Saturday, January 22, 2005

Akurana Womens Welfare Association

All of this organizing so far have largely been men doing work – there are hardly any women from affected regions playing a decision making role – I think there is a serious problem here – there are a just scattering of the missionary type of women working. One that I have not been able to address – due to lack of opportunities and existing organizations that are active.

Eventually, I canvassed my mother who is a part of this organization to undertake a visit to the affected areas and to look into women’s issues in the camps and so on. To see whether they can arrange to help particular women and arrange to give voice to the problems. The Akurana Womens Welfare association has survived and carried out some impressive tasks with no money – it started out three years ago with about 30 women - they have started a household composting program that is pretty needed here as the place urbanizes, vocational training in dress-making. What is impressive is that all this is done with no money – not even by Sri Lanka standards – the standard operating procedure for fund-raising in Akurana is for a bunch of men to approach those who can afford some largesse – that technique does not work for a womens group. Yet, funds is something that holds them back. They meet several times a year at my parents place. Anyway, awareness of the issues surrounding women organizing in a conservative culture is undoubtedly their strength and so lets hope that they shall be able to follow through on the visits to the affected areas and subsequent follow up.