Once again our faith in the kindness of man is restored. Our volunteers Phillipa and Rob from the UK have been working with our women in Tissamaharama on the coconut project trying to help them achieve a finished product that will be marketable in the western world. We have designed numerous pieces of jewelry with pieces of coconut as accessories and we have yet to create any, as the pieces coming from the southeast are shabby to say the least.

Most of these women have never thought of using coconut for anything other than food let alone worked with sandpaper or a drill. They sit and watch as we show them what we want and the look of absolute confusion comes over their faces. The thought of polishing coconut pieces and applying lacquer to them is to them absurd to say the least; and yet they meet and continue to try not only for the training salary that they receive each week but also for the companionship of other women who are in similar circumstances or worse.

Rob and Phillipa came to me and informed me that in order to establish a profitable centre we needed to purchase more drill presses and have different drill bits manufactured. I hated to tell them but at the time we did not have enough money in the Work for Widows fund to be able to purchase any further equipment. Within three days the equipment was being purchased from funds that Rob had raised by writing home to friends and telling them of the requirements.

So to each of Rob’s friends who helped us purchase the required equipment thank you and be proud that you have made such a difference in their lives and that you have a friend like Rob who gives his time so unselfishly.

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