LEADS - Social and Kingdom Enterprise
Diordre Moraes, November 2019
Revitalising rural economy, through & to Social Solidarity Economy. International Solidarity Economy Conference on Transformative Economy, Yogyakarta, Indonesia on Nov 12 & 13, 2019. Organised by ASEC – Asian Solidarity Economy Council
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Sri Lanka, known as the Pearl of the Indian Ocean is now a middle income country and although has managed to reduce income poverty from 26.1% in 1990/91 to 4.1% by 2016 income inequality has remained unchanged for more than four decades. The richest 20% enjoy more than half the total household income of the country, while the poorest 20 per cent get only 5%. Sri Lanka was ranked as the second most affected country by the impacts of weather-related losses in 2017. Sri Lanka has been ranked 130th out of 156 countries in the 2017 World Happiness Report based on factors such as life expectancy, social support, and corruption.
Leads, as a National child focused NGO working in Sri Lanka since 1978. Children come first in all we do, our work is integrated in recognizing the child as part of a family, community and the nation whether it be in our work with survivors of abuse, vulnerable communities at risk and in times of natural and man-made disaster or at national policy level. Traditionally, the organization received grants from international agencies but with Sri Lanka being no more a ‘preferred’ donor country, the funds coming in for development purposes have been dwindling, though the need to support the vulnerable families is crucial. Therefore, in order to meet the needs of pockets of poverty & also to support children who are survivors of abuse, Leads stepped into the area of Social Enterprise. The partnership with Habitat for Humanity & RYTHM Foundation enabled us to step into this area.
As a Christian Organization whose values are based on teachings of the Bible, our enterprises are:
1. Pro-poor – We believe God is for the poor
2. To the Vulnerable – God is the God of the vulnerable, the widow and the orphan
3. Mandated – We are entrusted with a mandate from Creation to care for creation.
We do not differentiate by race or religion but work with the communities, by the communities, for the communities following partnership principles. Leads whilst in the process of identifying for possible project, the Compressed Stabilized Engineered Bricks (CSEB) Project was looked as a possible venture with focus on the quadruple bottom line.
Socially responsible governance: #SDG5, #SDG16
1. Mullaitivu was one of the worst affected districts in the conflict. The highest percentage of households falling into the ‘poorest group’, with a monthly household income of less than Rs. 36,500, is in the project location of Mullaitivu district (71.6 per cent).
2. The need for houses & advocating for the right type of houses with dignity to families.
People: #SDG2, #SDG3, #SDG1, #SDG11
1. Some beneficiaries of houses are female headed households & with disabilities too to facilitate them coming out of the cycle of poverty.
2. The project involves that there is coordinated effort amongst the working group around the machines. (Seven persons per machine per shift) Due to the intensity of the work, they need to be on rotation based on mutual understanding.
Planet: #SDG13, #SDG15
1. Usage of non-organic earth. Traditionally river sand is used for the manufacturing industry which in turn causes soil erosion leading to low-lying areas being prone to floods. This uses silt of reservoirs requiring de-silting. Thereby, also improving water volume, improving disaster resilience and access to water for cultivation and other needs.
2. Less use of Cement - Each bag of cement manufactures 60-80 traditional bricks whilst with CSEBs would produce 80-110 bricks.
3. Beneficiaries of the houses have stated that the houses built using CSEBs is more conducive to the environment by using the natural cooling process – therefore, less use of fans.
4. The traditional brick is fired in a kiln whilst the CSEBs are sun dried. Leads also looking at getting solar panels so that the machines would not use fossil fuel but renewable energy.
Profits: (Socio-economic sustainability) #SDG8, #SDG11, #SDG12
1. Access to a secure form of income helps them better their lifestyles & the reward scheme through the sharing of projects ensures fair labour.
2. Provides the rights to shelters and affordable services
3. Profits from the sale of bricks is given back to the community by way of protecting children through our work implemented by the Child Protection Division – ESCAPE (Eradicating Sexual Child Abuse Prostitution and Exploitation)
Purpose: (Edifying Ethical Values) #SDG16, #SDG10
The CBSE is part of post-conflict recovery process and is motivated by moves to reconciliation.