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Sri Lanka

Key Problem

Sri Lanka is recovering from the legacy of 30 years of civil war coupled with the devastation of the tsunami. Disabled people from the poorest communities are finding it most difficult to access the resources for reconstructing their lives.  This is due to a number of factors including prejudice, lack of expectations for disabled people and disadvantages they’ve experienced such as exclusion from education and training.  Disabled people expressed their desire to be included in economic development in a way that worked for them and that, although there is healthcare support from voluntary organisations, there is little to support employment opportunities.

What we are doing

We are building on the success of a similar project working with our partner organisation in Sri Lanka, Community Business and Technology Developers (CBTD), in post-tsunami southern Sri Lanka from 2005-2010, helping to improve the opportunities for disabled people. We are now working with CBTD in post-conflict eastern Sri Lanka.

Beebee Amma, a beneficiary of our work in Sri Lanka

The project will develop training opportunities and build relationships with employers to establish confidence in disabled people’s economic value and publicize positive stories of disabled people’s achievements through local media channels to raise awareness. 18 government agencies have been engaged to make their programmes more accessible and inclusive in order to increase economic opportunities.

By the end of the project, 500 disabled people will have secured employment or self-employment.  At least 10 disabled people will be in key decision making positions while 6,000 people will be reached with rights awareness publicity and other activities to highlight the potential of disabled people and change public perceptions.

An approach APT takes is to challenge negative public perceptions about disabled people’s capabilities through identification of positive role models such as those who are making an active economic contribution like Beebee Amma.

Despite being born with only one leg, disability is no barrier to success for role model, Beebee Amma who says, ‘I was determined to achieve success in life.’

Key Problem

30 years of conflict has caused disruption to livelihoods, education and health, resulting in high levels of unemployment, illiteracy and poverty in the North and East of Sri Lanka.  Children and young people have been the most affected having largely missed their education and other life skills.

What we are doing
We’re helping people in post-conflict Sri Lanka to develop safe and sustainable livelihoods with our partner Business Creations by providing the training, know-how and skills for people to find or create employment, access credit and markets and lift themselves out of poverty. We are providing support to 4,000 vulnerable children and youths, including orphan bread winners, young mothers and disabled youths, helping to build understanding of their rights through sharing information and mutual support groups.


Lottery Funded

Assisted by a grant from the Peter Stebbings Memorial Charity.

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