Hundreds of school-going children rebuilding their lives in the post-conflict Wanni region will receive essential IT education thanks to a community project launched by the Hayleys Group and its employees.
Donations of a day’s salary by employees across the blue chip conglomerate doubled by matching contributions by their respective companies have paid for two fully-equipped computer training centres at the Yogipuram Maha Vidyalayam in Mallavi, Mullaitivu and the Poonekary Maha Vidyalayam in Kilinochchi.
The first of these two centres equipped with a duplicator machine, eight new computers with UPS units, a printer, multimedia projector, wall screen, white board, 4 MB flash drives, and all software licenses, was formally handed over to the school recently in the presence of Northern Province Governor Major General G. A. Chandrasiri.
The second IT Centre in a building constructed by Hayleys for Poonekary Maha Vidyalayam is equipped with 10 computers and the equivalent number of UPS units, a printer, multimedia projector and screen, computer tables and chairs and a whiteboard. It is expected to be complete in November.
The cost of these two projects alone exceeds Rs. 3.7 million in terms of materials and equipment, the Group said.
The donation of a duplicator machine to the IT Centre set up at the Yogipuram Maha Vidyalayam would also benefit 10 schools in the area, enabling them to print their examination papers. The school is the first in areas once controlled by militants to receive comprehensive IT training facilities, and the Hayleys Group has extended its commitment to the institution by offering to train two teachers to become competent IT trainers.
“We are confident that our efforts will have a potentially life-changing impact on the education and prospects of school children in these neglected regions,” said Sunil Dissanayake, Head – Group Human Resources at Hayleys who led Group representation at the handing over ceremony.
“As a business group that has deep-rooted links with local communities dating back well over a century, Hayleys is committed to responding to the needs of Sri Lankans irrespective of racial, religious or geographical boundaries.”
The funds required for these projects were managed by the Hayleys Group’s ‘Internally Displaced Sri Lankans’ (IDSLs) Relief Fund, established in April 2009 to support the humanitarian assistance initiatives launched by the conglomerate in the final stages of the conflict.
Hayleys was among the first corporate entities to respond to the immediate needs of those who fled the fighting and were relocated to welfare villages such as Menik Farm.
A diversified conglomerate whose Sri Lankan origins date back to 1878, Hayleys PLC has been thrice adjudged the country’s best corporate citizen. One of its most significant contributions to a needy community was a new school built at a cost of Rs. 75 million for 500 children in Kathaluwa, Ahangama, an area devastated by the tsunami of 2004.