NDB makes a difference in the community with its employee volunteerism program

Friday, 6 April 2012 00:01 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

Employee involvement is a critical component of NDB’s CSR strategy, where the employees carry out community projects throughout the year taking community involvement beyond the core business activities. The key focus areas for these initiatives are ‘Education’ and ‘Entrepreneurship’ – the two categories under the Banks Strategic CSR Program.

Completing another successful year of volunteering, NDB’s staff dedicated their time and talents to benefit the community. The nature of the projects varied, from renovating a laboratory, to setting up a playground, however each and every project made a big difference in the lives of the beneficiaries.

NDB CEO Russell de Mel said, “Thinking outside the contemporary business practices to engage in socially responsible endeavours, CSR today, has become an integral part of NDB. We support our employees’ efforts to volunteer for the causes they care about. Through these initiatives we were able to foster amongst NDB employee’s passion, enthusiasm, teamwork and also compassion for the community. We strongly believe that CSR activity should be beyond writing a cheque.”

The motto of the S.D.S Jayasinghe Central School in Dehiwala is ‘Vidyawen Usasweema Shreshtai’ (Advancement in Science is Noble). However the laboratory of the school was in a dilapidated state. With over 1500 students attending the school and over 500 aspiring to pursue the science stream, renovating the laboratory was a pressing need. Therefore the administration, security, maintenance and CCPU departments at NDB undertook this as their project. The renovated and well equipped science laboratory is now a source of motivation for the students, inspiring them to pursue their dreams.

Dharmashoka Vidyalaya in Kandana is attended by over 800 students from low income families in the area. The school has minimal facilities and were not in a position to fund any development or improve the existing facilities.

There was no water facility to the school premises and water was partly supplied by a dilapidated well situated in the school premises, which was used for sanitation purposes only. In the dry seasons this well also dries up adding to the discomfort of the students. The audit, group risk and compliance departments made this their CSR project setting up the infrastructure to provide drinking water facilities to the students.

The Peliyagoda Roman Catholic Primary School, Kelaniya conducts classes from Year one to Year five, with a population of 500 pupils from low income families. The electricity supply to the school had been disconnected as robbers had damaged the wiring system and taken off the wiring codes, plugs points, switches, etc. As a result the school teachers and the children faced a lot of difficulties in conducting school activities inside the classes, especially on gloomy days. The school also did not have a children’s play park which is another important facility for a primary school as it provides important stimuli to promote physical and psychological development of children. The SME, auto finance and refinance departments repaired and restored the electricity connections of the school and also set up a children’s play area.

The corporate office, IT, legal and HR departments made this opportunity their prime focus and partnered with the Centre for Banking Studies of the Central Bank for a unique CSR initiative aiming to enhance societal value and provide pre-employment training to students who have a passion for banking. Thirty students from Chundikuli Girls College and St. Johns College in Jaffna were given an overview of the banking system in Sri Lanka. This skill development program also included a one-day leadership program covering trust building activities, games and various other initiatives, which broadened the participants’ personal outlook on life.

The marketing, retail credit operations, project finance, corporate banking and finance departments undertook to upgrade the facilities of two schools in Hambantota. A kid’s play area was constructed in Udamalala Maha Vidyalaya and musical instruments were donated to the Hambantota Kanishta Vidyalaya.

Through these initiatives, the inherent/inborn talents of the employees surfaced and their compassion for the less fortunate became visibly clear. The projects were formulated and carried out successfully whilst carrying out their day-to-day office activities and it was evident that they had not forgotten the human touch.