What does community mean to us? Being part of community, where we have strong friendships, shared values and support systems, is really important for us at Belipola. That means within Belipola itself, the village community around us, the Sri Lankan community and the wider global community. A strong community benefits the individual, the community as well as the greater society. If people have a sense of belonging, we believe, they tend to lead happier and healthier lives. By doing so, we can create a more stable and supportive society.
Belipola Community (staff). We have 10 amazing people that work at Belipola. Everyone on the team is from the village of Mirahawatte, and two are direct neighbors of Belipola. We believe in taking care of the people who work at Belipola. We work in a happy and loving environment, where everyone takes care of each other and the earth. We offer training on the job and in formal training programs. Now, our team is confident and capable in organic farming, processing natural products, cooking, tree care, nursery management and hospitality. Meet the team here (coming soon).
Village Community – We work with various people from our village, Mirahawatte. A small women’s cooperative has developed from seed we planted with some women to upcycle saree bags to shopping bags. We also work with small scale farmers and home gardeners to transition to organics. They are part of local organic certification (Participatory Guarantee System) linked to the Good Market (Colombo). We also work with other friends from the village who have nursery businesses, food & beverage stalls, stationary shops and other organic farms and projects such as Mihimandala and SOS Green Valley.
Community Based Tourism Program. We have a dream for restoring the entire watershed of Mirahawatte through the implementation of organic home gardens and planting trees along the gullies, river and mountain top.
Volunteers and Guests. We have many visitors who come to Belipola for short and long stays. We also have wonderful volunteers and students who come to Belipola and contribute their time and energy to help develop our center. Everyone who comes here becomes part of our community. We live, work, learn and play together. Everyone has the opportunity to participate and contribute in whatever way they feel comfortable and willing.
Intuitive Community. Because we are an international center, we are connected near and far with people from many wonderful walks of life. We are supported by many people, communities and organisations, in different ways. We share the same values, interests and energy. We may not live together but we are inter-connected and interdependent. We are an intuitive community.