KVT Sewing Group
The long civil war meant that Sri Lanka never experienced the kind of development, which transformed most of the rest of Asia from the 1960's onwards.
As a result, the area around Tissa remains extremely rural even after the end of the war.
Most men work as paddy farmers and their wives stay at home looking after the children or tending their vegetable patches.
A typical income for this type of family would be just US$25 per month.
One of our first projects was to try to provide an additional source of income for local women.
On the recommendation of the smiley priest at Kande Viharaya Temple, we set up a sewing group in 2007.
To get it going, we purchased two sewing machines, a big batch of materials and hired the services of a teacher, who established a weekly class for about 32 women.
Within a matter of weeks they were already producing decorative bags and murals.
We then established a franchise at a local hotel, The Rosen, in Kataragama.
This has been going strong ever since.