I arrived fresh on Monday morning ready to take on the most exciting and interactive part of my project at Tamil Women Development Forum. This was the interviewing of some of the members of the TWDF, as well other key women’s rights activists with regards to the situation of Tamil-speaking women in the North and East and plantations of Sri Lanka. I arrived a little early on the first day of interviews, a little nervous and unsure what to expect. Thankfully, as was always the case when interacting with people attached to the Centre for Community Development (the overall charity of which TWDF is one initiative, among others, that they are responsible for) the interviewees were very warm and welcoming.
Much of my first week had been spent conducting a literature review on the material with which I planned to include in my report, though this continued intermittently a few days into the second week. As mentioned in the last blog post, I found it very interesting to see how long the Tamil Women Development Forum had been around. It was humbling to be analysing the work of many great and inspiring women’s activists and I often found myself engrossed while reading decade’s old literature that had been produced by them well past my leaving time – even when it was not directly relevant to my project!
On Monday September 7th, I arrived at the Thulasi Centre in Kingston-upon-Thames home to the Centre for Community Development charity. Though I have been here before, this place never fails to amaze me. It is a small building nestled behind a take-away on the main road, and completely inconspicuous apart from an entrance set into a small side lane.
Yet when you walk inside, this place transforms. The receptionists, while looking at me a little quizzically (they don’t often see students here apart from for designated events), were very friendly and welcoming. When I mentioned the project coordinator’s name, they immediately directed me to the room in which we were to have our first meeting.