chillies, grams, beans and similar as well as cooked meals and short-eats, made hygienically and packed in sealed bags. Demands were in villages and nearby towns.
HCSL had already pioneered its project – Mangaiyar Mandram - in two remote villages in Batticaloa District. The project at each location comprised: help to a small group of women (16-20 in number) to form a cooperative, open a bank account in the name of the cooperative and in the names of the individual members and provide training on making various food items hygienically, packaging, accounting and operating an enterprise. The members were obliged to contribute a small fixed sum in the cooperative account as well as in their individual accounts and funds from these accounts provided the members funds to operate the different enterprises. In all, 8 No Mangaiyar Mandrams (4 No in Batticaloa, 3 No Mullaitivu & 1 No in Kilinochchi) were established at a total cost of just over £ 15,000 during the period 2012-15 and SCOT funded it. Most of the expenses related to the purchases of various grinding, packaging and cooking equipment and other needed tools.
These cooperatives helped to enhance each member’s income between Rs 4,000 and Rs 7,000 per month, which averaged almost 80% extra income for each in the first two years of monitoring.
Special Training for Teachers at Deaf and Blind School
Nuffield School for Deaf & Blind, Kaithady, Jaffna
Completed in 2015
Most families who have children with physical or other challenges try to keep them indoors. The reasons could be to protect them from discrimination or name calling by the general public or even not to expose to the public their shame. Many parents give extra care to the affected children, but they over do it and make the children totally dependent: initially on the parents and after the death of the parents; they cling on to their siblings or close relatives. The affected children need to be trained to take care of themselves, given appropriate education and skills training and take responsibility for their own actions.
TIDE has been caring for children with various challenges, and approached SCOT in 2013 for funds to improve the caring and training at Nuffield School at Kaithady. Girls and boys are taken care of in the school. TIDE had already funded a short teacher training programme in early 2013 using two British ladies who had wide relevant experience. The team was led by Ms Anne East. Their inputs were to include giving teaching guidance and certain subject materials to the teachers of maths and science during the inhouse workshops. The same ladies were going to continue to monitor and mentor the teachers during their subsequent visits and also provide some of the needed tools for teaching.
SCOT provided a total sum of £2,000 to cover the period 2014 and 2015. Dr Lakshmi Kuhendran (grand-daughter of the late Mr N S Kandiah, a former president of SCOT) conducted a fund-raising event, which comprised her solo Bharathanatiyam performance, on behalf of SCOT. The trainers provided their report after each visit.
A SCOT representative monitored the progress of the children’s improvements in capabilities. He also noted a few income generation activities within the school that were being carried out by the children. Lakshmi has paid twice visited the school and has given good feedback.
List of Local Organisations that SCOT Funded