Thirty years of civil war and conflict left many Sri Lankan rural communities - particularly in the north and east - with poor job prospects. Women left widowed by the war, and their children, were particularly vulnerable.
In 2009, at the end of the war, Academy of Design (AOD) began working in the North to help Palmyra palm weavers improve the quality of their craft and to provide them with marketing opportunities. In July 2011, AOD partnered with the United Methodist Committee on Relief to support a weaving community in Mullaitivu to upgrade their skills, improve the design of their products and find buyers.
Recognizing the importance of its unique design-led approach to development, AOD created the Design For Sustainable Development (DFSD) in August 2011 to expand its support for Sri Lankan artisans.
Today DFSD partners designers with artisan communities across Sri Lanka to help create contemporary textile and craft products with a uniquely Sri Lankan aesthetic. DFSD works with a range of partners to make a difference through design in other ways such as developing new uses for traditional materials, revitalizing old craft skills and promoting the use of sustainable dyeing techniques.
Donate to DFSD today.