The ILO CB-TREE Project, or Community-based Training for Economic Empowerment, is a joint undertaking of the International Labor Organization (ILO) and the Government of Belgium to help the Government of Sri Lanka specifically, in the restoration of livelihoods and revival of local economies, in areas that has been affected by the tsunami through skills training, enterprise development and the installation of appropriate economic support mechanisms at the community level. It is being implemented in Ampara District since February 2006.
The project was initially planned for Trincomalee and Ampara districts but due to escalation of conflicts in Trincomalee during the community preparation stage, it was limited to Ampara district with same output targets.
Target groups are trained, their communities mobilized and empowered on CB-TREE concepts, methodology and strategies adapted to the Sri Lankan context and used by partners. A National Policy on community-based training will be developed for the Government of Sri Lanka. At the end of the project, the following will be achieved:
- 45 villages covered in the tsunami affected divisions of the district;
- 2000 beneficiaries trained and 70% of them engaged in enterprise projects;
- 10 community funds organized and operational;
- 2400 community members indirectly benefitting from the intervention; and
- CB-TREE Methodology adapted and introduced to Government.
The ILO CB-TREE Project is involved in a two-pronged strategic activity; the provision of technical and financial assistance to tsunami victims in Ampara District to restore or rehabilitate their lost livelihoods through skills training, enterprise development and related support services, and, the preparation of a national policy paper on community-based training based on the project concept, methodology and experience in order to maximize the opportunity to help government in developing effective and efficient policies and programmes for poverty reduction.
The Project specifically addresses income-generation as its entry point. The main strategy is to enhance production skills and transform the traditional concept of livelihood into profit conscious micro-enterprises in order to be more sustainable. This is done through skills training coupled with practical entrepreneurship schemes while at the same time developing community support mechanisms through the creation of internal market structures orchestrated by community-owned and managed financing system that is compatible with the nature of village economies.