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In Order for Peace to not be a Fleeting Moment

Dsc00069 The JEN project in Sri Lanka organized a capacity development workshop at five Fishery Cooperative Societies in the Vakarai Division of Batticaloa District. This was part of a larger assistance program of supporting the Internally Displaced People’s reintegration. The workshop intended to raise awareness and improve livelihoods.

Vakarai, where JEN has its assistance program, is located in the eastern corner of Sri Lanka. It has been one of the primary focuses of international attention as the civil war between the Government of Sri Lanka and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) has devastated the area since the 1990s. In addition to this, the tsunami of December 2004 also hit the coastal areas, and the massive operation led by the government’s troops against the LTTE in January 2007 is still fresh in people’s memories.

People in Vakarai have gone through evacuation and resettlement eight times in just the past two decades. Back in their homes, they hardly dare hope to believe in a life free from the control of the LTTE or a peace that will last long. They are reluctant to reconstruct their livelihoods as they no longer believe that the stability can last so what they need now is renewed hope of sustainable recovery and a new sense of self-confidence. Dsc00179

There were between 50 to 80 local people participating in each workshop. JEN’s professional staff held lectures on the function of the Self Support Group and the importance of raising awareness. The lectures also included a variety of icebreakers and games to keep up participant concentration and interest.

December 6, 2007 in Sri Lanka |