“Going Beyond” Empowering Rural Communities
Puritas (Pvt) Ltd
Going Beyond is an extension of the Puritas Sath Diyawara Project which provides purified drinking water to people in areas affected by Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) in Sri Lanka. Project focuses on diverse activities in uplifting the socioeconomic conditions of selected villages.
INTRODUCTIONGoing Beyond is an extension of the Puritas Sath Diyawara which provides purified drinking water to people in areas affected by Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) in Sri Lanka. Going Beyond focuses on diverse activities in uplifting the socio-economic conditions of selected villages. Initiatives under Going Beyond target school kids, youths, and women to enhance their access to knowledge while creating employment opportunities for them. Pilot waste management models are established in each village endorsing a greener society. It also encourages domestic entrepreneurship through making value added products using agriculture produce and natural resources in the region. A guaranteed market is provided for the entrepreneurs, ensuring a stable income and improved living conditions for the farming community in Sri Lanka. The project is implemented and successfully operating in 11 villages (out of the 16 villages covered under Puritas Sath Diyawara) of the Northern and North Central Provinces reaching more than 25,000 people.
FRAMEWORK AND STRATEGYGoing Beyond is implemented in the villages selected under the Puritas Sath Diyawara initiative. A baseline survey was carried out to draw a comprehensive profile of villagers’ economic and consumption patterns. Through the Community Based Organizations (CBO) which was formed for flagship drinking water projects, interested people were selected for organic farming, waste management and domestic entrepreneurship through value added natural and agricultural products. Being an environmental engineering entity, Puritas continues to focus on its ecological footprint and contribution to the wider society and natural environment keeping-up with rapid changes in the business context. Thus, Going Beyond recognizes the importance of moving towards the 3R concept from the household level and promotes waste management amongst the villagers while encouraging them to produce value added products. Further to these, sustainable environmental management is promoted through model organic farming. Addressing the root causes of poverty, Going Beyond focuses on diverse aspects equipping villagers with proper skills to improve their living standard.
ACHIEVEMENT AND IMPACTThere are five organic farms established in 11 projects so far. These model farms provide valuable insights for the farming community in the villages on best agricultural practices and significance of moving into organic agriculture. Going Beyond has also identified nearly 600 children who performed well in Grade 5, GCE O/L and A/L and to provide them with scholarships to complete their tertiary education. Essential school items such as uniforms, books, water bottles and school bags are provided to all the children from low income families living in these villages. Approximately 10,000 people (school children, farmers and housewives) have benefitted directly from initiatives under the Going Beyond umbrella. It aims to reach out to all 25,000 people covered under Puritas Sath Diyawara. Through knowledge dissemination and development activities, small groups are trained to produce several value added products through organic farming, and handicrafts and traditional cottage industries to enhance their income. Reusing and adding value to waste generated in the villages is also a key area in the scope of Going Beyond.
FUTURE DIRECTIONTo ensure the self-sustainability and continuity of this project each CBO is facilitated to function as an autonomous Micro- Financing Institution to encourage village entrepreneurial ventures. The project also aims to create a community brand targeting the upmarket in the country and selected foreign markets linking all CBOs formed under “Puritas Sath Diyawara”. Direct marketing for organic fruits and vegetable produce will be provided to avoid middlemen through corporate relations between Puritas and reputed supermarkets and hotel chains. Practices in eco-village tourism and home stay will also be introduced to preserve the natural environment, heritage and the culture of the area which will in turn improve the regional infrastructure, peoples’ living standards and economy.
Puritas is the pioneering solution provider in the environmental engineering and management sector specializing in the areas of water and wastewater treatment and manufacturing and marketing of activated carbon based purification products. Puritas represents Veolia, which is the world’s leading environmental management entity, and together contribute to the development of township infrastructure in Sri Lanka. The company also has presence in the Maldives, Indonesia, Thailand and Myanmar.