Globally renowned electronics giant, LG, and the trusted Sri Lankan conglomerate, Abans Group, partnered with Korea Friends of Hope International, Sri Lanka (KFHI) to initiate the first ‘LG Ambassador Challenge’ in Sri Lanka.
Spearheading this ground-breaking initiative are KFHI – Sri Lanka Chairman Choi and KFHI – Sri Lanka Secretary Lasitha Nanayakkara, who have been instrumental in formulating this partnership with the intention of uplifting the lives of Sri Lankans and aiding the development of rural areas in the country. The LG Ambassador Challenge program offered everyone the opportunity to do their part towards the improvement of their respective villages, and be recognised as the next rural-development innovator. This is a program currently conducted worldwide every year, and the goal was to commence this project as one that will be conducted annually in Sri Lanka too, to help Sri Lankan communities and better their lives.
Sharing his thoughts on the initiation of this massive program, Nanayakkara stated, “The LG Ambassador Program takes place in other South Asian countries such as Bangladesh each year. The program has achieved much success by giving youth a platform to serve their countries and neighbourhood by identifying problems where they live and providing solutions to tackle and solve those issues. It was a huge goal of Korea Friends of Hope International to commence this project in Sri Lanka as well. With this induction, we hope to conduct the LG Ambassador program every year in Sri Lanka.”
“Abans has consistently undertaken the responsibilities of bettering the lives of Sri Lankans, by way of innovative products, an ever-expanding portfolio of quality services and diligently carrying out CSR projects. The LG Ambassador program is a valuable opportunity for all Sri Lankans to bring forth inventive solutions to the concerns in their villages. Abans is honoured to be a part of this program, as we aim to help the citizens of Sri Lanka lead fulfilling and convenient lives,” shared Abans PLC Chief Marketing Officer Buddhika Dharmawardena.
The program was divided into four main segments of physical needs, cultural activities, medical facilities, and development of sports. Many village concerns were received and underwent an evaluation process; after which four projects were finalised for commencement.
Summary of the 4 selected projects:
01) Water Purification/Filtration Project – Vavuniya
LG Ambassador: Kunaraththinam Kajanagan
Project Name: The Drop of Life
The Sasthrikoolankulam village in Vavuniya is inhabited by over 600 families. These people are unable to get unpolluted, clean water for their daily needs. They stated that the water currently consumed by them is very unhealthy and poisonous for consumption. This issue has caused serious kidney problems amongst the villagers. We will be providing a RO water purification/filtration system plant which will be constructed in their village, so they may get purified, clean water for their daily consumption.
02) Public Midwife Centre Renovation Project – Balangoda
LG Ambassador: U.D.I. Thushara
Project Name: Nurturing the Future Generation
The Handagiriya village’s public midwife centre is beyond any kind of usable condition. Pregnant mothers and children below five years are unable to attend their check-ups and get the right advice and medicines for themselves and for their unborn children. The current building is highly damaged and the walls are close to falling apart, putting every expecting mothers and young child at high risk. The toilet facility at this building is also unusable. This building doesn’t have electricity or a proper place to store the supplements provided by the Government for children and mothers. Most of the products go to waste and have to be discarded due to the lack of any storage facility. We will be renovating the building to include a meeting place for the midwife and mothers with their children, plus safe storage and sanitary facilities.
03) Volleyball Ground Construction Project – Ampara
LG Ambassador: Tuwan Nawshath Allan
Project Name: Uplifting the Youth for a Better Tomorrow
According to the villagers of the Muwangala area, students who come home from school and are interested in sports, spend their time in a temporary ground as a way to practice their volleyball skills. Young people who are engaged in agricultural activities come to play and release their day-to-day pressures and stresses in the sport. These people are forced to play with two temporary headlights on the playground due to lack of resources. Due to the high level of danger during night-time sports, the youth have brought the damaged nets of the fishermen from the Kalmunai area and repaired them to cover the area around the field.
By initiating this project, over 2,000 people in two neighbouring villages will be highly benefitted and this will be a great opportunity to bring value to the youth of the village, by preventing them from engaging in dangerous and harmful activities such as drug addiction and alcohol abuse, cyber bullying and such. They can turn towards more constructive means of expressing themselves and keeping fit, especially in this time when physical diseases are high amongst young children and youth, and they are more likely to fall prey to mental illnesses.
The villagers can learn teamwork and coordination, while helping each other to lead a happy and healthy daily life and create a routine that will cause less stress. This will be vital in creating the next generation of youth who are mentally and physically strong and sound, and who will add value to the development of their village and the nation’s future. We will be constructing a volleyball court and changing room with storage and washroom facilities.
04) Life Jackets Provision Project – Batticaloa
LG Ambassador: Pakkiyarasa Katheeswaran
Project Name: Every Life Matters
The Sandiweli villagers (over 8,000 families) face an extremely life-threatening situation because they cannot travel to the next village, forcing them to cross the large river in an electric boat. The boat carries a capacity of 80 persons per trip, on a regular basis. Therefore, school children, teachers, farmers, patients, and the rest of the villagers must travel to the next village without any safety measures, which places their lives in great risk on every journey. According to the villagers, these people are unaware of the safety measures and the process that needs to be followed in order to ensure that their lives are not in danger. This village faces the river, which gets flooded severely when it rains heavily.
Hence, the villagers requested for life jackets as the first step in offering some kind of protection on their daily boating travels, as it is a huge life threat when crossing the river on the boat, especially during the rainy season, when the river floods and the people are at high risk. They have also requested for safety boards to be put up, in order to create awareness among all the people. We will be providing the above mentioned.
The four main people who sent in the above concerns will be titled as the first LG Ambassadors in Sri Lanka, and be awarded for their initiative and contribution towards highlighting issues in their villages and suggesting solutions to these issues. The projects are scheduled to be commenced soon.