Help us create safe spaces and start up vocational training centers for marginalized women and girls.
Why we care: In Sri Lanka, lesbian and bisexual women are often abused and subjugated in cycles of violence and despair.
How we're solving this: By creating vocational training centers to empower women by giving them a greater chance of obtaining a job or running their own business.
In Sri Lanka, lesbian and bisexual women are criminalized under Penal Code 365 A. The law, along with social, cultural and religious stigma drives these women underground and affects their quality of life immensely. Violence in all forms is perpetrated against lesbian and bisexual women across the board, by family members and society at large. This behavior is further validated by the behavior of authorities towards these women who are often blackmailed, ridiculed and in some instances raped. Shame and internalized homophobia still remains causing lesbian and bisexual women and girls to go deeper and deeper underground.
With this in mind, this project of ‘hope’ will focus on vocational skills building for the impoverished and disempowered lesbian and bisexual women and girls in the Rural Areas. Specifically, we will target lesbian and bisexual women from the North Central, Central, Southern and Western Provinces. Within these provinces we will concentrate initially on the towns of Anuradhapura, Nuwara Eliya, Matara, and Colombo.
Within a period of 12 months, EQUAL GROUND will establish vocational training centers in the rural towns mentioned above as well as the city of Colombo. These centers will initially teach the following subjects: written, spoken and reading English, basic computer skills, financial management, personal hygiene and social etiquettes. We feel that with these basic skills these women and girls will stand a better chance of obtaining jobs or making their own businesses, which will in turn assist them in turning their lives around.
We envision the project to begin in January of 2013 with a one-year initial timeline. We feel that once we have the project started with the money you donate, we will be able to get more people involved with making dreams come true for the thousands of lesbian and bisexual women and girls in Sri Lanka who have no way to prove their true potential and climb out of the dismal situation they are in currently.
The budget for each location is listed individually here. We will require a total of 4 centers. Requirements for each center are listed below:
- Rent (12 months)
- Salary for Coordinator (12 months)
- Salary/fees for Teachers and Facilitators (4 subjects x 12 months)
- 4 PCs and 2 printers
- Writing materials including pens, pencils etc (10 students x 4 subjects)
- Text books (10 students x 4 subjects)
- Large white board
- White board markers (Approximately 12 markers per month)
- Chairs and desks (11 chairs and 11 desks x 4)
- ADSL connection with telephone, modem and wireless connections
- Incidentals – utilities, phone calls, transportations, tea, milk, sugar, biscuits, copy paper, etc.
- Operations – 10%
We have seen the difference it has made in the lives of many LGBT persons who we have assisted through the years by providing education and finding jobs for them. These have been one off incidents, but it is very clear to EQUAL GROUND that this project will be enormously life changing for everyone involved. Help us help them.