Until very recently, the Panadura girls didn’t have personal lockers for their possessions. They did not have a safe space for their personal items and they felt unsafe keeping beading supplies throughout the week. As such, they only made jewelry during classes, which greatly reduced their savings potential.
We were delighted when Jenny, our former Programs Director, spoke to Charles Ferrara from the US Embassy about applying for a grant to give the girls lockers and supplies for our programme.
We invited a supplier of furniture to give us quotes and, with Charles’ support, submitted a grant to the Kirby Simon Foreign Service Trust. We kept our fingers crossed that the grant would come through. And, when it did, we were so excited to begin to work on revamping the girl’s storage system!
We ordered the cupboards and within two weeks the supplier fixed the lockers in the girls’ rooms. Now, they each have a locker for themselves.
It is so nice to see that the girls have their bead supply boxes arranged neatly, and that they are able work outside of our workshops on creating jewelry when they are inspired. The space even lets them keep the clothes and personal items in an orderly fashion.
Shiranthi, one of our participants, has her little key hanging on her dress with a safety pin. She feels the locker is her own little treasure box to have and to hold. We have promised them each a key tag to keep the locker key safe!
This experience has proven to be an invaluable lesson for keeping personal supplies in a systemized manner. It also has created an individual space for each girl that she can feel proud of. For that, we are grateful.
A tremendous thank you to Charles Ferrara and the Kirby Simon Foreign Service Trust for giving the girls this gift of safety, personal space, and increased savings potential.