With three children to support, Bavani had to turn to her elderly parents for help. But when she was included in World Vision's economic development programme, Bavani dared to hope for her family's future.
When Bavani (37) lost her husband in the civil war six years ago, life was very bleak. With three children to support, Bavani was losing hope. The only thought that kept her going was that she needed to do her best for her children.
Bavani was compelled to let her parents support her and her children. She felt sad that she was a burden to her parents. She tried to support them by starting a home garden, while her father engaged in goat rearing. Yet, their income was barely enough for them all.
When her two younger children were included into the World Vision programme, Bavani was very relieved.
Through World Vision, Bavani was also able to participate in several training programmes which included other field crop cultivation and goat rearing. She was then selected for the goat rearing project conducted by World Vision in Paddipalai.
“I already had a little experience with goat rearing, so I felt very happy to be selected. I was provided more training by World Vision and was encouraged to build a goat shed,” explains Bavani. “I felt that now we can improve our lives.”
Through the goat rearing project, World Vision has provided assistance to 180 families in six villages in Paddipalai. Three of these villages were border villages during the conflict and another two are villages that have been recently resettled.
Initial surveys showed that while the community possess the experience of livestock rearing, they lacked sufficient technical knowledge. World Vision therefore provided the beneficiaries with the technical training on goat rearing, while livestock health management programmes are being conducted by the Veterinary Department of Paddipalai.
An active participant in the project, Bavani found her fortunes changing. “I faced so many challenges and I was unable to attend to my children’s needs, especially concerning my eldest son’s Advanced Level education. But now I am able to earn an income and use that to educate my children,” she continues.
Within a year, Bavani has increased the number of goats to 22 from the 5 that were provided to her by World Vision. Through the additional training she received, she is also careful to manage her income and monitor her business.
“My plan is to expand my goat shed. In the next few months I will be able to sell some of the older goats,” explains Bavani. “I will use that income to expand the shed for more goats.”
In partnership with the Divisional Secretariat, the project is being monitored under the Divi Neguma government programme. The Veterinary Department of Paddipalai conducts a mobile clinic in one village each month to monitor the health of the goats.
World Vision has also formed savings clubs with the communities so that they can efficiently manage their profits and will be encouraged to develop their business.
“I am so thankful that World Vision supported me through this project. Not just me, but so many others too have benefited,” says a grateful Bavani.