Annual Report 2015
2015 has been a fruitful year for CSNHA with a pilot project ,many small projects and the continuation of the Cooperative training in Jaffna. In this annual report the projects and decisions of the CSNHA will be discussed in order to get an overview of the running activities and to get a picture of the challenges that CSNHA will be facing in 2016.
On 7.03.2015 and 17.05.2015 CSNHA organized charity dinners with the aim of providing a cheap meal to invitees, entertain them and raise their awareness to the activities of CSNHA. This opportunity was also used to solicit voluntary contributions for the activities of this organization. These dinners were organized in Den Helder and Julianadorp. Each of these events were attended by an average of about 50 persons. The charity dinner on the 7th of march 2015 was organized in Den Helder. Sixty people attended this dinner and collected â‚¬ 300,-. This Dinner was organized in the context of the international womenâ€™s day.
The charity dinner in Julianadorp was organized on the 17th of May 2015. Fourty people attended this dinner and we collected â‚¬ 149,24
Supply of Coconut Saplings to Widows
The CSNHA decided to commemorate the International Widowsâ€™ Day falling on 23rd June, 2015 by providing coconut saplings to a selected group of 600 widows in the Northern Province. These beneficiaries were selected from among the 3000 widows who are members of the Thrift and Credit Societies in that Province (TCCSs)
The war resulted in about 90,000 women from the North and East Provinces losing their husbands during the war. Almost half of this number are from the Northern Province. Of them there are nearly 3000 widows who are members of the 1320 TCCSs in the North. It was decided to provide 6000 coconut saplings to the selected group of 600 widows, as the first stage of this project.
Among the damages caused by the war was the destruction of a large number of coconut and other trees that were an integral part of the vegetation of this region. The CSNHA contacted the Coconut Development Board of the Government of Sri Lanka and obtained coconut saplings that could survive the arid conditions in this region and start yielding in about 3 to 4 years. The expectation was that by the time these trees start yielding, the produce from these trees could supplement income of these widows and also provide the coconuts they need for the preparation of the food.
Besides providing these coconut saplings, the Coconut Development Board has also undertaken to provide training to the beneficiaries on how to maintain the plants effectively to enable them to survive pests and dry seasons. This project is to be extended to more widows both in the Northern Province and in the Eastern Province in the future.
This project received widespread support as a very good idea. It was funded by many Hindu Temples in the Netherlands and the United Kingdom, an organization called Oththulaippu in UK and a few Tamil schools in Netherlands which had collected contributions from the parents of their students.
Kulavi Sutan Kulam project
At request, the Sri Varatharajah Selvavinayagar Temple in Den Helder The Netherlands, agreed to provide an amount of Rs.400,000 to the CSNHA to help 5 widows to start a cattle breeding venture. Each of them had used the funds provided to purchase a cow each with a calf. These beneficiaries had been able to earn an income of Rs.325/- each per day from the sale of milk.
Co-operative training July 2015 in Sri Lanka
After the completion of the training programme in Madurai in 2014 Mr. Stirling Smith of the Cooperative College in Manchester UK had sumitted a report to the college expressing his views on the programme. This is what he had to say –
My recommendations are that in the next year, the following training should be organised: Training the Trainers – for field workers to deliver all types of training; developing business plans – for field workers and some board members; gender equality in cooperatives – for women members and women board members. Standardised training materials need to be developed for these courses, and for a wider membership education programme.
As a consequence of his recommendation the College had been able to obtain funds from Cooperatives, UK to continue the training programme in the Northern Province of Sri Lanka for a period of one year commencing from July, 2015. This was done with the collaboration of the Cooperative Initiative for Community-based Organisations (CICO) and their partners in Sri Lanka â€“ The Federation of the Northern Province Thrift and Credit Co-operative Societies Unions (FTCCSU). The CSNHA is a partner organisation of CICO and was also linked with this programme.
At the time the training programme was conducted in Madurai the District Unions in the Province did not have an apex body within the Province. One of the outcomes of that programme was the realization of the need to form such a body to handle large amounts of funds that were flowing into the Province and to coordinate the business plans/activities of the District Unions. In July 2014 the District Unions had got together and started forming a Federation and functioning as one, informally. Eventually the Federation was registered in May, 2015 due to the support and guidance given to them by the CSNHA.
Applicants to undergo the training were interviewed via the telephone and four of them were selected from each of the five districts. They underwent the Training of Trainers programme for five days at a stretch at the US Hotel in Jaffna. The participants were provided residential facilities at the Hotel. The two trainers from the Cooperative College in Manchester provided the training while Rajani Iqbal of the CSNHA acted as its coordinator and stayed in the same hotel with the participants.
Following the training of the trainers, they were expected to return to their districts and arrange training programmes for about 15 to 20 members of the respective societies under the supervision of the two trainers from the Coop College, Mr. Stirling Smith and Ms. Linda Shaw. Two such training sessions were to be conducted during the same month.
Cultural event 2015 in Oudenbosch
The main purpose of this event was to create publicity for CSNHA within the Tamil society in the Netherlands and at the same time raise money for future projects of CSNHA. The attendance was very high and due to that CSNHA is now a familiar organization in the Southern Province of the Netherlands. CSNHA raised 2450 euroâ€™s by organizing this Cultural event and approximately 175 people attended the event in.
Appointed Monitoring staff
CSNHA appointed Arulanantham Soosaithasan (Thashan) as monitoring staff in Mullaithivu for a period of one month in order to monitor the Mullaithivu project. Due to this appoint CSNHA became aware of the fact that the revolving fund was not revolving as expected. The fundgiving organization V4U therefore ordered to stop revolving the fund.
7 cows for the Vavuniya District
Due to our broad network outside the Netherlands CSNHA found Mrs. Maheswary Sripathmanthan from the United Kingdom to support 7 widows in Vanni. She has found a group of people to fund a project where 7 widows would be given a cow in order to better their livelihood. A sum of Rs 720.000 was provided by Mrs. Maheswary Sripathmanthan, which she collected from a group of 15 members. The funders have requested for a step by step procedure indicating all the stages of the full process from the CSNHA receiving the fund and how the women receive the cows and equipment and how they are going to be funded and encouraged to return the money. Lastly, they have requested video/camera footage and of the development of the 7 widows who received the cows. In order to get the footages they have bought a camera for Rajani Iqbal so that she can take these pictures during her visit in Sri Lanka in February 2016. These kind of funders and their commitment to demand such information are those that make CSNHA more reliable when projects are executed while satisfying the funder. If this project is executed successfully CSNHA can expect more funds from such persons for future projects. Therefore, CSNHA will do its utmost best to monitor this project and will have to decide how it is going to provide the necessary assistance for the widows to keep developing their livelihoods.
Subsidiary food project proposal for 47 people in the Vavunya District.
Subsidiary food, such as soja, sesame and different kind of dahls need less time to be produced and the farmers will profit in a shorter period (which takes 3 months) from this production instead of for example rice ( which takes 6 months).The short term production furthermore reduces the risk of climate changes which can cause destruction of the food production. This project is ideal for farmers affected by the war to better their livelihood with less risk in farming and with a short term benefit. Therefore, CSNHA came forward to raise funds in order to implement this project. Mrs. Shantha form Childrenâ€™s Hunger relief funds was approached by CSNHA to provide the Vavunya district with money for the project. CHRF welcomed this project and provided the Vavunya district with an amount of 808500.00 SL rupees in order to implement a subsidiary food project for 47 people in this district.
CSNHA, furthermore, provided 450 euroâ€™s for monitoring the project. This money has been sent to the Federation of Thrift and Credit Co-operative Societies Unionâ€™s in Northern Province (FTCCU).
In 2016 CSNHA needs to monitor the above mentioned projects properly and report their findings to the funders. Furthermore, it needs to make use of the gained publicity amongst the Tamil Society in the Netherland to raise more funds for future projects. Many people can be approached individually or through societies such as Tamil schools and Temples to support the activities of CSNHA.