IMPAKTaid has started a project dedicated to helping widowed
women, with or without children to support, to attain self- sufficiency through self-employment initiatives. Called Work for Widows, this project will provide the women with a constant means of subsistence and bring much-needed cash into thelocal economy.
Critically, the project will also provide a support network for bereaved women, which will reduce typical poverty-induced behavior such as child abandonment, prostitution and suicide.
The self-employment initiatives are all cottage industry based, which will enable women to work at home and not have to abandon their children. The projects include making everything from candles, wicker boxes and other household items to knitted and lace products. All the materials will be delivered to the women as staying at home is vital.
The costs involved in this project will include the provision of materials, basic equipment and transport. The start-up cost for each of the many widows is Rs16,000/- (U.S$160.)
Currently WORK FOR WIDOWS has a pilot project employing over 50 woman. With less than 6 hours in a 5 day work week , these women will earn a salary that will match or exceed the earning of their lost spouse.
WORK FOR WIDOWS is a joint effort of programs designed to appeal to the retail markets.
A team of women in Tissamaharama in the Hambantota district are learning the art of candle making. A further group in Dodanduwa are weaving bases for each candle and boxes for packaging. Another group of women in Moratuwa are designing jewelry. More women in Balapitiya are hand making recycled paper and producing tags for all of the products.
The products will be marketed and distributed throughout Sri Lanka with intentions of expanding into international communities via the website: www.workforwidows.com
The sale of these items will provide an income for the women as well as purchase the supplies that they will need. The transport and marketing cost will be less than 5% of the turnover.
Upon completion of our pilot project we have plans to expand to assist over 3000 women and together with your help we will succeed.