The Grassrooted Trust was set up to provide a safe space for marginalized communities, online and in the real world. The issues we discuss and work on, the issues that drive us, have their beginning in the world of HIV. Our core values and beliefs are defined by the people we’ve worked with, laughed with, and comforted. Our journey mirrors life, because for us, Grassrooted is not about philanthropy, or changing the world, it’s about dealing with our reality and ensuring that human dignity remains at the core of everything we do.
People living with HIV, people who use drugs, people who do sex work, those of diverse sexual orientation and gender identity, those who have survived intimate partner and gender-based violence, those who face stigma and discrimination; these are the people we choose to represent, and they represent us, and so we believe:
We believe people must enjoy their sexual and reproductive health and rights, both sensibly and responsibly, regardless of HIV status, gender identity, sexual orientation or the fact that they use drugs or do sex work.
We believe in the transformative power of learning and education. Accurate and comprehensive information coupled with understanding our core values of respect, empathy, consent, trust, with a focus on building self-esteem and being sensible that will help prepare our children and young people for life; help them respond positively to the human condition.
We believe that grassroots initiatives can be effective, and life changing BUT there needs to be a paradigm shift. We need different answers, and so must frame different questions. We must also learn to listen to and for the difference.
We believe in people.
WHAT WE DO
We work with Health and Physical Education teachers to help them more effectively implement the existing government curriculum. We also design Relationship Education components.
These can be used to supplement and support existing curricula. We conduct workshops for schools, parents, community based organizations, government and non-government organizations, businesses and corporate entities.
Our workshops focus on Early Childhood Education, Cyber Exploitation and Violence; Gender Based and Intimate Partner Violence; HIV and Sexually Transmitted Infections; Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity.
Our workplace sessions focus on ensuring a respectful and comfortable workplace for all – regardless of gender, gender identity and/or expression and/or sexual orientation.
Our respectful workplace workshops help organizations design and/or review, disseminate and implement harassment policies effectively, with their teams at the centre of the process.
We help organizations go beyond the binary and ensure equal opportunity and possibility for their workforce.
Since 2012 Grassrooted has developed original scripts based on our interaction with survivors of violence and abuse. Our theatre productions have since included Daddy in 2013, an exploration of incest in Sri Lanka;
V Day 2014: Elephant in the Room, an exploration of sex work in Sri Lanka; V Day 2017: Resolutions, a look at the real and ridiculous solutions to rape and violence;
V Day 2018: Patria(AN)rchy, an examination of how patriarchy in Sri Lanka perpetuates violence; V Day 2019: Colombo 7, stories that underpin how violence is real for everyone, no matter from where they come.
Our WHO MADE THIS range of cups are in aid of marginalized women and girls in Sri Lanka who sell sex, live with HIV, identify as Transgender, use drugs and survive violence.
Our cups provoke integral questions relating to the tea industry where women are being exploited, patriarchy, and the policing of women bodies in the name of culture. Our line of cups help us sustain our work and remain independent.