top of page

From Determination to Empowerment: The Unstoppable Journey of Thilakawathi

From Determination to Empowerment: The Unstoppable Journey of Thilakawathi

The project, "Let the Women Decide the Margin," funded by the European Union and implemented by Sri Lanka Centre for Development Facilitation (SLCDF) and partner organizations Centre for Women Research (CENWOR), Community Strength Development Foundation (CSDF), Rajarata Praja Kendraya (RPK), Federation of Social Development Organization (FOSDOO) and Sri Lanka College of Journalism (SLCJ) have been successful in transforming the lives of the marginalized women. One inspiring story is that of D.M. Thilakawathi, a 55-year-old resident of Maradankadawala, Pallekagama in Kekirawa area who embodies the true spirit of resilience. Born without the left arm, Thilakawathi faced numerous challenges throughout her life. Thanks to RPK she was provided with a transformative opportunity through the project. Thilakawathi's passion for sewing, which she had nurtured since childhood, became her path to empowerment. When RPK, discovered her remarkable talent, they provided unwavering support to develop her skills and business, especially during the COVID-19 lockdown period when she had no source of income. With the assistance of the project, Thilakawathi obtained an impressive NVQ Level 3 certificate in sewing through the RPK. Recognizing the value of her own expertise, she now offers training opportunities to new trainees at her tailoring shop and has become a beacon of hope for others. With the income from her thriving business, Thilakawathi was able to construct a permanent home for herself and her 76-year-old mother staying with her. RPK has been her constant source of strength and support, playing a crucial role in her success. At a momentous Women's Day celebration, RPK honored Thilakawathi in the presence of a large gathering on International Womenâ??s Day as the â??Empowered Woman of the Year.â?? The significance of this recognition cannot be understated, as it provided her with an immense boost to elevate her business to new heights. Thilakawathi realized her worth as a valuable member of society, and this newfound sense of self has propelled her forward on her remarkable journey. Today, Thilakawathi's achievements extend beyond her personal growth. As a proud member of the Kekirawa Trade Association, she has created job opportunities for others, proving that disability is not a barrier to success. Her selflessness and dedication inspire all who know her. Through the "Let Women Decide the Margin" project, marginalized women like Thilakawathi have found a pathway to a brighter future, where skills and talents are nurtured, transforming lives and communities. The European Union's support, along with the dedication of SLCDF and its partner organizations, has paved the way for a more inclusive and prosperous society.

bottom of page