Grant Winner - Plantation Villa (Pvt) Ltd
About the Business
Plantation Villa is a holistic Ayurveda, Yoga and Meditation retreat centre located in Kalutara, Sri Lanka. They offer residential facilities and promote health, wellbeing and healing through Ayurveda, Sri Lankan indigenous medicine, Yoga therapy and mindfulness practices. They also support the local community and teach guests an alternative way to live – moving away from the stress accumulated in a modern world immersed in consumerism, and embracing a life more in service to others, in practice of compassion and sharing and living in harmony with nature and community.
The organisation was originally founded with the intention of helping help others – whether they be guest, staff, community or nature. Whilst the business grew beyond the initial expectations, winning many international awards and receiving much press recognition, the founder believes the biggest achievement is how the team has changed in the process – how much their practice of compassion, giving and serving others has developed, enabling them to have a lasting impact on more people and communities than they ever thought possible.
Some of the significant activities Plantation Villa has carried out for the community include, providing employing underprivileged people/women who have never worked before, mentoring on family management, financial management and assisting with education costs for children, healthcare for elders, providing financial assistance for those in emergency need, promotion of cultural events and youth abilities through festivals and events, provision of free Ayurvedic healthcare for villagers, supporting local temples, schools, pre-schools, orphanages, elder care homes, community projects and youth initiatives. With regard to the environment and animal welfare, Plantation Villa has assisted wildlife conservation and animal welfare initiatives such as, reforesting activities, fostering stray animals, vaccinating and finding them homes.
Keeping Old Traditions and Skills Alive in a Sustainable Manner
The grant offered by the Tourism Alliance and Good Life X will allow Plantation Villa to launch in-depth courses on Ayurveda and Sri Lanka’s traditional medicine practices. It will also allow them to grow trees and plants which were formerly endemic to Sri Lanka and used widely in the production of Ayurveda and traditional medicine practices. As Ayurveda gains more publicity, there are more people training to become Ayurveda therapists and practitioners. While the number of practitioners increases around the world, there is also an increase in the types of Ayurveda and herbal products entering the market. However, there is little focus given to reforesting to ensure the future supply of valuable herbal plants. With high deforestation rates in Sri Lanka, an increasing number of plants used in traditional and Ayurveda medicine recipes are now becoming extinct or very rare.
Plantation Villa sits within an old rubber plantation, and they wish to uproot the dying rubber trees and replace them with trees that were formally endemic to this area but are now extinct or endangered. They will buy and grow these trees/plants – in a permaculture manner – and thereby recreate the forests. The team will create a forest rather than a herbal garden or farm, which is more in line with how traditional medicine (and Ayurveda) was practised. It is more sustainable and environmentally friendly and will provide the opportunity to teach students how raw materials can be taken from trees in forests sustainably.
As Plantation Villa is a social enterprise, any profits made from this venture will go towards supporting the local community, via maintaining local schools, temples, offering free medicines, etc. Reforesting and supporting the fast disappearing ecosystem additionally helps build a new breed of Ayurveda practitioners who are conscious of the environment and embody the true philosophy of Ayurveda, which is to live in a sustainable and supportive manner.
“It has been a pleasure working with Sri Lanka Tourism Alliance and Noah Foundation. We are grateful for the support and guidance throughout. The financial assistance was a god sent, given we had been struggling with the pandemic and had no income for over 10 months. We are excited that these funds will enable us to develop our technology platform to share our knowledge of health, wellbeing and sustainability with the world and to reforest our land.”
– Plantation Villa