Rajitha is 31 years old. She was born and grew up in the midst of Sri Lanka’s 3-decade long civil war. The war, which was concentrated in the North of Sri Lanka, came to a violent end in 2009 in Rajitha’s home district, which had experienced the worst of the tsunami just 5 years before. For women like Rajitha, this war-torn life has been extra challenging because they were often responsible for taking care of their families and also earning an income, with the men in the family at war or casualties of the war. Safety and security was a lost hope, with survival often the focus of their daily life. However, now with a slow return to normalcy, Rajitha with other women in her neighbourhood are slowly rebuilding their lives and reaching for opportunities for a brighter future for themselves and their children.
"I was still a child when I decided that I would grow up to become a manager. I would, one day, occupy a management position. Around the same time, when I was about ten years old, I accompanied my mother to a handloom training centre. I was fascinated by the clacking sound of the loom at work! I wanted to touch the yarn, to examine the machine, to weave; but my mother wouldn't let me."
Twenty years later, Rajitha has been able to combine her two childhood desires and become a manager of a handloom workshop run by a group of 15 women in the village of Mulliyavallai in the Mullaitivu district in the north of Sri Lanka.