It can be easy to see a story on the news and feel helpless, not knowing what we could possibly do to assist those in need. But we can equally feel immense gratitude when we soon discover there are already people, communities and organisations doing amazing work to overcome these same issues. Since 1987 Women In Need has been one of Sri Lanka’s leading organisations committed to the elimination of all forms of violence against women and girls. Today they take us behind the scenes of an incredible new project that is empowering women in all aspects of their lives.
This is Sri Lanka’s Story of Gratitude for Women In Need
For the last 30 years, Women in Need has been fighting for gender equality and standing up for human rights of women and girls by campaigning for a violence free society. To give us the latest news on their ‘WIN for Her Project’ by Women in Need, we spoke to Attorney at the organisation Mariam Wadood. “Victims and survivors of domestic violence from the war-torn peninsula of Jaffna, who were a part of Women In Need’s Domestic Violence Support Group, launched a spice and rice business at WIN’s Jaffna office today. Where they process homegrown ingredients into powdered spices, which are then packeted and sold in the local market,” She explained.
The income generated will help financially empower these women and give them more control over their day to day lives. Mariam told us the women survivors have been given legal, psychological and shelter support by WIN to overcome their traumatic abusive experiences. “The DV Support Group Programme is a 3-month empowerment programme which enhances and strengthens the capacity of a group of 10-12 women through regular training on varied topics. These survivors have been empowered and uplifted to take up life’s challenges and get back to normalcy,” she said.
WIN is active right across the country and provides essential crisis intervention support services to victims of violence so that women who are crippled by their situations are made strong, independent and protected. Apart from the support that WIN provides for its victims, WIN also creates a sense of importance for why women need to be independent and strong – through livelihood programmes and social enterprise initiatives for victims to take up employment in order to support them and their families.
WIN also effectively works with key stakeholders in society, including law enforcement officers, medical officers and across the public sector in order to get closer to achieving its goal of a violence free society. They don’t just stop at the advocacy level but also ensure work at the community level, educating men and women, teenage girls and boys, and school students, in order to help understand the need for a gender-equal society at every stratum in each nation.
The COVID-19 Pandemic has thrown up new challenges for the organisation, yet they continue to set an incredible example to the world of a holistic approach to solving a deep problem and inviting us all to imagine a world free of violence against women and children and teaching us all how it can be achieved. If you or anyone you know has worked with WIN or knows a volunteer, please contact us here, as the Share Gratitude community would like to thank those involved. We encourage you to follow us for more Stories of Gratitude and invite you to share your story – or send a simple message of Gratitude to those behind this initiative, please visit sharegratitude.com