Our History

Established in 1981, with support from Canadian International Development Agency, SAPSRI is a part of an international SAP chain that includes partners in Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan and Canada. The international coordinating body, SAP International, is based in Kathmandu, Nepal.

In our early years, we acted primarily as an intermediary between community based organizations and donor agencies. In 1992, we focused our efforts on long-term development by introducing the Cluster Development Programme, which forms the core of SAPSRI programmes today. The Cluster Development Programme is a people-centred development model that links groups with shared concerns into self-reliant communities.

Key milestones:

  • January 1981: SAPSRI established with support from the Canadian International Development Agency.
  • 1992: Cluster Development Programme introduced, which forms the core of SAPSRI current programmes.
  • 1996: Small and Medium Enterprise Development programme developed and implemented to economically empower villagers.
  • 1996: Corporate sector mobilized to secure effective corporate participation in rural development projects.
  • 1999: Multi-stakeholders group approach initiated, which is based on the involvement of government and the corporate sector community development.
  • 2000: SAPSRI expanded to include advocacy, with a particular focus on democratic governance, to our realm
  • 2004: Media personnel added to SAPSRI’s multi-stakeholders group, increasing media coverage and raising the profile of SAPSRI.
  • 2004: Change Agent Programme was adapted. This helped to build a strong women’s movement by identifying and training female catalysts.
  • December 2004: SAPSRI’s programmes extended to tsunami-affected areas.
  • August 2005: Beeralu lace project launched – the first in a number of projects that revived traditional crafts to help build secure livelihoods.
  • 2006: Micro-credit program extended to the urban low-income population in the slum areas of Colombo.
  • 2008: Focus shifts to the young people of Sri Lanka with the implementation of the ‘youth as agents of change’ programme.
  • 2010 : A Beeralu sales point was established in Colombo for the high-end buyers.
  • 2011 : SAPSRI adapted a new approach, CRES – Consolidation, Resucitation, Expansion of periphery, Sustainability enhancement
  • 2012 : A Branch Office of SAPSRI was opened in Galle. 2012 : Monitoring and supervising of SAPSRI projects were reorganized and intensified.