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Tsunami Files #16: Cooperative Business

September 21, 2011

By pwrdf

After the tsunami destroyed their livelihoods, women living near and in Matara, Sri Lanka turned to Savisthri- a PWRDF partner- for help in rebuilding their lives and businesses. Savisthri supports women in southern Sri Lanka through Small Societies, groups of women who gather in mutual support, for micro-credit loans and savings, and to produce food and goods for sale. While the women were producing what they could for sale, it was often difficult to find buyers in the villages where they live.

PWRDF responded to this need by providing funds for three mobile shops in Matara. Each woman brings what she can to the store, where the goods are marked with the name of the producer. After it is sold, the women put some of the money they earn into savings.

Santhi and Lakshmi, two members of a Small Society, say that the shops are a good opportunity for them to sell their products. The shops are open in the mornings and evenings with most customers coming in the morning looking for fresh greens. In addition to food, products ranging from coconut shell rock salt holders to knitted cell phone sleeves are available.

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