Coir Yarn & Brush Handle Factory
The Coir Yarn & Brush Handle Factory was initiated under the livelihoods initiative of the Foundation of Goodness after the 2004 tsunami, to generate income for the poor people of Seenigama and the region.
Making block handles for paint brushes
Coir is a product made from coconut husks and this is a resource that is abundantly available in and around coastal areas like Seenigama where coconut palms flourish. Recognizing the potential for a coir related enterprise to fare well, FoG spearheaded the setting up of this enterprise, ably helped by volunteer Nicholas Kreider from the USA, who put in a lot of hard work. Also helping to make this enterprise a success was Mercy Corps USA, who funded the factory building and the equipment and resources to set it up.
Today, the youth who worked hard and tirelessly to ensure the Brush Factory is pofitable, are the proud owners of this enterprise. After 18 months of managing it Kushil Gunasekera FoG’s founder/trustee handed over the stake to the workforce, who were one time coral miners.
“A factory of this kind with a new avenue to generate income, substituting the established illegal trade of coral mining for generations, was an unique development” said Gunasekera speaking after the handover. Speaking further he said “the project was the brianchild of Nick Kreider – a top volunteer from the USA, and thanks to his initiative, today after almost two years the workers are empowered as the stakeholders of this enterprise – owning the business for their future prosperity.”
USA Volunteer Nicholas Kreider and the team
that launched the enterprise
The Factory is subcontracted to produce popular brush block handles for the export market of Ravi Industries Ltd., a subsidiary of Hayleys Group. For the coir yarn, village women are subcontracted to spin raw fibre into yarn, which is then delivered to Onril Pvt Ltd., also a part of Hayleys Group.
Today, the entire enterprise including its assets, machinery and furniture is now in the able hands of the smiling workers and the FoG wishes them every success!
Womens Self-employment Enterprises
32 women in Seenigama and its region were given a hand towards launching self employment projects when the Zonta Club after three interviews identified those worthy and deserving.
Happy recepients are set to launch
self emplyment venturea
The areas, which Zonta has determined as most suitable for self employment are sweetmeat production, packeting fruit juice, marketing nursery plants, marketing ready made garments, the sewing industry, cinnamon peeling, banana cultivation and marketing coconuts & firewood.
More village women will now be self employed,
thanks to the Zonta Club
Rs. 838,500 was allocated for the purpose and on 4th February 08 the selected women signed agreements with Zonta (for monthly pay back in installments) and three days later received the equipment/machinery required to start their own businesses.
The project was coordinated on behalf of the Zonta Club based in Colombo by Arlene Saparamadu, president for the years 2006-2008. The Zonta Club Colombo, is part of Zonta International, a global organization of executives and professionals working together to advance the status of women worldwide through service and advocacy.
“Small opportunities are often
the beginning of great enterprises.”