Harvest 2016: Feeding bodies and minds in Sri Lanka.
In Sri Lanka we are supporting families from marginalised tea plantation communities.
In remote areas, we are working with the Church of Ceylon to provide pre-school education for children who would otherwise fall behind even before they reach school.
With the children attending regular classes, USPG-funded teachers are also able to work with their parents to improve their children’s diets.
Teaching parents about nutrition has long-term impact.
On a diet of fruit salads and vegetable soups - instead of instant noodles and biscuits - the pupils' concentration improves, ensuring the children have the best possible start in life, in terms of both health and education.
This Harvest, you can find out how Sri Lanka's tea plantation communities are learning about nutrition and seeing their health improve.
Please support this work and help to bring a fuller life to some of the world’s most vulnerable people.
Harvest resources including a template talk, images, prayers and service ideas can be downloaded on the left-hand side of this page.
If you would be interested in an USPG speaker for your harvest service, email .
Tea plantation communities face many challenges
Life on Sri Lanka’s tea plantations can be very challenging. The pickers – always women – work in all weathers, on dangerously slippery hillsides, standing among bushes that are home to snakes, leeches and even wild boar.
There are few medical facilities. If someone is unwell and takes time off to visit a clinic, their wages, which are already low, will be reduced. So people often go without treatment, which means they suffer more.
Their homes are tiny, and might house as many as eight people, with no electricity for lights or cooking.
And while there is some government provision for schooling tea plantation children, it is not as comprehensive as for other children, so plantation children often fall behind in their studies.
With tea being one of Sri Lanka’s most profitable export commodities, the conditions faced by tea plantation communities seem a poor reward for people who are the backbone of their nation’s economy.
We are supporting the work of the Estate Community Development Mission (ECDM), which was set up by the Church of Ceylon to support tea plantation workers in Sri Lanka.
ECDM works with all workers, irrespective of religion, caste or ethnicity. In particular, the organisation wants to help empower women and children through grassroots women's groups, nurseries and schools.
In addition, the church is engaged in advocacy work with plantation communities to seek legal rights for tea plantation workers and their families.