Thavachsri Charles Vijayaratnam
A grassroots social worker improving women’s lives
Based in Kilinochchi district, Thavachsri Charles Vijayaratnam is recognised for her unceasing efforts to improve the lives of rural communities.
Growing up, her family suffered from extreme poverty and endured several famines. In her early twenties, she experienced firsthand the pain and suffering brought by the civil war in Sri Lanka’s north. The needs of her community were her calling.
Thavachsri’s work spans the spectrum. She has helped orphans and disadvantaged children to access education, assisted families with malnourished children to obtain support, and helped communities to obtain essential legal documents like birth certificates, death certificates and land rights documents.
She also works extensively for the advancement of women’s rights and livelihoods by supporting women-headed households to access loans and skills development trainings. Her dedication can also be seen in the many hats she wears: From serving as secretary of the community-level Women’s Rural Development Society, president of a women’s group, treasurer of Women Development Federation, and secretary of the divisional network committee of Karaichchi division.
By supporting women’s recovery and integrating vulnerable and marginalized groups into society, Thavachsri paves the way for a peace that benefits all.