Sthree Craft Shop and Café
Kandy, Sri Lanka
The Women’s Development Centre in Kandy, Sri Lanka has been working to create equal opportunities for women since 1986. This registered nonprofit organization runs programs to combat violence against women and empower them as equal members of society, with one of their programs, Sthree, being a handicraft shop for women entrepreneurs. Sthree was established in 2007 as a handicraft shop with the support of the World University Service of Canada (WUSC). Sthree’s aim is to create opportunities for economically and socially marginalized producers. Since its establishment, Sthree has struggled to make the business a source of sustainable income for their programs and the entrepreneurs they serve.
With the support of Planeterra, a catalyst grant has been provided to the Women’s Development Centre to revamp the craft shop and outfit a working kitchen in the space. A dining area will be established to host G Adventures travellers, creating a steady stream of income and customers at the Sthree Craft Shop and Café. Women and youth will be serving up breakfast, lunch and high tea to G Adventures travellers, as travellers learn more about the amazing work that the Women’s Development Centre does across Sri Lanka.
Sthree Craft Shop and Café provides a platform for women to gain financial stability. The artisans can thrive here as they receive training to improve their skills and social support from the Women’s Development Centre. The newly established tourism program works to provide increased livelihood opportunities for women and at-risk youth, while providing an income source to support WDC’s other meaningful programs and decreasing grant dependency.