In 1985 Margit Nylander (from Sweden) set up what would become the first co-operative society for disabled people in Sri Lanka.
“Nylander Home”, as was the original name, was a unique place already from the start. In a society where people with disabilities on the whole are regarded as less capable, both physically and mentally, this pioneer project set out to demonstrate that this old, prejudiced way of thinking was wrong.
The new idea was to create a home and worker’s co-operative for disabled, where the members would take an active part in running the home practically. Margit Nylander generated new thinking and prepared ground for innovation, but it was the disabled members themselves who built— and are still building— their future through their own efforts.
Five years after the start of Nylander Home it changed its structure and with this also its name and became Nylander Industrial Co-operative Society Ltd. The first and so far the only co-operative of this kind in Sri Lanka was founded— a co-operative based on a democratic system of working and decision making. And not least: a place where young disabled people would have the opportunity to find self reliance and independence.
With the aid of SIDA and a Swedish organization the Nylander Co-operative bought a piece of land and, where they set up the home and established two workshops; one for wheelchair building and one for laundry plant,The wheelchair workshop has been closed due to the fact that small scale manufactures are unable to compete with the mass produced imported products, Recently have opened a bookshop and rental rooms for extra income generating.
The laundry section provides services to institution and individuals.
Currently the society can earn about 70% percent of the income from the above business and rest they collect from various donations.
Currently 18 people living in the home (five of them are married) including 4 children (children from the married members) 4 workers come from the outside. Children get everything from the society for their living, education, health etc.
The society always appreciate your support in business improvement, repairing, maintenance, fund rising, health care and any support to improve the quality of the life of the handicapped.
Nylander Industrial Co-op Society Ltd