Great Feats with the Group
Thushari Chandima (31) is a mother of two children. Her husband is a fisherman who goes out to sea on a multi-day boat. She knows that her husband’s profession is a risky one. When he sets sail, he will not be back for over a month. During some months, when the catch is good, they have money, but there were many months when they did not have a red cent. This is the story of many other women like her who are married to fishermen.
She used to earn some money by selling fish which were dried on the boat by her husband while at sea. Whatever they earned was spent entirely. But one day, when their rented house caught fire, Thushari realized that they badly need to save money.
“When the community mobiliser Miss Nimali said that this project will be giving training and technical know-how to develop entrepreneurship, I became veryinterested. I wanted to create a group. In the beginning, other women and especially their spouses were hesitant because they thought that this is just another micro-credit programme. But when I explained that this is going to be different, one by one the women joined.”
The members of the group “Ekamuthu” grew up to 14. Many of them only had fish products such as dried fish to sell. But one of the group members Rasika knew how to weave floor mats and was generous enough to teach the other members how to weave.
As a group they started weaving floor mats. They pooled their resources and shared knowledge and gradually started to make money. They help each other with their individual income generation activities. They buy the material together and use their free time to weave mats and they also find markets together. Their income has grown significantly over a period of one year. There is no secret to their success but the fact that they stay united as a group.