Livehood Assistance for a special needs family

BDS Beneficiary: J. Herath

LOCATION: Kahatagasdigiliya, Anuradhapura

47-year old Mrs. U.B. Jayantha Herath of Kahatagasdigiliya in Thamanaweva, Seepukulama lives with her husband Mr. Nirmal Rathnayaka, 53, and a schooling daughter. Both the husband and wife are deaf and dumb. They are dependent on tailoring to fulfill their day-to-day expenses. They had to undergo enormous hardship due to their poverty and disability. The government built a house for them due to the precarious situation the family faced. Apart from seasonal cultivation, tailoring has been the family's main income source. Although, they had access to a sewing machine owned by a relative, they were faced with a situation where the relative wanted the machine returned. Thereby, the family was in danger of losing their main income source. 

During this juncture, BDS came forward to provide them with a new machine at a cost of Rs. 37,900.00. At present, the family is able to carry out their profession without any hindrance. Mrs. Herath is engaged in making hand bags, school bags, wallets etc. Ultimately, this livelihood intervention has brought about a positive outcome to the family. Now they earn an average income of Rs. 6,750.00 monthly and their income level will increase as production volume grows in numbers.

EIP Housing Project for W.Amarawathi

BDS Beneficiary: W. Amarawathi

LOCATION: Kahatagasdigiliya, Anuradhapura

W. Amarawathy of Noolnewa village in Kahatagasdigiliya Divisional area is a 40-year-old female and lives with her two children and husband. The family for a number of years has been undergoing severe agony and hardship due to the unavailability of a proper place to live with lavatory facility etc. They had been living a 10X10 muddy room inappropriate for hygienic residence. 

The wife is mentally imbalanced and the husband relies on odd jobs to make a living which is not sufficient at all, at least to fulfill their daily needs. Apart from this income, they receive a Samurdhi allowance. It was the villagers who managed to build them a temporary mud house where, presently, they live in. In fact, the family could not build a house on their own while they do not have any plans of improving their living standard. 
The reason is both due to their extreme poverty and illiteracy.

Meanwhile, the situation of the children is very terrible as the elder daughter is 9 years older and the youngest son is 3 years old.  They do not have any facility like latrine and water. The electricity connection was provided to them as the family was a Samurdhi beneficiary. Their daily life was therefore a burden on their hands with no future or hope for improvement. Realising this situation, BDS constructed an Economically Inactive Poor (EIP) house for them at a cost of Rs. 289,000.00. The family is now relieved and are happier.



Cultivating their paddy lands after 3 years

BDS Beneficiary: J. M. Piyasena

LOCATION: Oyamaduwa, Anuradhapura

J.M Piyasena (62) a farmer in the village of Oyamaduwa in Anuradhpura  district is very happy these  days, he can finally cultivate his paddy field after a lapse of three years. The Nikaweratiya Anicut located in Alyapattuwa, in Oyamaduwa is around hundred years old and benefits approximately 40 acres of paddy cultivation in the area and around 40 farming families .The paddy lands benefitting the Anicut have been owned by these families for nearly 200 years.

In 2010, the spillway of the anicut was badly damaged as a result of a flood. The families utilizing the anicut used temporary measures, such as using sand bags to cover the spillway, but this did not prove to be very successful and as a result these farmers could not cultivate their paddy lands for a period of three years. Although various requests were made to Government officials to repair the spillway, this also proved to be futile.

In 2013, the farmers finally sought the assistance of BDS to repair the spillway. BDS provided the skilled labour, equipment and material  required for the project amounting to Rs. 445,500. The 40 farmer's formed a special farmers organization named ' Dilena tharu govi sanvidanaya' for the purpose of repairing the Anicut and provided the manual labour as well as a contribution of Rs. 237,500 towards the project. The total cost for the project was Rs. 683,000. The collaborative project was completed in October 2013, within a period of 1 ½ months.

Mr. Asoka Wijewardena, the president of the farmer's organization states “We are very happy for the assistance given to us by the Berendina organization, even the Government was not willing to assist us, we were unable to cultivate our lands for three years and now 40 families can now cultivate their paddy lands and are very happy”.

Hopes of a better future

BDS Beneficiary: Nadeesha Lakmali Jayasundera

LOCATION: Thirapane, Anurdhapura

Nadeesha Lakmali Jayasundera (20) lives in Thirappane in the Anuradhpura District. Her father is a farmer and also works part-time at the Road Development Authority. Nadeesha's mother is a housewife and Nadeesha also has two younger sisters. Nadeesha and her sister's do not even have a desk to study in their home. In spite of this, Nadeesha obtained 2 A's and a B for her Advanced level examination in 2012 in the Arts stream and was also ranked 137 in the Anurdhapura district. In 2013, Nadeesha was selected to the faculty of Humanities at the University of Kelaniya and is currently pursuing a B.A in Korean, Sinhala and Mass Communication.

Nadeesha was a beneficiary of a monthly BDS scholarship of Rs.1000 for two years for her Advanced level Examination. Nadeesha states that this assistance given by BDS greatly assisted her family in paying for the private extra classes required for the Advanced level examination. Nadeesha states that when she was pursuing her ordinary level examination, her family could not afford to send her for any extra classes and she felt this was a big disadvantage to her.

Talking about her future plans, Nadeesha states that she hopes to specialize in the Korean language at University and stated that she was very grateful for the assistance given to her to achieve her dream of an university education.  Plans are already being made by BDS to continue supporting Nadeesha for her university education as her family is not in a position support her with this.

On the path of victory…

BDS Beneficiary: Kanagarasa Gowshika

LOCATION: Verugal, Echilampattu, Trincomalee

Kanagarasa Gowshika (Age 40) lives in Verugal, Echilampattu in the Trincomalee district. Gowshika is a single mother of two young daughters. For her survival and to look into the needs of her daughters, she started a small business of purchasing rice in bulk and selling it to households in her area with Rs. 2000 of her savings a few years ago. Through this, she was able to sell 200 Kg of rice and earn a profit of Rs. 1,500 per month. During the paddy harvest time, she also works in the paddy fields as a laborer and is also able to save some money through this activity. In 2013 Berendina Development Services (BDS) identified Gowshika as a beneficiary for its livelihood assistance program. Gowshika was provided with 200 Kg of rice by BDS as livelihood assistance to improve her business. Gowshika also expanded to selling tea, sugar, onions, green chilies and beetle leaves from the profit she earned from her rice selling business.

Now, Gowshika’s profit from her business is Rs. 5000 per month. This helps her support her children’s educational needs, especially to buy uniforms, shoes, school bags and exercise books. The village people who looked down on Gowshika because of her poverty now show more respect towards Gowshika and her children as they are now in a better position in life.

Since, there aren’t any grocery shops in her area, Gowshika also hopes to obtain a loan from the Berendina Microfinance Institute (BMI) and start a small scale grocery shop in her village. 

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