Caritas Sri Lanka – SEDEC organized a special Thanksgiving Holy Mass today on 5th of May 2018 at the SEDEC Chapel, in appreciation for the blessings bestowed to the Food Security Project named “Substantiation of Community Institutions for Sustainable Agriculture to Ensure Food Security”.
The project which started on 1st of January 2013 came to a fruitful closure on 31st of December 2017, while reaching out to 6216 beneficiaries (farmers) during its 5 year project implementation period.
The thanksgiving Mass celebrated by Rev. Fr. Mahendra Gunatilleke, National Director of Caritas Sri Lanka thanked the Lord for guiding the project into an impactful closure which witnessed numerous success stories from the farmer families. He also thanked the former Diocesan Directors for their part in initiating actions on this project and commended everyone present including the staff of Anuradhapura, Batticaloa and Kurnunegala Dioceses, stating that their presence at the Holy ceremony is a fine example to show their commitment to the Food Security Project. Rev. Fr. Jamika Perera, Director of Caritas Kurunegala, Janasetha was also present at the occasion.
Under the project, domestic economic units were strengthened by establishing home gardens which were cultivated with organic vegetables and other crops. Caritas Sri Lanka-SEDEC with its Diocesan counterparts in Anuradhapura, Batticaloa and Kurnunegala while networking with other governmental agrarian departments have given necessary instructions and technical knowledge to the farmers to engage in organic agriculture.
In addition farmers were trained on disaster preparedness techniques where they were introduced with new farming techniques and crops that are resilient to the changing weather and climatic conditions. Community institutions such as CBOs and SHGs were mobilized and brought them under a district federation, and were trained to advocate for achieving farmer rights. The project also created revolving loans and strengthened the existing funds in the CBOs creating opportunities for farmer families to borrow money to expand their domestic economic activities.
The project was a support from Caritas Norway and NORAD.