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It's your love and support that makes the work of Tearfund possible

Saraswathy, a 70-year-old Sri Lankan grandmother participates in our dairy farming programme. Saraswathy’s story is heart-breaking. She lost two of her four children in the Sri Lankan conflicts.  After the civil war, along with numerous challenges and deep grief, survival became a fight for many, especially for women. The dynamics of the culture changed with women taking on the role of providing for their families. It was a hard time for women like Saraswathy,and she recounts how at times she felt helpless.

Saraswathy became a refugee not once, but twice. She recalls tough times: “I was displaced during the war in 1999 and again in 2009. We moved into a refugee camp.”

Can you imagine her sense of helplessness? She was at an age when many of us in New Zealand could look forward to retiring.

She says, “Once we were resettled, my daughter and I bought some cows to start dairy farming to support ourselves. At the time, we didn’t even have a house. We milked the cows with our hands.”

Saraswathy was trained in everything from animal husbandry to upscaling her herd more than five years ago, after she was introduced to Tearfund’s partner, Yugashakthi. She says the training “helped us a lot.” Saraswathy has been resilient during more recent crises that have hit her country, including severe shortages of raw materials and economic collapse.

Your donation today will support all of Tearfunds projects including our programme in Sri Lanka helping over 11,400 Sri Lankan smallholder farmers move from subsistence farming, to build sustainable enterprises.

 If you have any questions, please contact, or call our team on 0800 800 777 (Mon-Fri).