Category Archives: I L O LEED Project


The ILO (International Labour Organisation) implemented a project titled LEED (Local Empowerment through Economic Development) since 2011. Under this project The Employers’ Federation of Ceylon was involved in empowering persons with disabilities in the North. The ILO conducted a programme on the LEED project at Kingsbury Hotel in August 2016. Director General, Mr. Kanishka Weerasinghe, Ms. Sonali De Silva Ms. Manique Gunaratne and Ms. Vindhya from EFC participated at this programme.


Picture descriptions for vision impaired persons:

Manique, sonali and Vindhya


Manique Gunaratne

Resource Person to Train, Promote & Develop Information & Communication Technology for Persons with Disabilities



In July 2013, The Employers’ Federation of Ceylon together with the Jaffna Chamber of Commerce organized a programme on services of The Employers’ Federation of Ceylon. One session was on “Disability And employment”. Ms. Manique Gunaratne also spoke about employing persons with disabilities. Certificates were awarded to the visually impaired trainees whom were trained by Ms. Manique Gunaratne, trained at the Vavuniya training centre. It was a successful event. One trainee was able to get employment on that day. The Valumpuri Tamil newspaper carried a photograph of one trainee receiving the certificate and the training pack. This programme was held at Ganam Hotel in Jaffna.


Picture descriptions:

Group photograph of the ICT trainees and the representatives from EFC.

Jaffna Programme

Manique Gunaratne

WhatsAap: 0094779571918


Job seeking skills for persons with disabilities

Job seeking skills for persons with disabilities


In November 2013 The Employers’ Federation of Ceylon organized a job seeking skills workshop at Green Grass Hotel in Jaffna. Persons with disabilities seeking for employment, trainers from organizations working for persons with disabilities, and employers participated for this workshop. The objective was to provide employment opportunities for persons with disabilities in the North.



Officer in Charge of ICT Training Centre for Persons with Disabilities at The Employers’ Federation of Ceylon


British council sensitise staff members on disability


The British Council took another initiative to include persons with disabilities in their agenda. In November 2015 The Employers’ Federation of Ceylon Network on Disability did another Employer Sensitization programme at the British Council. It was really encouraging to see how much they were interested in making it a place where everyone would like to visit with inclusion.

Staff members were trained on:

  1. Understanding disability
  2. Legislature & Policies for Persons with Disabilities in Sri lanka
  3. Interacting with Persons with Disabilities – “You & Your Customers with Disabilities”– Disability Etiquette, interaction with people who have specific impairments, disability terminology – acceptable and not acceptable words
  4. Access & Technical Specifications for built environments
  5. Disability Communication & Skills – “Inclusion in Your Organisation”
  6. Management Responsibility
  7. How to make the library accessible for all

The response was really good. Majority of the staff members agreed to implement most of the features recommended for them. In the near future the British Council team will make the British Council a place where everyone loves to visit with inclusion.

The workshop was conducted by Ms. ManiqueGunaratne.


Picture descriptions:

1 Group photograph of the participants of staff members group 2.

morning group

2 Manique conducting the workshop.

manique making presentation

3 Group photograph of the staff members group 1.

afternoon group

4 Participants at the workshop.



Executive Committee Member – Asian blind Union



Employer sensitization at mas in kilinochchi


MAS Holdings presents their 25 year tradition of “great working places” to the North of the country, as two major Divisions formalize plans to build manufacturing

Facilities, MAS Intimates Vidiyal and MAS Active Vaanavil, in Kilinochchi. The names of the facilities themselves, Vidiyal, meaning “dawn” and Vaanavil

Signifying “rainbows” aptly symbolize MAS Holdings’ thinking behind this venture. Like the “rainbow” which is a collaboration of colours, MAS’ passion

Is to unite communities and work together in the area to herald a new phase in the development of the region.

At maturity Vaanavil and Vidiyal together hope to provide employment for approximately 2000 direct employees and positively contribute to the livelihoods

Of their families. MAS offer a solid employee value proposition honed through two and half decades; the opportunity for professional as well as personal

Development. Many indirect employment opportunities have also opened up. The project and peripheral activity will provide employment opportunity for other segments of the labour force.

MAS Active inaugurated a temporary training and manufacturing facility in Thiru Nagar Kilinochchi.

These pioneering employees will eventually become team leaders and multi-skilled workers. The facility will be supported by experienced staff from MAS’s

Existing facilities with the focus on recruiting and developing local talent.

The Employers’ Federation of Ceylon, ILO (International LabourOrganisation) LEED (Local Empowerment through Economic Development) team did an employer sensitization programme at MAS Kilinochchi for 40 staff members. The “Introduction to network on disability” was done by Ms. Sonali De Silva and Ms. ManiqueGunaratne did the training on “ethics when dealing with persons with disabilities and on accessibility”. It was really impressing to see the smiling faces of the team members when they gathered for the group photograph. Most of the staff members had family members with disabilities. So it was really informative for them.


Picture description:

1 Activities for the participants.

mas activities for participants

2 Group photograph of the participants.

mas group

3 Manique making a presentation.

mas manique presentation

4 Participants of the workshop.

mas participants

5 Sonali making a presentation.

mas sonali presentation





Employer sensitization at singer finance


People who live with disabilities often face fear, discomfort, and hostility at a rate that far exceeds that encountered by those who do have no disability.

The vast majority of such treatment is rooted in a basic lack of understanding about the challenges that come with having a disability, and the experience

Of sharing the world with people who do not. People often seek to fill in gaps in their knowledge, and when information is lacking, confusion and even

Fear may result.

Anyone wishing to overcome this experience in them will be best served by first recognizing that a disability is a limited phenomenon. A physical

Disability may have a large impact on how an individual interacts with the physical word. A sensory disability may alter the gathering of information.

These are conditions however; in no way prevent the individuals who live with them from having unique personalities, talents, knowledge, humor, and lives.

People who live with disabilities have more in common than not with those who have no disability. We all share the same existence, and the same basic needs.

In other cases, people who are living with a disability

May have feelings about language that is not in keeping with the established guidelines for etiquette. Whatever the reason, the commonly recognized best

Practices of disability-related etiquette may not always be the preferred practices, and it is always most important for the most effective and respectful


We are all persons with disabilities at some time in our lives. A child, a person with a broken leg, a parent with a pram, pregnant mother, an elderly person, etc. are all disabled in one way or another. Those who remain healthy and able-bodied all their lives are few. As far as the built-up environment is concerned, it is important that it should be barrier-free and adapted to fulfill the needs of all people equally. As a matter of fact, the needs of the persons with disabilities coincide with the needs of the majority, and all

People are at ease with them. As such, planning for the majority implies planning for people with varying abilities and disabilities.

The technical aim of this programme was to provide a barrier-free

Environment for the independence, convenience and safety of all people with disabilities and persons with not yet with a disability.

Disability etiquettes and accessibility has been a huge challenge for people with disabilities. This includes customers as well as employees. Therefore, it is important Employers to sensitize their staff on disability etiquettes and on accessibility.

The Employers’ Federation of Ceylon, ILO (International LabourOrganisation) LEED Project team did a programme on “Code of ethics when dealing with persons with disabilities and on accessibility” at Singer Finance in Jaffna. Executives from Singer branches in the North participated at this programme. It was very important for the Singer staff members because they come in direct contact with customers with disabilities. Ms. Sonali De Silva did the Introduction to EFC Network on Disability and Ms. ManiqueGunaratne did Code of ethics when dealing with persons with disabilities and on accessibility.


Picture descriptions:

1 Group photograph at Singer Finance

singer group

2 Manique making a presentation.

singer manique presentation

3 Participants at the workshop.

singer participants

4 Sonali making a presentation.

singer sonali presentation


Face Book – ManiqueGunaratne


Employer sensitization at Cargills square


The landmark Rs. 500 million worth mall project in Jaffna by Cargills (Ceylon) PLC was opened for operations as ‘Cargills Square’ late last year.

The 74,000 square foot mini-mall comprising a cineplex with 3 screens including a 3 D cinema, food court, a Cargills Food City Supermarket, KFC and a range

Of shops was opened in the last quarter ended 31st December 2013. Apart from the latest investment, Cargills in the past year has pumped over Rs. 200 million to open outlets in the Northern region including one in Kilinochchi.

Mr. Nesha Kumar of Cargills Ceylon plays a major role in employing persons with disabilities. Cargills Ceylon together with The Employers’ Federation of Ceylon supports persons with disabilities to be gainfully employed. In October 2015 The Employers’ Federation of Ceylon LEED (Local Empowerment through Economic Development) team sponsored by the ILO (International LabourOrganisation) did an “Employer Sensitisation” programme at Cargills Square in Jaffna. Staff members from different Cargills Food City branches participated at this workshop. This programme was important for the staff members of Food City because they have direct interaction with customers with disabilities. The introduction to EFC network on Disability was done by Ms. Sonali De Silva. “Etiquettes when dealing with persons with disabilities and accessibility” was done by Ms. ManiqueGunaratne. It was a new experience for the participants.


Picture descriptions:

1 Manique making a presentation.

cargills manique presentation

2 Participants at the workshop.

cargills participants

3 Sonali making a presentation.

cargills sonali presentation

4 At Cargills Square.

cargills square





Employer sensitization programme at taprobane sea foods


As Taprobane Seafood continues to expand its business, opening more factories across the island, the company eagerly partnered with the EFC’s Disability

Network to ensure that persons with disabilities were also given the opportunity to work at the new seafood processing plants. On a windy Sunday morning Taprobane Seafood Managing Director Tim O’Reilly and his Operations Manager KanesasundramThusithan, headed up to their Jaffna crab processing plant for a very special visit. The Jaffna plant which was opened at the end of 2012 along with a similar one in Killinochi is involved

In the purchase and processing of crab meat for export markets, mainly in the USA.

The company, which is firmly committed to regenerating livelihoods especially in post conflict regions such as Jaffna, started operations with a workforce

Of 700 but in less than two years they have successfully created jobs and sustainable livelihoods for over a thousand employees. Having worked in the region

Since the company started, O’Reilly was fully aware that the level of disability in the north was significantly higher than the global average, as a result

Of the thirty year conflict. The company was keen to create a diverse workforce which included persons with disabilities workers and reflected the predominantly

Female demographic of the population in the area. That morning’s visit, was to formally welcome some of Taprobane’s newest recruits, all employees with disabilities, and to open Sara House, the purpose built accommodation nearby. To assist with the recruitment process, TSF enlisted the help of the Employers’

Federation of Ceylon (EFC). The EFC through their work with the International LabourOrganisation’s LEED Project (Local Empowerment through Economic Development)

Has been working in the north since 2011 training, developing and placing persons with disabilities into mainstream jobs, and linking them to established

Supply chains, with the help of the 600 plus employer companies who are members of the EFC, and who have operations in the region.

The EFC team applauded TSF’s proactivity in wanting to hire more persons with disabilities, and the dedication of its managers, “TSF is very interested to hire persons with disabilities”. “Mr. Thusithan was highly motivated and very supportive towards

This initiative. He showed incredible flexibility in understanding their different ways of working and their needs in the workplace. He would look at how

Work practices could be adapted to enable persons with different abilities to do the processing work. Mr. Thusithan was also very open to hearing about

Their home issues and seeing how TSF could help with work life balance.” Understanding that mobility, transport costs and getting to work is an issue for

Most persons with disabilities, TSF created Sara House, a purpose built accommodation for the workers situated near to the factory. The house was named

In honour of O’Reilly’s cousin Sara, who herself had a spinal disorder. “Sara House will enable 25 people with disabilities to live and work in a safe

And tolerant environment,” O’Reilly said. “This new initiative is the consequence of collaboration between Taprobane Seafood and the Employers’ Federation

Of Ceylon, facilitated by the International LabourOrganisation’s local empowerment through economic development project.” TSF successfully recruited 15

Women with disabilities to work in the plant and live at Sara House.SatheeskumarYogeswary was one of the successful candidates. Having sustained shrapnel wound in her arm, Satheeskumar resigned herself to the idea that she would never be able to work. “From the time I had my injury I was never able to find

Work or earn money for myself. I heard about this job from welfare place in my local community. I am so happy to be able to work.”

The Employers’ Federation of Ceylon team did an employer Sensitisationprogramme at Taprobane Sea Foods in October 2015 to sensitise the staff on “Disability Etiquettes” and “Accessibility”. The staff was really impressed about the training given to them. Ms. Sonali De Silva did the presentation on the “Introduction to network on disability”. Ms. ManiqueGunaratne did the presentations on “Disability etiquettes” and “Accessibility”. At the end of the programme the team visited the Sera House. It was a really successful programme.


Picture descriptions:

1 Group photograph of the participants.

taprobane sea foods group photo

2 Manique making a presentation.

taprobane sea foods manique presentation

3 Participants at the programme.

taprobane sea foods participants

4 Sera House for persons with disabilities.

taprobane sea foods sera house

5 Sonali making a presentation.

taprobane sea foods sonali presentation


Fax – 0094114547649


Fostering family engagement for persons with disabilities


The Employers’ Federation of Ceylon took another initiative to fostering family engagement for persons with disabilities in Jaffna district. Due to cultural barriers, family background and over protection by the parents, persons with disabilities find very difficult to be placed in employment.

The ILO (International LabourOrganisation) LEED (Local empowerment through Economic Development) project is being implemented by The Employers’ Federation of Ceylon since 2011. Now they are implementing the phase 4 of the project. Fostering family engagements workshops were done in Mulativu, Kilinochchi and in Mannar districts few months ago.

In September 2015 persons with disabilities in Jaffna district got the opportunity to develop their skills. The workshop was held at Green Grass Hotel.

Persons with diverse disabilities were selected along with one family member for this workshop. Gender balance was also taken into consideration. Tamil translations were done by Mr. VijayaBasker.

The introduction to EFC Network on Disability was done by Ms. Sonali De Silva. Ms. ManiqueGunaratne did the presentation on “Importance of doing a job”.

Mr. Nesha Kumar from Cargills Ceylon Ltd. Shared his experience in employing persons with disabilities in their company.

An employee with a physical disability from Cargills Ceylon Ltd. spoke about his experience in being gainfully employed.  These two sessions had a very good impact on persons with disabilities who are seeking for employment and I am sure even the family members realized the importance of their child been employed.

Next was the session on how to write a proper CV and interview skills. The session was conducted by Ms. Sonali De Silva, Ms. ManiqueGunaratne and Mr. A. Kirushanthan from EFC. The role play made very interesting for the participants to learn the right skills to develop their confidence to face a job interview.

Participants enjoyed a delicious lunch and thereafter had an interactive session with a parent of a person with a disability who spoke about the impact of having her child earning, supporting the family and being a successful citizen in society.

A person with a physical disability spoke on what is expected from the parents and family, Disability Barriers – one showing how families

Can be a barrier to a person with a disability, even though they have good intentions at heart.

The session on “Changing mind set” was conducted by Ms. Sonali De Silva.

Workshops are a learning flat form for everyone. But this workshop had a difference. All participants including family members had to commit themselves by signing a pledge. The pledge had seven areas each person could commit themselves to work on. Each person committed to do one or more thing in the pledge.

It was a happy end of a workshop with smiling faces where all took a photograph holding the pledge.


Picture descriptions:

1 An employee from  Cargills Ceylon sharing his experiences.

family workshop cargills employee

2 Manique handing over the cheque to a small business holder.

family workshop cheque to business

3 Group photograph of the participants.

family workshop group

4 Role play of interview skills.

family workshop interview skills

5 Manique making a presentation on importance of doing a job.

family workshop manique presentation

6 Nesha Kumar doing a presentation.

family workshop nesha kumar

7 Participants of the workshop.

family workshop participants

8 Sonali making a presentation.

family workshop sonali presentation


Mobile – 0094779571918


Community means everyone


It was a different experience for all participants who attended the “Community Means everyone” workshop at Green Grass Hotel in Jaffna. The Employers’ Federation of Ceylon under the ILO LEED (Local Empowerment through Economic Development) project conducted a workshop for people working in the community who comes in direct contact with persons with disabilities. There were participants from Government officers as well as from private sector. It is very important for people with non-disabilities to be sensitized on matters relating to persons with disabilities.

Ms. Sonali De Silva made the introduction to EFC Network on Disability and changing mind sets. “Disability etiquettes when dealing with persons with disabilities” was done by Ms. Maniquegunaratne. All participants learned how to interact with people with disabilities. Next two sessions were an eye opener for the community because persons with disabilities spoke on barriers they have in the community and Expectations of a person with a disability of what they expect from the society. Barriers faced were done by EFC trainee Mr. SivapathasundaranPratheepan and Mr. Vignesh explained what they expect from the society. Access to build environment was done by Ms. ManiqueGunaratne, requesting the decision makers to make public buildings access to all. Access is not only for persons  with disabilities but to everyone including senior citizens, pregnant mothers, mothers carrying babies, people carrying heavy luggage etc.

The case studies done by Ms. ManiqueGunaratne gave the participants the practical approach of dealing with people with disabilities in the community.

Mr. A. Kirushanthan, the Project Manager for the North did the ground work to make the workshop successful and Mr. Vijabasker assisted in translations. At the end of the workshop all participants signed a pledge by committing themselves to do one or more activities for all persons with disabilities. It was a happy conclusion when all the participants had a group photograph holding the pledge and committing them to include persons with disabilities in the mainstream of development.


Picture descriptions:

1 Group photograph of participants holding the  pledge.

community workshop group with pledge

2 Manique making a presentation.

community workshop manique presentation

3 Manique, Sonali and Vijaya at the head table.

community workshop manique sonali wijaya

4 Participants at the workshop.

community workshop participants

5 Pratheepan making a presentation.

community workshop pratheepan presentation

6 Vignesh making a presentation.

community workshop vignesh presentation


CISCO International Trainer for I T E (Information Technology Essentials)