Organization - Sevalanka Foundation

Basic Information
English Sevalanka Foundation
Local language සේවාලංකා පදනම (SevalankaPadanama)
Country Sri Lanka
Category General NGO
Domain Oral Traditions and Expressions
Social Practices, Rituals and Festive Events
Knowledge and Practices Concerning Nature and the Universe
Traditional Craftsmanship
Function Research
Identification
Documentation
Education and Training
Promotion
Revitalization
Established year 1992
Objectives

In 2004 the organisation did an extended evaluation on the work and realized it was less conflict sensitive and established the Peace and Reconciliation Unit – now known as Community Peace Building Team – to mainstream conflict sensitivity through all Sevalanka projects. Peace and reconciliation in a community is now recognized as crucial for its progress, and as such has been put at the core of every other type of social work carried out by the organisation.

In last 20 years we have built up network with diversified and ethnic to set up a ‘community development’ approach to poverty alleviation and economic improvement. We focus on bringing individuals together to build strong civil society organizations that are capable of catalyzing village, or even regional, level change. Our main programme areas cover Organisational Development, Disaster Management, and Livelihood Generation.

In the last 7 years we have been organizing an annual music festival to promote the traditional folk forms and cultural exchange between the diverse communities in Sri Lanka.

During the last decade we have also supported many hand-loom and handicraft producers to promote and enhance their authentic products.

Introduction

Sevalanka Foundation, since its inception in 1992 has been working to uplift the lives of the most vulnerable and disadvantaged communities in Sri Lanka across 22 districts out of the 25 districts in the country. During this period, Sevalanka partnered with leading multilateral agencies like World Bank, United Nations, Asian Development Bank and European Union, with most of its major sources of funding coming from United States of America, Great Britain, Germany, Japan, and Norway, with a few other counties contributing the rest.

Sevalanka gained its vast expertise and experience from conducting humanitarians operations in the field of poverty alleviation, infrastructure development, Peace and reconciliation, nutrition and food security , agriculture and fisheries support services, psycho-social support, revival of  dying culture traditions, micro credit, supporting social enterprises and market linkages for community products. It made a significant contribution to the socio-economic fabric of Sri Lanka, the results of which are witnessed today in the country’s present developed state, and continues to make a contribution to it, even today.

Sevalanka built a great reputation for its work in the resettlement program, carried out after the cessation of 30 years of war, by resettling approximately 200,000 Internally Displaced Families and by initiating participatory development strategies in most parts of the country.

Their peace programme is built on three pillars: direct peace building, conflict sensitivity, and research. Sevalanka works with young people, community people and religious/community leaders, helping to build a network between them to bring about a more productive joint effort for peace in their communities.With young people, Sevalanka provide leadership training for non-violent social change. The perspective of peace they receive is not limited to peace in a theoretical sense. They receive constant interaction with peers from other ethnicities and religions, and they are given an overall knowledge of peace – including its practical application within the community. In 2004 the organisation did an extended evaluation on the work and realised it was not conflict sensitive and established the Peace and Reconciliation Unit – now known as Community Peace Building Team – to mainstream conflict sensitivity through all Sevalanka projects. Peace and reconciliation in a community is now recognized as crucial for its progress, and as such has been put at the core of every other type of social work carried out by the organisation.

Over the last few years they also have worked to safeguard the traditional art forms (music, dance, folklore etc.) and traditional handicrafts (Palmarayh, reeds, wooden craft, coconut husk, cinnamon sticks & branches) of Srilanka. They have supported communities in preserving their traditional livelihoods by providing training, credit facilities, value addition and market linkage. They have also adopted traditional organic method of farming and promoting their traditional farming activities in community.

Major Activities
  • Sevalanka safeguards, preserves and promotes the traditional folk forms (music, dance & traditional folklores), traditional handicrafts and hand-loom in Sri Lanka. They do extensive research works in the rural areas and villages to identify the traditional craftsmanship, traditional folklores, dances, rituals etc and find out the right procedure for protection and preservation of that ICH element. They have captured the data with detail analysis of 90% of the religious & ethnic communities. The data also includes audio-video documentation, photographs, and detail report of studies of different folk forms.
  • Sevalanka is now working in 18 districts and 7 provinces of Sri Lanka. They have their presence in 18 districts out of 26 districts. Headquarters in Colombo provides support to the district offices to carry our operations at the grassroots level. They mainly work with all 4 main groups (Sinhala, Tamil, Muslim & Burgers), economically vulnerable and most needed communities. They have been connected with 1000-2000 families in 25 – 45 diverse communities of different religions and ethnicity in last 7-8 years in the field of promoting folk art form like music, dance and traditional folklores. They are also working with other small population communities in different region of Sri Lanka like the Kaffir Manja community in Puttlam, North Central region of Sri Lanka, Portuguese Dutch community in Batticaloa, Eastern Province.
  • Their ICH safeguarding effort includes traditional music and dance (folk tradition of mostly all the afore mentioned communities), Handicrafts (palmarayh, reeds, wooden masks, coconut husk, cinnamon sticks & branch, handloom etc.), folklores, traditional rituals, traditional organic process of cultivation. Sevalanka has also worked with around 10,000-15,000 families who are directly involved in traditional handicrafts and hand-loom in last 20 years. They support the communities in preserving their traditional livelihoods by providing training, credit facilities, value addition & market linkages.
  • They have organized skill up-gradation & capacity building training workshops to around 25,000 craft artisan mainly on the North and East region in last 20 years to promote the art forms and facilitate the transmission of traditional knowledge from one generation to the next generation.
  • Sevalanka was organizing one of the largest annual music festivals which alternate between the Sri Lankan cities of Jaffna and Galle since 2009 to 2016. Sevalanka Foundation is implementing the activities under the Music Cooperation in partnership with Concerts Norway. The Music Cooperation holds these music festivals to foster ethnic harmony through cultural intervention. The festival provides a space for artists from different cultural background to interact, exchange and celebrate the similarities and differences among their respective musical traditions. The festival celebrates the diversity of Sri Lankan musical traditions with particular emphasis on folk traditions, thus providing a platform for the rural folk musicians to reach the urban audience. In 3 consecutive years 2011, 2012 and 2013 around 13000, 21000 and 25000 urban audiences respectively attended the festival.
  • They provide market linkages to the traditional art form and handicrafts. Sevalanka has developed SEWA COMMUNITY CREDIT finance which is connected with many banks and microcredit organizations and helps in financial backup for the artisan groups. They also train the rural artisan groups in book keeping and accounts management. Some of the producing groups are connected to the urban market network known as Good Market (http://www.goodmarket.lk/). The marketing team is now on a process to develop a new marketing brand with retail outlets and online marketing facilities to promote the handicraft products.
  • Sevalanka has adopted traditional organic method of farming and also promotes most of the traditional farming activities. They organize promotional programs and workshops to disseminate the knowledge and encourage organic farming among communities. Now more than 1000 families are practicing traditional organic method of farming.
Contact Information (Organization)
Website www.sevalanka.org
Address 432 A, 2nd Floor, Colombo Road, Boralesgamuwa
Tel MOBILE: +94-777-386682 (Dinusha)
Fax
E-mail slnmc.cpo@gmail.com ; kaushalya@sevalanka.org; aloka@sevalanka.org; headquarters@sevalanka.org

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