Women are the center pillars of the family and the neighborhood. Many of these determined women who are head of household, with disabled spouse, abandon with children or physically challenged individual need support in terms of training, access to raw materials, and/or financial assistance to empower them.
Our funding to the beneficiaries for initiating the projects outlined will be based initially on micro-partnerships model as pioneered by Easan Katir. The projects will be funded as an equal partner till it becomes successful.
INDUSTRIES THAT CREATE NEW EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITIES
Hygienic Needs of Women - during the Monthly Cycle
We identified a low-cost machine from Jayaashree Industries, Coimbatore, India (http://newinventions.in/) which will employ 5 or more women and produce disposable feminine sanitary napkins to satisfy 4,000 women monthly.
We had sponsored a young woman for training in sanitary napkin manufacturing at the Jayaashree Industries, Coimbatore, India and in 2017 funded the installation of the manufacturing unit at a local nonprofit organization in Thirunelvely, Jaffna.
These low cost, hygienic, sanitary pads will give dignity to women in low income groups which will result in improved health outcomes over current unhygienic practices. A second manufacturing unit is planned for Mankulam.
Banana Fiber Extraction and Manufacture of Eco-Friendly Products
The business focus is to extract fibers from the trunk (pseudo stem) of a banana plant and manufacture eco-friendly products. The pseudo stem is composed of tightly packed leaf sheaths and is a good source for high quality fibers.
Jaffna is known for commercial banana cultivation and huge quantities of fibers are discarded after harvesting the banana due to non-availability of suitable technology for its commercial utilization. We propose to introduce banana fiber products as a small business industry that will offer entrepreneurship and employment opportunities to many women.
All necessary machinery and training for various products is available in Coimbatore, India. While a whole range of products from mats, paper bags, coir pots, handicrafts, wall hangings, twines, paper and textiles etc could be made exclusively using banana fibers which are biodegradable and we have made arrangements to introduce the technology to manufacture initially the mats, textile, paper plates and paper bags.
NEW BUSINESS OPPORTUNITIES
Based on interest of individual beneficiary, facilities, and need, they will be provided with funds and the guidance necessary to initiate sustainable livelihood projects.
Individual Customer Based Business:
Organizations such as the Association for Rehabilitation of the Disabled (AROD) and the Rural Development Board provide training in sewing, embroidery, garland making, envelope making, rattonning chairs, and cake decorations. We will financially support beneficiaries who had undergone such training and want to establish self employment opportunity.
Multiple Customer Based Business:
Entrepreneur is one who recognizes a business opportunity and undertakes to organize, manage, and assume the risk to convert it to venture. Ms. Padmanathan Ranjanidevi is such a person who has a unique and profitable business of selling fresh fried cassava chips at a reasonable price. Sale of fried savory snacks such as plantain & cassava chips, murukku, pagoda, sippi, laddu or similar snacks is a profitable occupation.
We will provide vending carts equipped with gas cooker, rechargeable light and other essential items to set up a portable finger food business for beneficiaries who want to establish self-employment opportunity.
Bee Keeping as an Entrepreneurship
Apiculture is a profitable and healthy venture. Beekeeping to produce local honey is a profitable small market business opportunity. We had sponsored a young man for training in various aspects of bee keeping at the Tamil Nadu Agriculture University, Coimbatore, India. He will be establishing bee hive colony in many different localities in the Northern Province of Sri Lanka. As the business expands additional workers will be recruited and honey will be marketed commercially.
Poultry as a Small Market Entrepreneurship
We have funded twenty hens with poultry cage and a month of feed to women and war victims. Providing egg layers bring in revenue to the beneficiaries within a week. We will continue to provide poultry to needy women.
We have funded a poultry unit with 200 chickens in Kilinochchi which will also be a breeding stock to provide the necessary chickens to our beneficiaries.
Fish & Prawn Net Rental as a Small Market Entrepreneurship
Women in fishing villages find sustainable income extremely difficult and have to resort to menial employment. However fish and prawn nets are relatively expensive and may be rented for significant daily revenue. We have provided prawn nets to a widowed woman with young children. We will continue to provide these services to these needy women.
Goat Farm as a Small Market Business
Goat farming is a proven highly profitable business with little investment and with high profit within a very short time. Goats are multi-purpose animals; products like milk, meat, and manure. We will establish and manage a goat farm that will employ two-three women. The farm will be self sufficient within a year and is expected to be profitable and expand the business to employ more women.
Fish Farming as a Small Market Entrepreneurship
Aquaculture as home based business has enormous scope of improving livelihood of rural women. Many of the beneficiaries are in the rural area and would benefit with home based fresh water aquaculture.We will provide all necessary material and fingerlings to farm in 4,000 to 15,000 liters of manmade pond in their yard. Fish could be harvested in 6 – 8 months
Mushroom Farm as a Small Market Entrepreneurship
Department of Agriculture provides free training for individuals in all aspects of mushroom farming. We will financially support beneficiaries who had undergone such training and want to establish a mushroom farm.
We have previously funded such a program for an orphanage.
Cash Value Plants as a Small Market Entrepreneurship
We will provide financial assistance to beneficiaries who have arable land to purchase seedlings to cultivate cash value plants such as dwarf mangoes, oranges, lemons, limes, passion fruit, pomegranates, and such similar trees that may provide a sustainable income to home gardeners.
We will provide financial assistance to beneficiaries who have limited land to purchase seedlings or seeds to grow home garden plants such as tomatoes, brinjals, okra, beans, peppers, and such similar plants that provide healthy food to home gardeners.
For planting details: Home Garden Plants or North & East by Dr. Paul Benjamin.
EDUCATION AND CONSERVATION
Many students, especially those from privileged schools, generally have no volunteer service experience but this experience is fundamental to their future outlook on life. Many students also lack the basic understanding of conservation principles.
Funds will be provided to schools to organize groups of 16 to 18 year old students for weekend outings into disadvantaged communities to volunteer their services. They can have hands on experience and appreciate the value of volunteerism. The activities could include but not limited to helping with agriculture; animal husbandry: renovating huts, sheds, and homes, etc.
Funds will be provided to schools to organize conservation clubs for 8 to 12 year old students. They can learn the basic concepts of conservation. This may include the purchase of books and other teaching tools and day trips to nature facilities, etc.
Funds will be provided to organize educational lecture series on home gardening and financial management to disadvantaged communities.
We realize that there are many additional areas in which the SLD Fund activities can grow and we encourage you to contact us with any questions, thoughts, ideas, and/or comments.
Funds will be provided to:
- Organize educational lecture series on home gardening and financial management to disadvantaged communities
- Individuals in a family as micro-grants for travel and incidental expenses for any of the above projects
- Communities for fresh water and irrigation projects such as digging wells, drainage, electric pumps, etc
- As interest free loans to sustain existing projects that need capital to expand or unexpected financial shortcoming