Suriya organises women into collectives and provide support and awareness on gender issues and rights to empower women to challenge discriminatory socio-cultural practices from their homes to their communities. We particularly support extremely marginalised women in their communities and we work with community leaders and community power structures to enable positive change.
Suriya has formed small groups of women in rural areas who undergo a process of emotional support and empowerment. These groups then function independently to support one another.
Shakti Group – This group currently has 15 members who meet monthly and who have experienced violence and other crises in the family. They have initiated savings schemes and provide loans to other members of the group to carry out self-employment activities. Most of these women are now able to care for their families and children with the support of a Suriya officer who visits regularly and guides them to resolve issues that arise.
Puthiya Paathai Nokki (PPN) Group – This group works with women and young girls who have been affected by war and violence and who need more support emotionally. A space is provided for the members to share their feelings and express their ideas through a process of discussion and creative expression. Suriya has supported members to take legal action as well as make representations at various government commissions such as the Presidential Commission on Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation. We have also supported them emotionally with an empowerment process of capacity building workshops, individual meetings, common sharing meetings, and creative work such as art and drama.