Ms. Manori Thanthrige, the founder and current president of the Eksath Lanka Welfare Foundation (ELWF) in Sri Lanka, had a vision to “provide equal opportunities to the rural people especially women and children in the Nuwara Eliya area that are enjoyed by women in the Colombo district.”
When ELWF was first founded in 2005, the organization worked at a village level on voluntary basis, helping women help each other. Gradually, their scope grew to include small self-help work such and growing and selling flowers. Their first big project was in 2008, when they approached the National Development Trust Fund (NDTF) and were granted a loan of 1.5 million rupees to start a Mirco Finance (MF) credit scheme for their target group.
As their mission statement suggests, the coverage of ELWF was limited to the Nuwara Eliya region. As such, they were only registered as an organization at the district level. In addition, many of the projects they had undertaken were “one-shot” projects which lacked sustainability.
WUSC’s Plantation Communities Project (PCP) in Sri Lanka and ELWF entered partnership in 2009. The PCP team provided training to improve the skills of the organization and helped develop links with government officials, Estate Community Solidarity Network (ECSN), and other donor organizations.
Partnership with PCP invoked a desire in ELWF to expand its reach. Their vision was revised to include a greater geographical area and they registered with the divisional secretariat as an organization to expand their coverage. Recently, they applied for the national registration under the NGO Secretariat which will allow them to operate island-wide.
Ms. Manori Thanthrige shared the following words in appreciation of PCP’s contribution to her organization: “As a result of the PCP Intervention, I have improved in effectiveness as a manager. Also WUSC supported to expand my organization’s coverage beyond the divisional limits.”
“Gender equality has been incorporated in our policies and practices. For example, women are given priority for micro finance loans.”
Ms. Thanthrige continued to say that working with PCP is an excellent learning opportunity for the organization, the employees, and the beneficiaries.
Learn more about WUSC's Plantation Communities Project (PCP) in Sri Lanka.