Ms. Bhavani has a sister and two brothers, one of whom is a mason while her younger brother is a good electrical wiring technician. The family lost their parents during the Tsunami disaster of December 2004 and was looked after by relatives for a short period until a benevolent Catholic sister, Sr. Arul took them under her care. Both Bhavani and her sister Kamala Devi were able to study up to the GCE Advance Level (University entrance level) while the two brothers after leaving school have been able to develop their respective skills in masonry and house electrical wiring and earn an income for the family.

Through the efforts of Sr. Arul from the Holy Family Convent, a well wisher known to the family was able to obtain 1 acre property for the family which has now been divided into four sections with a quarter of an acre for each sibling. Caritas Jaffna-HUDEC selected Bhavani as one of the recipients of a new house. The whole family has contributed to build the house. The two brothers have contributed their labour which enabled them to save on construction costs. In addition to the Caritas contribution to the family has spent an additional Rs. 150,000 using their own savings to add value to their house. The family has been able to tile a portion of the floor area and also built a portico in the front section of the house. The house has also been wired for electricity which was completed entirely by the two brothers.

“In addition to my brothers’ contribution, both, my sister and I work in the nearby coconut fibre making factory. We earn about Rs. 500 each per day which is our contribution to the household,” Bhavani said with a lot of pride. She was also given livelihood assistance of Rs. 40,000 which she used to purchase a water pump with accessories and also some coconut seedlings which they have planted in their land. The two sisters attended most of the training programmes including the programme on coconut cultivation which has helped them to develop their plantation. “I use the water pump to irrigate the coconut seedlings and I have plans to grow vegetable soon” says Bhavani with confidence.