DFCC’s ‘6S’ implementation in schools wins best CSR project award

Friday, 13 December 2013 03:59 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

“This award is not ours, it’s for the children who showed remarkable change” was the comment made by the DFCC Bank team in receiving the award for the Best Long Term CSR Project 2013, at the Best Corporate Citizen Awards conducted by the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce recently. The project focused on uplifting rural schools and altering the outlook of children who attend these schools. 5S is a popular philosophy introduced by the Japanese, initially in their manufacturing plants, which teaches one to organise their surroundings and work methodically to achieve higher productivity. The pioneering development bank in the country, DFCC Bank, during its many years of assisting aspiring entrepreneurs to set up and operate their businesses, identified that low productivity is a key impediment to the growth of these businesses. With a view to addressing this issue, DFCC Bank together with its retail banking subsidiary Vardhana Bank, embarked on a three-year project to introduce the principles of 5S with an added ‘S’ for awareness on safety issues to primary classes of rural schools. Unique project This is a unique project in which the turnaround in schools was in effect achieved by teams consisting teachers, students and parents of the respective schools working together with DFCC staff volunteers through implementing  a 12 month-long program in each school, consisting ‘6S’ and ‘3R’ (Reduce-Reuse- Recycle) concepts. In schools, change begins with teachers who have a positive outlook.  To effect perceivable improvements, initially and on an on-going basis, the bank conducted seminars, workshops related to positive thinking, change management, leadership development, teamwork and creative thinking exercises for the staff of these schools using experts in the respective fields. Working together with the Ministry of Education, the program was launched in schools country-wide with special emphasis on schools in the north and east. DFCC has completed the development of 100 schools across the country under this project, making a positive impact on over 50,000 children aged six to 10 years who would otherwise not have had the opportunity to experience a change for the better. A total of 240  members of the DFCC Bank’s and DFCC Vardhana Bank’s staff have unselfishly volunteered many hours to this project giving their time, finances and  by being mentors to the schools in their respective areas. Unprecedented results The results have been unprecedented in that there has been a discernible transformation in the schools in terms of the condition of the school buildings, surrounding gardens, the arrangement of the classrooms and overall cleanliness of the school. “Through these changes, the important outcome expected was positive change in the behaviour of students in the classroom and outside. We noticed that after full implementation of the project, attendance improved in schools, children were happier, disciplined and improved productivity levels were observed,” commented Rosheeni Wijesekera, DFCC’s Vice President of Group Corporate Communications. In addition to this year’s award, DFCC has received recognition for this project with a Distinguished Honoree ‘Stevie Award’ in 2010 at the International Business Awards (IBA) of USA.  In the same year the bank also clinched the Best CSR Project Award in the Education and Training category at the Best Corporate Citizen’s Award 2010 conducted by the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce.