During August 2022, Mackman Group raised over £2000 of funds in support of the grassroots charity Women’s Empowerment Sri Lanka. Women’s Empowerment Sri Lanka was initially founded to support female-headed households with their businesses and/or educational pursuits. The charity now provides families with basic dry rations, and we joined them in raising vital funds to enable them to buy and distribute these supplies to targeted vulnerable households.

We aimed to raise £1,000 to provide basic food packages to vulnerable families in Sri Lanka, and by the end of the month, we raised a final total of £2070. The humanitarian situation in Sri Lanka is still precarious and many families who rely on tourism for their income are struggling to feed themselves. UNICEF reported that soaring food prices have led to 70% of households reducing their food consumption, along with a severe shortage of fuel, power cuts, and lack of access to medicine. The crisis is disproportionately affecting communities that are already struggling, such as tea pickers – staples like rice, lentils, milk and cooking oil have become inaccessible for many.

Mackman Group worked with Women’s Empowerment Sri Lanka to provide donations that will impact around 200 families. We set up a JustGiving page to raise funds in addition to proceeds from an intimate fundraising event. A £10 donation to Women’s Empowerment Sri Lanka provides a family with a dry ration pack which includes 5kg of rice, 5kg of flour, 1kg of cowpea, coconut oil and other food essentials (food may vary depending on availability).

Currently Sri Lanka is experiencing daily power cuts due to electricity rationing, leading to widespread protests. In the healthcare sector, nearly 200 essential medicines are now no longer available, with a predicted shortage of another 163 critical medicines over the next 2 to 3 months. Schools are closed, with many people being advised to work from home where they can due to shortages of petrol and diesel. A State of Emergency has been declared and curfews have been imposed.

There are shortages of basic necessities, and there are long queues at shops, supermarkets, and pharmacies to get essential provisions. Food inflation has reached a high of 80%, with the Sri Lankan rupee plummeting in value to become one of the worst-performing currencies in the world. About 3 in 10 households (6.26 million people) are food insecure, 65,600 of which are listed as ‘severely’ food insecure. The situation is dire, and without international aid, it looks set to worsen.

We wanted to raise awareness about the incredible work of Women’s Empowerment Sri Lanka and the extremely difficult circumstances that many people in Sri Lanka find themselves in. We greatly appreciated all the support that our friends, clients and colleagues offered to help make a difference. For more information about Women’s Empowerment Sri Lanka, you can follow their journey on social media via Instagram and Facebook.

If you would like to help make a difference, please visit The Women’s Empowerment Sri Lanka website for more information on how to donate.