Ann and Gabor Kato are two retired Swiss-Canadian neuroscientists who have undertaken to help girls’ educaton
and womens’ well-being in Sri Lanka during the past 10 years.

They have created an association with the purpose of improving the living conditions, health and education of girls in
Sri Lanka.

During the past ten years, Ann & Gabor have assisted in rebuilding a school in Weligama located on the south coast of the island, helped destitute girls get access to quality education and sponsored three girls for a university education (www.girls-education.ch)

They have recently extended their philanthropic efforts in Sri Lanka to help marginalized women, working in tea plantations in the Nuwara Eliya area. These women suffer from poverty and ill health. In order to accomplish these goals, they have created a Geneva-based association that is governed by Swiss regulations (Eliya Association). Women tea workers will be trained to grow alternate products such as lavender, vegetables, strawberries and herbs to replace tea and sell them to local markets in Sri Lanka. These products will be grown under organic agricultural conditions.

ELIYA TEAM

Ann Kato, PhD

Ann took her PhD from McGill University, Montreal in the field of neuroscience and did her post-doctoral training at the College de France, Paris. She is a retired Professor in the Department of Neuroscience of the University of Geneva. For the past 12 years, she and her husband have been doing philanthropic work in Sri Lanka with the purpose of improving the living conditions, health and education of impoverished girls and currently to help marginalized women tea workers in Sri Lanka (https://www.girls-education.ch).

Gabor Kato, PhD

Gabor took his PhD from McGill University, Montreal in the field of neuroscience. He was professor of pharmacology in the Medical Faculty of McGill and visiting professor at the Pasteur Institute, Paris. He was founder and CEO of Neurotech SA, a Swiss biotechnology company developing drugs for psychiatric and neurodegenerative diseases.

Lawrence Goldberg

Lawrence has been an organic farmer from the late 1970s and has been practicing sustainable farming methods in California from the early 1980s and at present in Sri Lanka. He is the founder and director of Hansa Ceylon Coffee (pvt) Ltd, a specialty coffee company in Sri Lanka. He has innovated his own one-month method of composting and set up Sunrise Farms (our implementing partner) in Nuwara Eliya in 2015. Sunrise Farms is registered as a Guarantee Limited Entity which is not for profit private company. There are no shareholders (and thus no dividends) and membership owned. By law, all revenues have to be reinvested in the mission of the organization. Sunrise Farms has an organic PGS certification (Participatory Guarantee Systems) and sells through its stall at the Saturday Good Market (https://sunrisefarms.goodmarket.global).

Ramakrishnan Pushparini

Pushpa lives on a tea estate near Nuwara Eliya and her mother is a tea plucker. She was married at 15 years of age and has two boys, aged 3 and 10. In order to find employment outside the tea estate, she learned English from a dictionary. She then went to see Laurence Goldberg who hired her to work at the Hansa coffee production where she worked for 12 years. She is now the Project Coordinator for the Eliya Association. She speaks Tamil, Sinhalese and English.

A FEW KEY DATES…

06

2005
Visit Sri Lanka to help tsunami victims and create Girl’s Education.

2014
Meet Lawrence and visit the tea plantations.

2017
Create the Eliya Association.

2018
Sales of product and women’s program begin

We would be pleased to share this project with you !