International Women’s Day 2017

Sri Lankan women are privileged to have incredible role models who demonstrate that women can achieve any goal they set their mind to, after all, we produced the world’s first ever female head of state- Sirimavo Bandaranaike. Pioneering women have since blazed the way in many different fields and Sri Lanka ranks high in world indexes for women’s literacy and health. In fact, we have more girls than boys going on to pursue their secondary and tertiary education.

However, there is an alarming gap when translating that educational expertise into employment. Only 33% of Sri Lankan women play an active role in the Sri Lankan labour force.

We at the Foundation of Goodness are working hard to empower women and encourage them to enter into employment by creating opportunities which help them gain vocational skills to start their own industries, gain business knowledge to succeed in the market place and help them out with micro financing to begin their own business or cottage industry.

To commemorate International Women’s Day the Foundation of Goodness had a special programme for all our Women’s Enterprise & Empowerment Centre students and staff members on the 8th of March with speakers including Sociologist Dr. Shanthikumar Hettiarachchi, Financial Consultant Mr. Prithiviraj De Silva, Musician Sunil Perera and Consultant Psychiatrist Dr. Ramani Nanayakkara.

FoG Founder/ Chief Trustee Kushil Gunasekera delivered the welcome speech, encouraging the ladies to be strong, motivated individuals who can be positive role models to others. He encouraged them to find new and different ways to approach the activities and enterprises, helping them to stand out.

Mr. Prithiviraj De Silva spoke to the women about financial responsibility, the value of money and how important it is to understand and be in control of their finances to ensure a secure and comfortable life.

Dr. Shanthikumar Hettiarachchi spoke on the value of women and the various roles they are called upon to play over the course of their lives, expounding on a woman’s strength and perseverance which helps them succeed in life.

Gypsies Musician Mr. Sunil Perera’s speech reflected the same sentiments, focusing on a woman’s patience and how it can be used as a tool.

Dr. Ramani Nanayakkara delivered her speech from a mental health angle, explaining that women are often under a great deal of stress and pressure, balancing their different roles and responsibilities in public and private, and how this can sometimes manifest both physically and psychologically. At the same time she also spoke of the great sense of perseverance possessed by women, and how to tap into these resources to stay strong and overcome all difficulties and obstacles.

Finally, two ladies who had studied at the Women’s Empowerment & Enterprise Centre took the mic. One of them, Samanthi, was a widow raising her two daughters. When she first came to the Foundation of Goodness, she had possessed no real vocational skills. In fact, the very act of selecting a course of study had seemed overwhelming to her. Samanthi chose to attend the dress making course offered by us, and received FoG’s help in setting up her own business. Today she has opened her own shop in Hikkaduwa and is self-sufficient- able to look after the welfare of her family without depending on others.

Her journey to success and independence is what we hope to achieve on behalf of all rural women within our reach, so that they are empowered to take control of their own lives and security.

A big thank you also goes out to Anchor Milk who donated 300 packets of Milk Powder (250g each) as gifts for the ladies in attendance. The packs were handed over by the Anchor Regional Nutritionist who travelled there especially for the event.


10th March 2017



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