Empowering Sri Lanka’s Tea Plantation Communities

The formation of Community Development Forums (CDFs) seeks to transform the relationships between management and estate workers, while also providing the estate community with a platform through which, they can directly influence and shape their development priorities and solutions. Further, it helps to link the community with a host of service providers and socio-economic opportunities. A concept pioneered by CARE International Sri Lanka, the CDF is a platform where all the stakeholders on an estate regularly meet to discuss and make collective decisions for problem solving in a more transparent manner. The project is funded by Twinings  and is  implemented in partnership with CARE International UK.

The CDF in general, comprises all operational associations on the estate such as the senior and middle management, workers and non-workers, youth, women, CBOs such as Funeral Society, Kovil (Temple) Society, Sports Society etc. Trade Unions (TUs), local government authorities as well as the state and non-state outside service providers also participate where applicable.

After the final evaluation of Phase I of the same project, based on budget allocation 8 estates were chosen for Phase II. (5 estates from Phase I and 3 new estates).

Current project activities include:

  • Working with 4 plantation companies on 8 estates namely: Bogawanthalawa Plantations (Bogawana and Lethenty estates), Malwatte Valley Plantations (Uva Highlands and Aislaby estates), Agarapathana Plantations (Nayabedde, Dambetenna and Balmoral Estates) and Maskeliya Plantations (Strathspey estate).
  • Reaching out to 5,000 tea estate workers and 16,000 indirect beneficiaries
  • Formation of 3 new Community Development Forums on 3 estates
  • Capacity building trainings for CDF members
  • Preparation of Estate Development Plans (EDPs) on each estate
  • Supporting external service linkages with the CDF
  • Assistance to start Income Generation Activities on estates

The overall goal is to improve worker-management relationships of 08 tea estates in Sri Lanka with a focus on increased social and commercial benefits by 2022

A strengthened and sustained worker-management relationship and mutual trust

Improved social position and dignity for the plantation community

Improved access to economic opportunities for plantation community