“රූ පන් ලිය” the exposure event and the project concluding ceremony of the Strengthening Rural Entrepreneurship was held on January 19, 2023, at the BMICH to further strengthen their market linkages and expose craftswomen to the competitive market in the Reed and Palmyra-based handicraft industry in Sri Lanka. “Strengthening Rural Entrepreneurship by Adding Value to Traditional Crafts” is one of the projects implemented by the South Asia Partnership (SAPSRI) with the financial assistance of HSBC which aimed to create additional income-generating sources for unemployed women in the Nawagattegama and Pallama areas by providing them with the necessary skills and initial assistance in weaving reed and palmyra based products.
Delegates of HSBC and high-ranking officials of government and private institutions engaged in the field of handicrafts including the National Craft Council, National Design Centre and Sri Lanka Handicraft Board (Laksala) participated in the event.
The project provided training opportunities to more than 150 women in the area to develop their skills and capacities related to Reed and Talipot-based handicrafts as well as entrepreneurship. With the support of the National Craft Council, National Design Centre, Laksala and other institutions, in the last two years, a network of skilled artisans consisting of 75 women has been established in Nawagattegama and Pallama areas and has succeeded in expanding the market nationally and internationally.
The project was concluded in mid-January 2023, achieving significant results and increasing their livelihood income as targeted in the project. The project created a strong opportunity to showcase the skills and talents of rural craftswomen and build strong partnerships with the forefront public and private institution of the handicraft sector. Their performances were highly appreciated by all who attended the event.