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Visvanathan Bamini

Visvanathan Bamini

Today, we make a good income from supplying our dried fish all across the island.

The MJF Foundation has empowered countless women like me to earn a respectful living for themselves through the Small Entrepreneur Programme. I thank our Founder Merrill J. Fernando for reaching out to the North of Sri Lanka for help during a time of adversity.

12 years ago, my husband became a victim of enforced disappearances during the Ethnic War. I was pregnant with my youngest at that time and it was extremely difficult for me to come to terms with what had just happened. Ever since the day I last saw my husband, I have been living in an agony worrying about the fate of my loved one. In 2012, Father Damian from MJF Foundation’s Anjali Aham invited us to join one of their programmes. We sent our kids to the Centre in Point Pedro twice a week to allow them to benefit from its interactive activities along with other kids of their age. The children cherished the days that they had Music, drama and art because it was a moment they could forget the past and have fun. Once a month, they would organise a counselling session for women like me who had to go through tragic circumstances in life. The programs helped us immensely to overcome our pain. Anjali Aham became our sanctuary where we felt safe and happy. During this time, the MJF Foundation’s Small Entrepreneur Programme came to support single mothers of North by giving them the means to start their own businesses. I was among them. They provided us with a grant that enabled us to pursue a vocation of our interest. Some of the women received farm animals, kitchen appliances & sewing machines. Along with 6 other women, I was trained in the process of making dried fish. As we became comfortable with the steps, we started to work as a team to start our own dried-fish business. With time, we did well. Today, we make a good income from supplying our dried fish all across the island. My children gave me a purpose to fight my feelings and move forward in life. I am happy that I can give them a good life thanks to the strong-willed, selfreliant women I have become today.