“This beautiful new home, the bountiful harvest, and the child I am carrying are all good omen for us to start a new life, after many years of wandering as displaced persons. Thank you on behalf of my child.”Koneswary
Kailayapillai Koneswary, a recipient of a home through the EU funded ‘Homes not Houses’ project was all smiles as she walked through her newly constructed house while narrating how she survived the Global Pandemic that devastated the entire world, feeling fortunate to not only have a roof over her head but also be able to help the people around her “We managed through the COVID-19 lockdown period thanks to the paddy stocks. Most importantly, I was able to share my harvest with my neighbours and relatives too”.
Koneswary is an appropriate technology homeowner in Vilawedduwan, Batticaloa as well as a recipient of a small grant to start her own business under the Flanking Activities of the EU Homes not Houses project. Implemented by World Vision Lanka, the flanking activities under the project improved access to local and sustainable income opportunities through small cash grants to initiate SMEs, livelihoods and DRR infrastructures followed by training in construction, home gardening, agriculture and livestock management. As this support is integrated with the housing investments and provided to the same families and communities, the project began to address donor dependency and effectively help families reach “sustained livelihoods through housing”.
Koneswary aged 35, who has been married for two years and was due to have her first baby in August 2020 couldn’t wipe the smile off her face as she shared how her dream of having a neat little kitchen with white tiles has come true, she goes on to say that the kitchen is her favourite spot in the house and she loves to spend her time there cooking meals for her husband.
Through the EU funded project, Koneswary also received a water pump in 2018 through which she has been able to successfully harvest paddy “It has been a very good season. We harvested 7 bushels of rice from our paddy fields. The water pump provided by the EU Project has helped us tide through the drought season and be have a successful paddy harvest. Now we have enough rice to last a year! I am doubly thrilled that my first child due this year will be nourished from our harvest in our brand-new home.”
In spite of all the hardships that they have to endure due to the global pandemic Koneswary has a silver lining which she is grateful for “This beautiful new home, the bountiful harvest and the child I am carrying are all good omen for us to start a new life, after many years of wandering as displaced persons. Thank you on behalf of my child” said Koneswary who couldn’t contain her tears of joy.
She’s thankful that through the Homes not Houses project, her simple dreams were fulfilled and they live a happy and complete life in this new home.