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 provides assistance to victims of armed conflict, promoting social inclusion, and developing partnerships at all levels to implement and support national disability policies. The organization employs 69 national staff and two expatriates to carry out its mission in Sri Lanka.
Humanity & Inclusion has been working in Sri Lanka since 2004. The predicament of people with disabilities within Sri Lanka has been exacerbated by three decades of armed conflict. Following the Tsunami in 2004, Sri Lanka suffered extensive damage, both physically and socially.
- Physical Rehabilitation
- Socio-Economic Empowerment
- Peace and Governance
- Inclusive Rural Development
- Justice and Empowering Women
- Clubfoot Treatment for Children
This project aims to optimize the quality and access to physical rehabilitation services in Sri Lanka for vulnerable populations with injuries and disabilities. To date, Humanity & Inclusion has fitted and provided 3,115 prosthetic and orthotic devices, conducted 2,291 physical therapy sessions, and provided 1,119 mobility devices. Humanity & Inclusion works to provide those persons injured by landmines and other explosive remnants of war living in Kilinochchi district with access to rehabilitation services. The organization leads an awareness raising campaign to educate people with disabilities about the availability of services and provides necessary training and equipment to the Kilinochchi Prosthetics and Orthotics Clinic.
Humanity & Inclusion's project based in the east of Sri Lanka builds the capacities of vulnerable people and their families to develop sustainable revenue sources and helps them access services provided by economic development operators (banks, chambers of commerce, professional training centers, organizations, government programs). This project supports 30 economic-inclusion service providers, and bolsters personalized health and occupational opportunities for 500 people with disabilities and their families.
Peace and Governance
Humanity & Inclusion works to increase the participation of women with and without disabilities in peace processes and decision-making, in line with the national action plan for the protection and promotion of human rights (2011-2016) and Sri Lanka’s national peace and reconciliation process. This plan highlights the exclusion of people with disabilities and places women and children with disabilities as marginalized groups within a marginalized group.
Inclusive Rural Development
This project works to reduce poverty in Uva and Central Provinces by improving sustainable livelihoods and creating employment opportunities for women and people with disabilities. This project promotes 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.
Justice and Empowering Women
Humanity & Inclusion works to empower women in the Colombo district to achieve an inclusive and sustainable transitional justice and reconciliation process. Women in especially vulnerable populations are provided 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. More than 15,000 women have benefited from the program, positively impacting their communities as a whole.
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. 250 children have received treatment and 500 parents have been educated about treatment compliance and home base follow up. Humanity & Inclusion also provides technical support and necessary equipment to Lady Ridgeway Hospital for Children.
Humanity & Inclusion's previous work in Sri Lanka includes:
Sports for All (2012)
In close collaboration with the local government in Vavuniya, this project enabled children and youth with disabilities play inclusive sports and participate in activities with their non-disabled peers. Five hundred children with disabilities and 1,500 children without disabilities participated in this program. The project also increased disability awareness among community leaders, sports clubs, schools, business and disabled people’s organization (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.
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