Regaining food security through community gardens gives taste of home to resettled communitiesGenerations have missed out on traditional income generating practices that their forefathers would have carried out for centuries because of the 30 year conflict Sri Lanka has suffered. Fisheries and agriculture are among these traditional practices and the district of Mullaittivu has seen much destruction of this industry due to the war.
When the conflict ended in 2009 Sevalanka Foundation were heavily involved in repatriating returning IDPs, providing support to enable those that were once living and working in thriving communities back to a place they once knew as home. Mullaittivu was one of the worst conflict affected districts in the country and Sevalanka are now working with over 2,000 families to rebuild their livelihoods and increase their food security.
As agriculture and fisheries are inherent to these communities Sevalanka is providing training to reignite these skills. On the land distributed among returning families immense change can already be seen: communities have got together and started producing crops and within just a few months community garden plots are now covered with vegetables such as long beans, pumpkin, tomatoes, okra and aubergine. It is clear that the people of Mullaittivu have farming in their blood.
Mr Yogarasha, the head of Muthuvinayagapura Farmers’ Organisation, has also noticed how women seem to be the driving force behind the families because they bring their children to the growing plots and teach them techniques and methods there. “It’s [the project] an opportunity to build on cultural traditions, pass on agricultural knowledge to a new generation and also address the importance of food security” he says.
The project started at the beginning of this year and is set to see big changes in the Mullaittivu district. If you would like to find out more please contact email@example.com