A project for economic empowerment for Visually Impaired Individuals in Hambantota District is underway at present, commencing in November 2017. It will encompass a total of 39 families who will receive 39 RLF loans along with attendant training for each activity and basic entrepreneurship development training. They will be engaged in a wide variety of livelihoods – brick making, coir rope making, incense stick making, small kiosks, home gardening, plant nurseries and condiment making. These 39 families are located in the Divisional Secretary Divisions of Tangalle, Tissamaharama and Weeraketiya in Hambantota District. The project is implemented by the Sri Lanka Drushyabaditha Janatha Sammelanaya along with Hambantota Grameeya Sanvidana Sanwardena Padanama (Hambantota District Consortium).
The first instalment covering 14 families and totalling Rs.252,500 has already been disbursed while up to now repayments of Rs.12,660 have been reported. Of these 4 are engaged in brickmaking and each has received an RLF loan of Rs.25,000 to be repaid in 18 months, at an annual interest of 6%. Along with the start-up capital they have received training from Government agencies such as Vidatha and Department of Agrarian Services. Before starting production in new activities, baseline data has been collected so that monitoring becomes more meaningful. A description of a cross section of the 4 families already in receipt of RLF loans / training is given herewith i.e. Name of Beneficiary – Livelihood Activity – Monthly income before receiving loan – amount of loan & how utilized and – expected increase in monthly income / going upto.
Mr. Kingsley Kodituwakku – engaged in Brick making – Income before loan Rs.28,500 – Rs.25,000 utilized for purchase of additional raw material – Expected increase in income Rs.57,000
Mr. Premaratna Weerasinghe – engaged in Brick making – Income before loan Rs.8,000 -Rs.25,000 utilized to put up brick kiln (cost of Rs.50,000) – Expected increase in income Rs.27,000
Ms. Jayawickremage Piyaseeli – engaged in Brick making – Income before loan Rs.20,000 – Rs.25,000 utilized to put up small brick kiln + purchase of additional raw material – Expected increase in income Rs.35,000
Ms. Sumanaseeli Wanigasinghe – engaged in Milling kurakkan (millet variety) – Income before loan Rs.18,000 – Rs.12,500 utilized for purchase millet + packing material – Expected increase in income Rs.25,000