Capacity Building to Self-Help Women Groups (SHG)
SHG comprises of small voluntary association of not more than 20 women for the purpose of helping them solve their financial difficulties.
The women within the SHGs (also called Mahila Mandals) then initiate the opening of a small-scale, group savings and loan account. SHGs not only help their members take care of each other’s financial needs, but also help them learn and refine their skills of financial management, communication, and mediation.
CORD offers a flexible approach to earning one’s livelihood and encourages villagers in large numbers to leverage their aptitude. CORD facilitates vocational training in diverse activities, including agriculture, dairy, corner shops, food products, textile crafts (weaving, sewing, knitting & embroidery), traditional painting and bamboo products. Following the training women who wish to pursue a certain skill as an income generating activity are given interest free loans to help them in their initiation and progression of the cottage industry.
CORD Sri Lanka networks and connects these women with local farmers and traders to encourage them to market their products and further develop and expand their cottage industries. Ensuring self-reliance, building operational management, and mainstreaming the entrepreneurs into the Development of leadership qualities, self-confidence building, increased social awareness, healthy lifestyle and family welfare are some of the topics that are discussed during the weekly group meetings. Most importantly the SHGs have also helped the women to find solace in each other as a community.
CORD Sri Lanka currently empowers 318 of women in Batticaloa, 212 in Jaffna and 298 in Killinochchi under the SHG project.