The long lasting conflict and tsunami of 2004 led many Sri Lankan villages to difficult living conditions, and continues to this day. As a socio-economic development project, Sari Connection was initiated in 2013 by a Japanese NGO, PARCIC. The primary goal was to empower and improve livelihood of women in marginalized areas of Northern Sri Lanka, Jaffna and Mullaitivu.
‘Sari Connection’ the brand name for the products made through this initiative is essentially unique due to the nature of production. The networking involved in the production process – from donations of saris to creating designs to sales – is made up of women from different walks of life as well as geographical and ethnic backgrounds. Through working together and expanding this network, PARCIC envisioned this initiative will be a bridge for peace and harmony among communities through economic, social and cultural cooperation.
In April 2018, Sari Connection project has been entirely & successfully handed over to the entity called Kais Trading Private Limited, in Jaffna, since PARCIC had been collaborating with KAIS from the beginning of the ’Recycle Sari Project’. Except the change in ownership, the initial goal of the project remains the same: Empowering the women in marginalized areas throughout creating earning opportunities.
At present around 75 women from six villages are working for ‘Sari Connection’. Most of them have lost their husbands or immediate family members by tsunami or conflict.
The members of Sari Connection are trained with various sewing skills and have now become social entrepreneurs, producing the collections at their home on their own time and selling them to KAIS. The finished items are collected at their home and paid on the spot by KAIS. This has open up an opportunity for them to generate a stable income whilst having independence.
One of the stories behind the beautiful collections
Mrs. Thangaruby :
“I am 36 years old living in Mullaitivu, on the north eastern coast of Sri Lanka. I lost my husband as well as three of my siblings during the war. I resettled from a camp to Kokkilai in 2010, and am currently living with my parents and 12 year old son. I depended on my parents before joining the Sari Connection project, but now I am able to earn an income through this. I plan to use this income for my son’s education so he can have a better future. I want to learnmore sewing techniques and become a tailor. I am very happy to be a member of this Sari project.”
For more information on this initiative please watch the following clip;
Link to Previous News Letters
Newsletters updating the project progress.