Working towards providing opportunities for women to better themselves and their families is part of the important work carried out by the MJF Charitable Foundation. The primary aim of this programme is to give women from marginalised communities and those who have children with disabilities a chance to embark on a livelihood on their own and to avoid the vicious cycle of poverty and disability.
The alleviation from poverty through empowerment of women is a matter close to the heart of the Founder and is an area in which the Foundation has endeavoured to make a difference. Hence the Foundation has included a programme of work dedicated to empowering women from underprivileged communities, who now have a chance to progress ahead in life with support from the Foundation.
The Women’s Development Program (WDP) took flight in mid 2013 with the Moratuwa Centre piloting a model system for women’s development replicable in the island-wide Foundation structure. The program aims for holistic development and upliftment of women, their families and the community. The mothers of children who are already part of MJFCF activities are encouraged to take part in the programme comprising teaching in cooking, needlework, gardening, and self-development sessions.
This initiative also focuses on educating women on individual and community development, including finances, sexual and reproductive health, domesticity, mental and physical health and child development. Apart from centre-based activities, the WDP also conducts awareness programmes, the first of which addressed Breast Cancer awareness. Diri Piyasa -a non residential centre that provides counselling, legal, medical and vocational support to affected women- is another branch of WDP.