Showing posts from December, 2014

Presidential Election 2015

Written by a  female member of the CGC[1]
An article in the Colombo Telegraph provides an interesting account of a seasoned campaigner’s interactions about the forthcoming Presidential elections with Colombo’s businessmen and  what he also calls the ‘Cinnamon Garden Crowd’ especially the women.  He finds that these Colombo society women have not taken the trouble to register themselves as voters and that the businessmen are unabashedly supporting  Mahinda Rajapakse’s re-election.   Over Christmas I too have had an overdose of interactions with a section of the ‘Cinnamon Garden Crowd’ – women and men, doctors, lawyers and professionals  mainly – interactions that were more than slightly annoying on three counts. 
The first is their unconditional support to the Common Candidate Project based mainly on their blind faith in the goodness of Ranil Wickremesinghe (undoubtedly a member of their crowd) and his ability to deliver good governance – a vote for Maithree is a vote for Ranil.  Colle…

Presidential Elections 2015

Busy with family and Christmas, but trying also to keep up with the run up to the January 8th Presidential Election, not least because it is likely to be the most decisive of our times.   Watch this speech from Jeevanie Kariyawasam - gave me some hope, not just hope for a change of regime, but hope that there is some fire in the next generation!

Post by Jeevanee Kariyawasam.

Empowering women through entrepreneurship and reaching the last mile

I spent three days last week  in Nairobi, Kenya at the Advisory Group Meeting of ENERGIA, the international network on gender and sustainable energy.  ENERGIA, led by its beautiful and energetic head, Sheila Operaocha, has transformed itself from a network of organisations (mainly NGOs working with women and renewable energy technologies) interested in mainstreaming gender into energy projects and programmes and empowering  poor women, to a 15 million euro programme intent on providing energy services to poor women, through fostering women’s entrepreneurship in the energy services sector.   The goal of  empowering women  and going to the last mile to address energy poverty is still part of the network’s vision, but this fifth phase programme is a  huge step up  (up?) from what it was doing before, and the organisations delivering the programme ( Solar Sisters, Kopernic etc)  are much better described as social entrepreneurs rather than NGOs.  Interestingly Practical Action (who I and …