He­mas Piyawara un­veils child­care cen­ter at We­likada prison

Daily Mirror (Sri Lanka) - - CSR -

He­mas Out­reach Foun­da­tion (HOF), the CSR arm of He­mas Hold­ings PLC to­gether with the We­likada Prison Depart­ment, un­veiled the newly re­fur­bished Child Care Cen­ter on Fe­bru­ary 4th 2018, at the We­likada prison com­plex.

The oc­ca­sion was graced by Pris­ons Com­mis­sioner Gen­eral H.M.N.C. Dhanas­inghe and He­mas Hold­ings PLC CEO Steven En­derby with other dig­ni­taries in­clud­ing of­fi­cials from the Civil De­fense Force who pro­vided their ser­vices to ren­o­vate the cen­ter.

The Rs.3.5 mil­lion project, en­riched and em­pow­ered the lives of the young chil­dren who were com­pelled to live with their moth­ers un­der ap­palling con­di­tions for no fault of their own. The newly re­fur­bished child­care cen­ter pro­vided im­proved sleep­ing con­di­tions, san­i­ta­tion fa­cil­i­ties, and a play area within the premises. Fur­ther, along with pro­vid­ing the ba­sic daily nutri­tion re­quire­ments of the chil­dren, He­mas will be dis­tribut­ing con­sign­ments of its Baby Cher­amy prod­ucts un­der the su­per­vi­sion of the HOF and Prison Author­i­ties on a monthly ba­sis.

‘Piyawara Sin­githi Diriya’ en­hances the lives of the chil­dren re­sid­ing at the prison quar­ters with their moth­ers who are pris­on­ers at the We­likada Pris­ons. It is part of a larger project, ‘Piyawara’ which was launched in 2002 in part­ner­ship with the Chil­dren’s Sec­re­tariat of the Min­istry of Women and Child Af­fairs. The project fo­cuses on pro­mot­ing Early Child­hood Care and De­vel­op­ment (ECCD) in Sri Lanka. At present there are 44 ‘Piyawara’ preschools across the coun­try, fo­cus­ing on key as­pects within the frame­work of ECCD pro­vid­ing a holis­tic ap­proach to preschool ed­u­ca­tion.

We­likada Prison Se­nior Su­per­in­ten­dent Chan­dana Ekanayake stated: “We have re­ceived sug­ges­tions by well-mean­ing in­di­vid­u­als and renowned com­pa­nies in the past to­wards the bet­ter­ment of these chil­dren who have been in­car­cer­ated for no fault of their own, but it never ma­te­ri­alised un­til this pre­rog­a­tive by He­mas. This valu­able ini­tia­tive by the com­pany is much ap­pre­ci­ated as it will pro­vide these chil­dren with the care­free and se­cure en­vi­ron­ment to grow and flour­ish dur­ing their for­ma­tive years.”

“The man­age­ment and staff at He­mas place im­mense value on Piyawara Sin­githi Diriya and ex­tend their fullest co­op­er­a­tion to­wards the suc­cess of this project,” said He­mas Out­reach Foun­da­tion Ex­ec­u­tive Di­rec­tor Shi­romi Masako­rala. She fur­ther added that this ini­tial foun­da­tion pro­vided the plat­form for the im­ple­men­ta­tion of fur­ther projects in line with our CSR ven­ture. We have an added guar­an­tee of the au­then­tic­ity and sus­tain­abil­ity of this project due to our part­ner­ship with the Chil­dren’s Sec­re­tariat of the Min­istry of Women and Child Af­fairs of Sri Lanka that has en­abled us to work to­gether with the Prison Author­i­ties to en­sure that we are able to over­see the Early Child­hood Care and De­vel­op­ment of these chil­dren, who are the fu­ture of our coun­try. I am proud to be at­tached to an or­gan­i­sa­tion which ad­dresses the per­sis­tent is­sues of our so­ci­ety.

The spe­cial oc­ca­sion was fur­ther sig­ni­fied by the planting of trees by two of the most leg­endary Sri Lankan crick­eters, Roshan Ma­hanama and Ku­mar San­gakkara along with Ye­hali San­gakkara who ex­tend their sup­port to Piyawara Sin­githi Diriya. This was fol­lowed by a pro­found song sung by two in­mates and a mov­ing speech by a fe­male in­mate. The cel­e­bra­tion cul­mi­nated in a friendly cricket match, en­joyed by the male in­mates who ad­mire their crick­et­ing he­roes and made it a mem­o­rable day.

From left: He­mas Out­reach Foun­da­tion (HOF) Man­ager Mindika Thi­lakaratna, Crick­eter Roshan Ma­hanama, HOF Ex­ec­u­tive Di­rec­tor Shi­romi Masako­rala, He­mas Hold­ings PLC CEO Steven En­derby, We­likada Prison Se­nior Su­per­in­ten­dent Chan­dana Ekanayaka and Crick­eter Ku­mar San­gakkara

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