By Daminda Fernando – World Vision Sri Lanka Program Manager
Dilan used to work as a steward in a hotel. The 22-year-old worked hard – more than 12 hours a day – but received a very low salary, just Rs12,000 or $42 a month.
“When I worked at the hotel, my mother had participated in Generate Your Business (GYB) sessions conducted in the village by World Vision. She had developed a development plan for our family and she tried to start a textile business at home through World Vision’s support. Then suddenly my family faced a difficult time when my mother got seriously sick and my father lost his job. Even though we tried our best, we could not totally cure mother. She went blind and all the hopes for our future get faded away. I was in a dilemma, because I had to choose my job or look after my mother, since my only sister is still going to school,” Dilan explains.
Once World Vision realised that Dilan’s mother could not continue with the business activity, they met the family and discussed how the program could still support them. Dilan chose to stay at home to look after his mother and he participated in the Generate Your Business sessions. Instead of continuing with his mother’s textile business, Dilan discovered another path.
“During the GYB training I realised that cement brick making is a potential business after analysing my skills, available resources and the opportunities in my village. I consulted World Vision to get support to start the cement brick business. They helped me develop a business plan, and they asked me to get the necessary technical knowledge. I worked at a brick making place for one month to get technical knowledge. Then World Vision supported me to get a brick making machine. I started the business at my home after participating in Start Your Business (SYB) training.”