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Premavati & Other Tsunami Victims - A Green Tip for Ethical Purchases

Greentips™ Rubber Band Balls - Assembled by People Affected by the Tsunami in Sri Lanka

Currently our Fairtrade Greentips™ rubber band balls are being put together in our local consultant’s, Rangit’s office. However, this is a long way for the workers to travel to, so soon the ball making will shift to the village hall in a new settlement being built for people who lost their homes in the Tsunami.

The 12- 15 women working to put the balls together work in silence and only agreed to have a radio bought in when the war in Sri Lanka was officially declared over. To make a rubber band ball four equal portions of each colour band are weighed on a letter scale. Yellow rubber bands are slightly lighter than the other colours which makes calculating tricky. When each ball is finished it is recorded against its makers name providing an easy method of tracking each producer’s progress.

The fastest woman is Premavati who looks much older than her 55 years. Premavati sadly lost her home in her village, Egodanyana, where she was when the Tsunami struck. One of her sons was also in the house sleeping when her neighbours who had seen the wave in the distance alerted her. Although both Premavati and her son ran to safety they sadly lost their home and almost all of their possessions.They now live in a newly built village called Urannagodawatta where each home was allotted by a lottery.

Premavati is very happy with her No 47 home; a corner house on the main street. Since moving in almost six months ago, a series of plants has taken hold in the garden and a small village shop is turning into a focal point. The main road usually serves as an improvised cricket ground with banana-leave stalks for wickets. Almost every house has raised a flag amidst tons of laundry hanging out to dry and the hand pumps are used frequently creating a busy vibe. 

The first test of this multi-ethnic community passed without trouble; the few Muslim families refrained from slaughtering goats on Eid which might have upset their Buddhist neighbours maintaining a peaceful community atmosphere.

Check out our Fair Trade rubber band balls to help Premavati and others like her. 

Published 11/10/11

Photo(s) ® M.Kunz Fair Deal Trading
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