That little red dot on the map, that’s Mannar. Its our first project and yes, we are excited!
Mannar, as you can see, is located in the north west of the Sri Lankan tear drop. It’s about 300km by road from the cosmopolitan hub of Colombo and only 32 km from India. Back when sea levels were lower it was connected to India by Adam’s Bridge.
So why Mannar?
No doubt there are many places we could have picked. However, you have to start somewhere and in Mannar we had a community that could be an equal partner in conversation and we had a good appreciation of what we were getting into through our previous work and connections.
Mannar was isolated during the three decades civil conflict, it is war-affected with families displaced dozens of times. As it is ‘under the radar’ of government, it provides us space to experiment, trial and engage without the glaring eyes of the authorities. The people are resilient but need help to rebuild as they re-emerge from a parochial space into a global society and economy. Mannar is one of the most challenging contexts within Sri Lanka to work. But we embrace challenge!