Top fashion retailer OdEL recently completed its ‘Odel 20-20 Build’ programme to construct 20 houses for needy families to mark the company’s two decades in business, a milestone it achieved in 2010.
Ten of these houses were funded entirely by the Odel Foundation, while 10 teams of volunteers from Odel worked for a day at each of the 10 sites where the other houses are located to help complete them.
Led by Odel founder and CEO and Habitat for Humanity Ambassador Otara Gunewardene, the Odel 20-20 Build project, which took over six months to complete, was implemented with Habitat for Humanity Sri Lanka. The recipients of the houses were identified by the NGO.
This Christmas, Gunewardene personally handed over nine houses fully funded by the Odel Foundation to recipient families in Bandaragama. The other house was built by the Foundation in Ampara. The lands for the houses built with Odel funds were bought by the YWCA Moratuwa.
The 10 houses completed with the labour of Odel volunteers including the CEO, members of the management team and staff were built under Habitat’s ‘Hands for Humanity’ Programme. These houses are located in Moratuwa, Ja-Ela and Galle.
Tony Seneviratne, National Director Habitat for Humanity Sri Lanka said: “The commitment of Odel and its volunteers to the cause of building decent houses for needy people is exemplified by this project. Efforts such as the Odel 20-20 Build illustrate how caring corporates can meaningfully support Habitat for Humanity to improve the quality of lives of many deserving families.”
In November 2009 Gunewardene was among global celebrities and volunteers from 32 countries who contributed labour to the Jimmy & Rosalynn Carter Work Project in Chiang Mai, Thailand. Titled ‘Mekong Build 2009,’ the project built or repaired 166 homes in Thailand, Vietnam, China, Cambodia and Laos, all countries along the Mekong River.