Women’s Development Programme
The Women’s Development Programme (WDP) was developed to challenge stereotypes, educate young girls and inspire other women to develop their own businesses. The Programme provides skills development and training to promote entrepreneurship among women who come from marginalized communities. This also provides the opportunity for women who have children with disabilities to embark on a livelihood of their own and thereby avoid the cycle of debt, poverty and disability.
The Women’s Development Programme at the MJF Centre - West & East trains women in sewing, cooking and sustainable gardening not only as skills development and nutritional awareness that impacts the well being of their entire family, but as a therapeutic psychosocial activity to counter their personal circumstances. The Foundation also supports women with business skills and grants, to participate in the SEP ‐ Small Entrepreneurs Programme and guide them to an entrepreneurial level in their chosen livelihood.
The Women’s Development Programme encourages moderated informal group discussions which gives women a forum to speak up and share their issues. These sessions are managed by qualified staff who not only lend a sympathetic ear to their grievances but also carry out timely discussions on topics as personal hygiene, gender based violence resources and support, home management and home finance management.
Communities prosper and countries thrive when women are empowered.
“In 2013, I joined the Women’s Development Programme at the MJF Centre in Moratuwa as a Culinary Instructor. I started the first intake of classes with a group of 5 women. A year later, the number of students who came to my daily cooking classes kept increasing. Among them were young girls, housewives and single mothers who wanted to learn to cook as a medium of self-employment. I am happy to say that most of them have now turned cooking into a source of livelihood and earning a good income while providing for their families. As a team, we always make sure we deliver our orders fresh and on time. In addition to the regular orders we get on a daily basis, we also undertake massive batches of eatables for corporate events. I am extremely grateful to work in a place that recognises our worth and values our work. One of the blessings of this profession is that I’ve been allowed to pass on my knowledge to others while gaining something along the way.”