Rataviru Rekawarana Sewa Program uplifting livelihoods of migrant workers
Thursday, 3 October 2013 00:00
The Rataviru Rekawarana Sewa Program is an enterprise aimed at uplifting the lives of Sri Lankan migrant workers involving the Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign employment, the Sri Lanka Red Cross and The Finance Company PLC.
A fully sanctioned initiative of the Sri Lankan Government, the program was launched to better facilitate the male migrant worker segment within the global labour market with the active participation of the organisations involved. Recognising the importance of this venture, a Memorandum of Understanding between these three parties was signed at Temple Trees on 10 June, 2013 presided over by President Mahinda Rajapaksa, ushering a new chapter for the protection, welfare and prosperity of migrant workers and their families in Sri Lanka.
As this segment constitutes a vast majority of Sri Lankans who work abroad to provide a better life for themselves and their families, The Finance Company has undertaken to provide a range of financial products custom-made for migrant workers. They include adult and children’s savings accounts with higher interest rates, personal and housing loans at preferential rates, vehicle leasing and hire purchase facilities and also the opportunity to purchase a land of their choice at easy payment terms spread over a period of time, from various parts of the island. The involvement of The Finance Company in this program plays a significant role in ensuring proper financial planning for this segment, along with the Sri Lanka Red Cross which provides additional security for workers in their country of employment.
H. Kumara of Wariyapola, on route to Doha, Qatar was the first recipient of the personal loan presented under this program. To date 13 new loans have been given to migrant workers who have taken wing to various countries. The 60 branches of The Finance Company have now established links with all 29 foreign employment training centres that cover the island. This network has proven to be invaluable as it provides direct access to the migrant worker segment whereby they can be made aware and educated on the importance and need of financial planning and the means that are offered to achieve financial independence, even prior to departure.
In light of these developments, a new Rataviruwo Service Centre was unveiled by The Finance Company at the SLFBE office in Battaramulla and ceremonially declared open by Minister of Foreign Employment Promotion and Welfare Dilan Perera on 25 June, which would provide greater ease in understanding the needs of migrant workers and their families and taking steps to provide a better service.