For farmers living in small villages in Sri Lanka, income from milk sales alone isn't always enough to get by. Add a cow to milk, peanuts to grow, and a local store to run and it may seem impossible.
For people with disabilities and vulnerable individuals, the challenge is greater. People with disabilities are struggle to find decent work due to discrimination. Humanity & Inclusion’s team is working hard to change this.
In collaboration with a local partner, Humanity & Inclusion’s team in Sri Lanka runs an economic inclusion project that aims to ensure that everyone benefits from economic growth. We promote the inclusion of vulnerable individuals in economic activities and coordinate training sessions for employers who are encouraged to take into account the most vulnerable individuals when hiring.
As a result, nearly one hundred women have been hired by companies including Brandix, the country’s largest exporter of apparel. We educated 30 civil society organizations on the struggles faced by people with disabilities and showed them how they can support the growth of employment opportunities for these individuals.
Building on this project, which is funded by the European Union, Humanity & Inclusion produced a publication on the inclusive local economy, including best practices, and recommendations for local authorities and NGOs. For more information, read the development toolkit.
Humanity & Inclusion in Sri Lanka
Since 2004, Humanity & Inclusion has been providing assistance to victims of armed conflict, promoting social inclusion, and developing partnerships at all levels to implement and support national disability policies in the country. Learn more about our work in Sri Lanka.
The civil war that raged in Sri Lanka for more than 20 years resulted in the deaths of more than 70,000 people and the disappearance of thousands more. Today, nine years after the end of the conflict, a process of national reconciliation is under way in the country. Humanity & Inclusion is working to ensure that women, especially women with disabilities, are involved in the country’s reconciliation process.
Thanks to support from the US Department of State’s Office of Global Women’s Issues, our teams identified self-help groups, local women's organizations, and community leaders in the northern regions of Kilinochchi and Kandy. From 2015-2017, HI staff provided them with information on inclusion and disability issues to help ensure that they represent their members, as well as influence decisions made as part of the reconciliation process.
The goal is to make their daily activities (micro-credit and self-help groups) more inclusive of people with disabilities, especially women, and to ensure that those individuals take part in national round-table discussions with local authorities responsible for this process. The organizations our teams identified have also made recommendations on ensuring that public policies take greater account of the needs of women, especially those with disabilities.
A huge thanks to the US Department of State for funding this important work.
Our work in Sri Lanka
Working in Sri Lanka since 2004, our teams provide assistance to victims of armed conflict, promote social inclusion, and help develop partnerships at all levels to implement and support national disability policies. Learn more about our work in Sri Lanka.
Note: The team in Sri Lanka has not yet shared an image from the current floods. This is a stock image from June 2016 flooding in the country.Read more
In the aftermath of the 2004 tsunami, Handicap International worked to help vulnerable Indonesians, Sri Lankans and Indians affected by the large-scale disaster. Ten years later, the organization continues its work there, and has considerably developed its disaster risk management experience.Read more
Humanity & Inclusion in Sri Lanka
Humanity & Inclusion implemented its first project in Sri Lanka in 1992/1993, focusing on training rehabilitation professionals in Colombo and Jaffna. Today our mission has expand to include numerous humanitarian services.
The predicament of people with disabilities within Sri Lanka has been exacerbated by three decades of armed conflict and natural disasters. Following the Tsunami in 2004, Sri Lanka suffered extensive damage, both physically and socially.
Humanity & Inclusion works to provide assistance to victims of armed conflict, promoting social inclusion, and developing partnerships at all levels to implement and support national disability policies.
Our Current Work
Humanity & Inclusion’s Sri Lanka team operates with a team of 62 staff members who carry out daily tasks in order to:
- Provide rehabilitation services
- Promote inclusive livelihoods through socio-economic empowerment
- Advocate for peace and inclusive governance
- Empower women
- Increase access to proper and timely clubfoot treatment for children
Humanity & Inclusion works to optimize the quality and access to rehabilitation services in Sri Lanka for vulnerable populations with injuries and disabilities by:
- Ensuring continued rehabilitation service/treatment for children with clubfoot
- Supporting rehabilitation centers in the Northern province
- Supporting National Mine Action Center to define and implement assistance to victim strategy and implementation plan
The organization also educates people with disabilities about the availability of services and provides necessary training and equipment to the Kilinochchi Prosthetics and Orthotics Clinic.
To sustainably improve the livelihoods of vulnerable people, Humanity & Inclusion builds the capacities of vulnerable people and their families to develop sustainable revenue sources. It helps them access services provided by economic development operators.
Peace and Governance
Humanity & Inclusion works to increase the participation of women with and without disabilities in peace processes and decision-making.
This plan highlights the exclusion of people with disabilities and places women and children with disabilities as marginalized groups within a marginalized group.
Humanity & Inclusion empowers women to achieve an inclusive and sustainable transitional justice and reconciliation process by providing technical and financial support and the ability to connect with other women to share their experiences and ideas for improving communities who have suffered from conflict.
Clubfoot Treatment for Children
This project aims to increase access to proper and timely clubfoot treatment for children by promoting accessible health care and creating awareness within their communities.
Humanity & Inclusion also provides technical support and necessary equipment to Lady Ridgeway Hospital for Children.
Our Past Work
Humanity & Inclusion has been operating in Sri Lanka to foster a culture of dignity, access, and inclusion for ALL people with disabilities and who are vulnerable. Over time, we have evolved our work to meet the dynamic needs of the communities where we serve.
Read on to learn more about our past work in Sri Lanka and consider investing in our future.
Sports for All
In collaboration with the local government in Vavuniya, this project enabled children and youth with disabilities to play inclusive sports and participate in activities with their non-disabled peers.
The project also increased disability awareness among community leaders, sports clubs, schools, business and organizations for people with disabilities (OPDs or DPOs).
Steve Harknett, Project Manager for Humanity & Inclusion in Vavuniya, wrote a blog for the Huffington Post about the project. You can read it here.
Inclusive Rural Development
This project worked to reduce poverty in Uva and Central Provinces by:
- Improving sustainable livelihoods and creating employment opportunities for women and people with disabilities
- Promoting climate-resilient and inclusive socio-economic development by supporting the growth of small and medium enterprises and improving business development services and environmental support
2,000 individuals have been employed and 60 business development service providers have benefited.
On October 23, the new U.S. Ambassador to Sri Lanka, Michele Sison, visited Handicap International's rehabilitation project for people with disabilities at the Batticaloa Teaching Hospital.Read more