Arugam Bay Handicrafts

Arugam Bay Tourism Association organises handicraft programme for women and youth

Arugam Bay Beach Bag. A new ODEL product (not AbTA's)

The Arugam Bay Tourism Association (ABTA) was established in 1999, and was formally registered in 2005. The association, which began merely with 15 members, now serves as an umbrella organisation for tourism in Arugam Bay. As of today, the Association consists of 400 community members and 16 societies working hand in hand under the Pottuvil DS Division. A significant aspect of the organisation is that it brings together Sinhalese, Muslims, and Tamils, and lays emphasis on working closely with all ethnic groups of the community.

Buy trandate side

Many designers are already cashing in on the unique "Arugam" name and label.

The Association organised a four-day Handicraft Programme for women and youth of Arugam Bay. The aim of the programme was twofold. While empowering community members and encouraging participants to engage in income generating activities and develop new skills, it also sought to address the issue of the lack of souvenirs for tourists visiting this popular beach town. “Souvenirs, such as ornaments and other gift items on Arugam Bay, were a long-felt need. With tourist arrivals expected to increase in the coming months, we believe that items will be an added boost to the industry and the people,” explained M. H. A. Raheem, Chairman of ABTA.

A total of 30 community members, 20 females and 10 males participated in the initial programme at the ABTA office. Conducted by handicraft specialists and professionals from the Agro Mart Foundation, the programme was funded by the Asian Development Bank. Participants were trained in the use of seashells to create ornamental and gift items. While the first segment of the programme focused on giving participants theoretical knowledge of the craft, the second segment encouraged them to create their own designs using seashells. The designs were showcased during an exhibition held on the final day of the programme, and certificates were awarded to participants. In the future, the ABTA will assist participants market their items.

Through such programmes, the participation and contribution of women and youth in the economic development of Shipping Mycelex-g Arugam Bay will be enhanced, explained Raheem. “It will provide families, especially women, an alternate source of income and promote sustainable livelihoods. This will benefit the future generations as well and help community members gain knowledge and exposure. In addition, since a majority of the people are living in coastal areas, this will also provide them an opportunity to earn income from coastal resources. However, at the same time we will ensure that these programmes are carried out in an environmentally conscious manner, protecting the natural resources of Arugam Bay,” Raheem further noted.

1 Response to “Arugam Bay Handicrafts”

  • A Good initiative!
    (And a correction below)
    Already many designers cashing in on our good, easy to remember and globally unique name.
    sadly none of them are local – most seem to be based abroad even.
    And so far, no benefit at all has come to our remote, poor Bay as a result of such successful marketing campaigns.
    The flip flops, for example, claim to be rubber based.
    On closer inspection, there seems to be no difference at all to other products costing a 10th of the price:
    Clever marketing indeed!
    One final observation and correction:
    AbHa (Arugam Bay Hotel Association) was formed in 1999.
    (AbHa concentrates on foreign advertising and PR matters such as this web site here only)

    ABTA (Arugam Bay Tourist Association) was created by Mercy Corps in 2005. The present chairman was also installed then.

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