Rural Development Foundation (RDF)

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This organisation works with communities from under-developed rural areas in Sri Lanka to improve their social and economic situation.
Last updated: October 2016

RDF aims to improve the social and economic situation of people in underdeveloped areas of rural Sri Lanka. Their organisational objectives focus on instilling mutual understanding among different ethnic groups and promoting the ethics necessary for a harmonious life in a multi-cultural environment. They try to achieve this through educational programmes, involvement in reconciliation activities, and providing appropriate training and infrastructure assistance to resettled families.

Protecting IDP’s from Sexual and Gender-based Violence

This project is aimed at reducing sexual and gender-based violence committed in the IDP welfare centres, and to provide assistance to those affected by sexual and gender-based violence. It also aims to educate and caution potential offenders against gender-based violence in the future. Through these means the initiative makes a positive contribution to the healing and conflict transformation process in the larger ethnic conflict, which is essential for sustainable peacebuilding.

From the reduction in the number of complaints RDF receive at the counselling centres, it seems that a considerable number of problems are addressed through the initiative. A reduction of between 45 per cent and 60 per cent is perceived along with the increased awareness among women on their rights, and the authorities they can contact for support in cases of a sexual violence.

Conflict Transformation

This project addresses people of all ethnicities who live in seven selected districts affected by the war, and involves them in a series of seminars and workshops run in order to train local communities and individuals in conflict transformation. It operates in rural Sri Lanka and works hard to bring together different ethnicities in the same training.

Participants are given the skills to transform their conflicts, and encouraged to form community-level organisations. These organisations are intended to be the first step towards the processes of community development and reconciliation that are needed so that the war-affected people can transform the conflict.

Peace Programme for Muslim IDPs

This programme brings Muslim IDPs together with other communities in their area to bring about a solution to resettlement and develop a sustainable peace. RDF provides them with the knowledge to develop sustainable solutions for their relocation, and helps them meet with different groups who can provide assistance. The project aims to reduce conflict between IDPs and their host communities by improving relations between the two groups; ending the isolation of Muslim IDPs and bringing them support from other communities in their bid to resettle.

Awareness Programme on the UNCRC

By promoting the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child in Sri Lanka, this initiative hopes to see - and indeed has seen - more children in education in the target areas, less child labour, and a focus on bringing children up in a non-violent environment. Ensuring that when the children of today become the decision-makers of tomorrow, they will take with them a doctrine of peace.

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