Lanka & LIKE - the begin of a unique relationship
…our story starts in December 2004, when the devastating waves of the Tsunami hit the coasts of Sri Lanka. But with the destruction came also hope and help to rebuild. So it was done by founding members of local NGO Nature Volunteers Association (former Nature Conservation Society) Mr. Chandralal and Mrs. Andrea. In 2006 they could build the Educational Development Centre (EDC) to provide free education for affected and poor children. 2012 the EDC Women’s Unit was build to support women with free vocational training such as sewing, wool knitting and batik.
In 2014 the Sewing unit was build – the beginning of LankaLIKE – a brand which combines to love to Sri Lanka, the traditional handicraft and a new way of use. To be able to sale the handmade products the “Lankalike Fairtrade Cooperation” was found as legal body. All sales profit provides an income for the local women and goes to the NVA for their educational projects and women’s empowerment program.
In 2017 a new batik training & production unit was build and 2019 a handloom unit.
Vocational Training for Women
Since 2013 the local NGO Nature Volunteers Association offers free vocational training courses for local women as part of their women’s empowerment program. The training includes sewing, wool knitting, batik and handloom weaving on regular base – soft toy making and patchwork courses are occasionally. Once or twice per week the women come to the EDC Women’s Unit for a 6 month training. At the end they have to sit for a theoretical and practical exam. After its successful completion the women receive a certificate.
Now they are able to work independently in the craft and skills learned – to make products and article for their own use or sale.
Mrs. Nanda (batik)
With more than 70 years Mrs. Nanda is the oldest teacher in our team with more than 40 years experience in the art of batik.
Mrs. Geetha (knitting)
Since 2013 Mrs. Geetha teaches wool knitting to the women. She has many years of experience and likes to have a chat by the way.
Mrs. Priyanthi (sewing)
Mrs. Priyanthi teaches sewing since 2013 at the EDC Women's Unit and from 2018 also at the new founded "Better Future Training Centre" at the HFC in Kaluthara.
Mrs. Chalani (mobile sewing)
When the NVA started their mobile training unit program in 2018 Mrs. Chalani became the second sewing teacher. She teaches women in rural areas in the mobile unit.
Mrs. Sumana (handloom)
Mrs. Sumana just joined as a handloom weaving teacher with 25 years of experience at the new build handloom training and production centre in 2019.
The construction of the Sewing Unit in 2014 was the first step for the production. Before the LankaLIKE brand was born we have produced for other companies such as COLOMBO3 from Germany.
Now we provide a wide range of products – from handmade material such as batiks, handloom woven or cotton: bags, soft toys, gift items, decorations, clothes, etc.
The women work under good working conditions, flexible working time, possible work at home and fair payment (per piece). So they can earn an additional income for their families and be a little more independent from their husbands.
Mrs. Priyangani (sewing)
With the opening of the sewing unit of the NVA in 2014 Mrs. Priyangani started her work as supervisor. She has many years experience of work in garment factories.
Mrs. Deepa (sewing)
As one of the best trained women of the NVA sewing courses Mrs. Deepa stayed and became custom tailor at the LankaLIKE Shop.
Mrs. Nilanthi (batik)
Mrs. Nilanthi started the batik training in 2018. After receiving her certificate she continued working at the batik place with success.
Mrs. Ajantha (handloom)
With the start of the new handloom weaving centre Mrs. Ajantha joined as an experienced worker (18 years) for the production.
Mrs. Wanshika (handloom)
Together with Mrs. Ajantha also Mrs. Wanshika joined the handloom weaving centre with more than 10 years of experence.
Shop Sales Person
As a former student of the batik course Mrs. Asoka knows the LankaLIKE products well and how hard it is to make them by hand. She is a nice and helpful lady.
As founding director of Lankalike Fairtrade Cooperation Mr. Chandralal cares about the management. He has a MBA degree and studied Apparel and Textile Management (diploma).
Mrs. Andrea is the second founding director of Lankalike Fairtrade Cooperation and cares about design and marketing - especially for hotels and company costumers.
As a former student of English and Computer Science at the EDC and holder of a accountant diploma Ms. Thilini is responsable for book keeping and accounting at our office.