Mrs N Rasidha aged 24, with her sewing machine given through an Oxfam livelihood grant at Sooriyeapuram IDP camp to the south of Batticaloa.
Mrs. Rasidha:’I was a seamstress for seven or eight years before the tsunami but my sewing machine was badly damaged by the tsunami waters. I heard that it was possible to get a grant through Sarvodaya (Oxfam local partner) to help start businesses again after the tsunami so I applied and was given a grant of 5000 rupees (0) although Oxfam actually bought the machines in bulk so as to get a good discount. I have a lot of work now and initially there was a great need to make school uniforms for the children when they returned to school – most of these had been lost in the tsunami. UNICEF donated the material and Oxfam paid us about for each uniform we made under a cash for work programme. Now I make mainly dresses – women bring me the material and I make it for them – it brings in money which we will be able to put toward rebuilding our house.’