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The Martin De Kegel Foundation changed the lifestyles of women in Tsunami village Negombo.

Due to the closure of the country as a result of Corona Virus, the mostly affected are the daily wage earners such as fishermen, construction workers and etc. The Tsunami village in Wellaweediya- Negombo is such affected party. During the said period they took meals only twice a day.

After the several discussions with the villagers had with Martin De Kegal Foundation, a capital of Rs 50,000 was given as a loan to buy the essential dry rations in bulk to woman’s groups. This was initiated in July 2020. We have carried out this practice for 20 months.

The women in the family who used to spend the full day wage, started saving a small amount due to the discussions with Martin De Kegal Foundation. As a result even during the lockdown in 2021 they were able to avoid hunger and food scarcity also they achieved an economic benefit through buying goods for two weeks. The team somehow manages to pay during the two weeks. This practice enhanced the friendship, solidarity and harmony among team members in women’s groups. Every member wanted everyone to have a full tummy and didn’t want any member to be in hunger. This also increased the number of members per team. Initially it was only 22 members but now it has grown up to 29 women.

However, every good thing should have negative comments too.

Similarly, the shop keepers in the village are not selling goods to the team members because they stopped black markets in the village. The women leaders of the team are getting scolded by shop keepers because they introduced this system to the village.

The special comment

Based on the income they could only afford 100g dhal, 500g sugar and ¼ bottle of coconut oil per day increased their capital to Rs. 96,000. As a result, in January 2022, they were able to buy goods worth of Rs 150,000. They don’t buy goods daily anymore but have sufficient stocks for two weeks. However due to the strong inflation, they could only afford the basic dry rations.

Ms. Pradeepa Warnakula, Director of MDKF Sri Lanka organized the women groups.

We are planning on moving the consumer good activity initiated by Wellaweediya Tsunami village women’s groups to other areas in near future.

Shiran Maithri - Sudharma Kumudumala