Case study of Mrs.K.Vijuvakumari

My name is K.Vijuvakumari, I was 23 years old when I displaced with my family carrying one child with my chest and another child on his father’s shoulders due to the civil war in Sri Lanka. We lost everything including livestock and our house. When we returned to Mullikulam after the war, there was nothing left. We could not do anything because of the depression caused by the many deaths and damage we suffered during the war. We all were depending the little support by the government and NGOs.

At this time Caritas-Valvuthayam intervened with the funding support of Stromme Foundation in 2013. It started providing income sources and then trained the beneficiaries to be a capable through capacity building programmes. At the end of the training, the community was made aware of their own issues and to seek solutions. And, I was a livelihood support recipient under this project and received a milk cow worth Rs. 50, 000.

In 2014, the cow calved, and I was able to sell about 4L milk per day for Rs.120 which was provided a joyous moment for our family. In end of the year, we bought two more milk cows through which we earned additional income. However, I was not fully satisfied with this assets and income, I wanted to come back just like I did before the war.

On the other hand, we planned to start a home garden in half an acre aiming to fulfil our family needs. As the fields were overgrown with large trees and bushes for nor using the land for cultivations for a long period, my husband and me had to engage in strenuous preparations of the land. What a delight able time it was we could fulfil our family need with vegetable from our garden, and shared it to relatives and neighbours at low prices. 

The success of the vegetable garden and the extra income encouraged me to start cultivating highland crops and then paddy as I had dreamed. In early 2015, we started our highland crop in half an acre with the support of a loan facility from my Self Help Group Puthu Uthayam, and then, at my request I obtained a loan from CBO in the same maha season, and started cultivated paddy in one acre. But due to high infiltration of wild animals, highland and paddy cultivations did not succeed as we expected, but I was able to settle the loan to SHG and CBO. However, in the following seasons we faced challenges with greater resistance and managed to overcome it. Now, with the expansion of paddy cultivation, high land cropping, dairy farming, vegetable gardening and newly started goat rearing we are happy to get a solid income around Rs.50,000 per month.

I must thank Caritas-Valvuthayam, for suitable livelihood on correct time and the training I received to manage my income,” she says with gratitude.

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