Development of activities of micro-entrepreneurship among women, Batticaloa













Beneficiaries: Women, widows and ex-child soldiers in Batticaloa

Cities / Region involved: Batticaloa

Period: 2012 - 2014

Sources of funding: Regione Friuli Venezia Giulia

Total cost: 50.571,22 euros

Project Status: ongoing

Funded by the Autonomous Region of Friuli Venezia Giulia MICRO PROJECTS pursuant to Regional Law n . 19 of 30 October 2000 Interventions to promote, at regional and local level, the activities of development cooperation and international partnership.

This project aims to contribute to the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals by the year 2015 in relation to Objective 3, which aims to " Promote gender equality and women empowerment." This project is carried out in a social context characterized by widespread poverty, especially in rural areas; this has a strong impact on the most vulnerable populations, including women, thus highlighting the strong links between gender issues and poverty. Even though many humanitarian projects have been carried out by several different NGOs, the results were often limited by the weakness of the activities, poorly effective and sustainable, unable to adequately resolve the real needs, relegating the final beneficiaries in the vicious circle of poverty. Our project aims to overcome these difficulties by providing a valuable support through a program of education and promotion of income generating activities, addressing the most vulnerable groups, represented by women, widows and ex-child soldiers of the Tamil community in the North-East of Sri Lanka. Its overall objective is to carry out activities aimed at overcoming the situation of social exclusion through the development of professional skills and the support of small entrepreneurship projects. The project foresees training courses aimed at increasing professional, organizational and managerial skills with the subsequent start of small micro-enterprise activities.

The project foresees training courses aimed at strengthening the professional skills of women involved. 30 women, divided into sub-groups, will participate in various theoretical and practical training aimed at developing technical skills in income generating activities in order to increase their possibilities of employment. Training on income-generating activities will constitute a theoretical module aimed at developing skills in the areas of entrepreneurship, product quality, sales management and other specific economic techniques. The technical labs that will take place within centres in the area, and are implemented by our Partner, the local Association Koinonian, will cover: techniques of dyeing, processing of fabrics and tailoring, processing techniques, preparation and preserving of fruit, vegetables and cooked foods, micro-gardening techniques, techniques of construction and fishering. Women will be so enriched by a know-how that will enable them to better manage their activities. Once the theoretical training is done, women will be able to train other women and other members of the community, thus multiplying the chances of spreading the techniques learned. On completion of the training phase, the project envisages the establishment of an ad hoc service for entrepreneurs that will be run by some of the women previously trained. The Entrepreneurship Service will also have the important task of managing a micro-credit fund, under the supervision of a local representative of the Association, which aims to support small business ideas for women trained by the project. The micro-credit loans will then have the aim of promoting the creation and development of small business ideas to start or develop self-employment projects. In determining the duration of the grant allocation, small businesses will have to return the received credit, which will then fund new projects. The provision of micro-credit will be initially managed by Koinonia that will assist women throughout the duration of their stay and for the gradual transfer of skills and know-how that will allow the fund to be self-managed. The strengthening of the network among women involved in theoretical and practical training aims to increase the institutional involvement and will make the whole community aware of the opportunities in the area. The analysis phase of the context and related problems has been implemented placing the accent to the situation of women in Sri Lanka. Great importance is given to the involvement of women given their crucial role in the Sinhalese society. All activities have been planned starting from the identification of needs of women and their obligations towards the society and their family commitments. In addition, the establishment  of a fund for micro- credit loans is aiming at reaching the autonomy and self-employment of women involved, who will then decide their future. After a theoretical and technical training, women can indeed access micro-credit loans by implementing micro-entrepreneurial projects that will be carried out thanks to the financial contribution. Once the activity will be started, the money received will go back and allow the financing of new business projects of other women. The project results will be disseminated by Koinonia in the local area through a series of events and initiatives that raise awareness and promote the services offered. In addition, Auxilia will release publications and organize conferences with the aim of raising awareness on development cooperation issues and microcredit as an opportunity for self-employment. Main activities: The activities of the project requires the establishment of an operational structure in charge of coordination and administration of all the actions implemented to achieve the objectives and results (agreements with local partners , organization and design of teaching classes, enrollment of participants…); it will therefore develop all the activities related to training courses, the Entrepreneurship Service (purchasing equipment, training to other members of the community, creating an ATM for entrepreneurship for the territory in the north-east of Sri Lanka, agreements with local partners , logistical organization of the ATM, selection of staff); a fundamental step is also awareness raising and dissemination of actions implemented throughout the duration of the project, through the creation of a network that will become a reference point for sharing and exchanginguseful information, resources, tools and best practices. The organization of conferences and meetings for community awareness on development cooperation issues, dissemination of results and publications is also a fundamental part of the project.




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