Improve the living standard of 20 fisher families at Naguleliya village

Fabric paintings and handicrafts produced by fisher women in Naguleliya

Fabric paintings and handicrafts produced by fisher women in ... , Naguleliya © Kumudini Ekaratne, IUCN, 2012


  • A competent village level CBO is formed which organises and mobilizes its members to improve their income and protect the mangrove forest in the area
  • An organised CBO community with new insights and ideas on sustainability
  • Income of the beneficiary CBO members increased by 40% and savings by 30% from the baseline
  • All children are healthy and attend preschool enthusiastically
  • All beneficiaries are gender sensitive and perform their duties and responsibilities conscientiously and respect each other 


There are a large number of problems associated with these disadvantaged, impoverished and marginalised families in the Naguleliya village. Acute poverty, insecurity, lack of health & sanitary facilities, lack of educational facilities to children, adult illiteracy, specific women’s problems such as early marriages are prominent among many. All families are below survival level with limited employment and income generating activities with few skills for employment and little or no physical assets to start any kind of income generation activity.

The fact finding interactive discussions with villagers revealed that the major constraints to economic advancement of the poor families are the lack of fishing gear and assets, capital to invest, and unavailability of any external assistance and support to guide them to be free from the situation. To worsen the situation transportation and mobility is limited making them in a trapped situation in a narrow land strip, one kilometre long and 200 meters wide. Another impediment noticed is the lack of a proper people’s organisation at the village level to address these issues collectively.

Most families use firewood for cooking. Firewood is taken from the nearby small shrubs and mangroves which threatens their propagation. Many shrimp farms were opened surrounding the lagoon area that destroyed most mangroves. This was done with the blessings of the authorities by outside investors. As there is no way to change that situation now, it is proposed to preserve the existing mangroves by minimizing the damage caused by the villagers who cut it for firewood.

Therefore the main objective of the project is to build people’s economic power by promoting income generation activities, self-help development programmes, deep awareness raising on environment protection and formation of a community based organisation for sustainability and collective action to overcome the burning issues. WWSE also will introduce different alternative plants for firewood with energy saving hearths that will help decrease the threats posed to the environment, especially on the mangroves.


  • Identification of beneficiaries
  • Socio-economic survey of the village and preparation of the Report.
  • Presentation of the report to the villagers, raise deep awareness and mobilise to organise as a Women Organization.
  • One (1) exposure visit to WWSE
  • Skills development training for 10 women– Dress making
  • Skills development training  for 10 women– Fabric painting
  • Skills development training  for 10 women– Dry fish and Jadi production
  • Training in accounts keeping for 05 CBO members
  • Home gardening training for 20 women
  • Establishment of 20 home gardens (providing tools and seeds)
  • Training 20 women on coconut planting
  • Providing 100 coconut seedlings
  • Workshops (2) on household management and responsibilities; Gender sensitization.
  • Workshops (2) on environment and mangrove protection.
  • Training on usage and supplying of 20 energy saving hearths

Target beneficiaries

20 fisher families of Nagulaliya village.


Women Organization  members are deeply aware about their socio economic and environmental situation and organise to increase their incomes and minimize the damages to the mangroves in the area:

  1. An enlightened group of CBO members who have sharpened their knowledge by sharing experiences with a matured NGO on sustainable development
  2. All beneficiaries (100%) are skilled in different income generation activities, are successfully self-employed
  3. Improved growth rate of children by 90% and health conditions improved by 90%; 100% children attend preschool
  4. Household conflicts reduced by 95% and 98% families adopt household management policies effectively
  5. 100% beneficiaries are aware of the dangers of damaging mangroves and 100% households use alternative fuel wood with energy saving hearths 





Accomplishments and challenges

The project was successfully completed:

1. A competent village level CBO (Rosa Kusum Fiohser women's Society) formed.

2. Income of beneficiaries increased by 40% and savings by 30% from the baseline.

3. Mangroves in the surrounding area protected due to enhancement of their knowledge through awareness programmes.


Contributions to cross-cutting themes

The WSE will use the “women centered family development approach” to implement the project. Both men and women both will be given equal responsibilities when the project is implemented. Moreover, there will be a special programme to raise awareness on gender issues among men and women, especially on issues of women such as early marriages, Women’s Rights and domestic violence. It is expected to provide more information to raise awareness among the male community on women’s issues and their present day plight. Using participatory approaches, interactive dialogues will be held to enlighten the stakeholders. The CBO which is organised as a Women Organisation will be managed by women who will hold the decision making positions.

Lessons Learned

1. Mindset of villages can be changed to improve their living standards through projects.

2. Not to select projects in remote areas (due to long hours spent on travelling).

Related News

MFF small grant gives 'a sense of importance' to families in Naguleliya Village, Sri Lanka

Naguleliya, Chilaw 01 Jul 2013

Country: Sri Lanka

Topic: Sustainable Livelihoods, Civil Society Engagement

MFF small grant gives 'a sense of importance' to families in Naguleliya Village, Sri Lanka    

Project Facts






1st Aug 2012 to 31st May 2013

MFF Grant Amount

LKR 385,960/-

Co-financing Partner

LKR 234,800 (Community)

LKR 54,800 (WWSE)

Implementing Partner

Mrs H.H.A.D.  Karunawathie Manike
Wilpotha Women's Savings Effort (WWSE)
527, Wilpotha
Chilaw, Sri Lanka
Tel:  + 94 032 3321380

" Nine months back, we were 'no body'. We are now empowered -thanks to this project and we also earn an income, which we never anticipated". Renuka, Secretary, Rosa Kusum Fisher Women's Society. 

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