Survivors Associated started its work in the early 1990’s with the objective of finding a political solution to the ethnic conflict. The initial work of Survivors Associated was based in Ampara and its philosophy for peace grew out of the working and living experiences in this multi-ethnic area. Muslims, Tamils and Sinhalese all co-exist in Ampara and Survivors Associated promotes a solution to the conflict based on similar co-existence of ethnicities.
Through its initial work in holding awareness programmes on national unity, Survivors Associated has learnt that peacebuilding may be more powerful when it is carried out through another programme. Therefore, the organisation focuses on peacebuilding through addressing shared environmental issues, organic farming and income generation projects. It combines these three projects for peacebuilding through the participation of different ethnicities, and encourages the experience of co-existence directly through this.
For the income-generation part of their programme, the organisation encourages groups from different ethnicities to sell their products to each other, providing a platform to discuss and strengthen the unity of different ethnicities. The organisation sees this approach as a way of avoiding the many obstacles that arise when carrying out peacebuilding work in Sri Lanka.
Survivors Associated also has psychosocial programmes to offer support to their members who need counselling.