WUSC’s Plantations Communities Project has been working with communities living on and around the tea estates of Sri Lanka since 2001. Aimed at improving the social and economic conditions of the plantation residents on 42 estates in four Districts, this project empowers communities, and institutions, including the Estate Workers Housing Cooperative Societies (EWCHS) through skills building on gender, occupational health and safety, industrial relations income generation.
The EWCHS is a hub within the plantation community, through which workers are able to act collectively with estate management to make changes to their living conditions, access government investment and services, and support one another. EWHCS services include home building and repaisr, water supply, savings and loans, cooperative retails shops and special projects such as the distribution of school supplies to local children.
With the support from the Saskatchewan Council for International Cooperation (SCIC), WUSC has been able to expand our gender, financial management and leadership training to additional estates. This training will allow for a total of 38 Estate Workers Housing Cooperative Societies to have simple, effective and modern financial management systems along with the skills necessary to plan and ensure ongoing viability for the cooperative in their community.
Equally, women’s groups on 18 estates will be provided with the leadership, household financial management, and cooperative management skills to help them make the changes important to them and their family.
“The training gave me leadership and communication skills so that I can become a Union Leader. It has also helped my home life; because of the training, I am able to maintain a peaceful home life.” Amudha, female tea plucker from Abbotsleigh Plantation, Watawala.
The Plantation Communities Project (PCP II) is implemented by World University Service of Canada (WUSC) and is undertaken with the financial support of the Government of Canada provided through the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA).