Chief Executive of Aviva Asia Pacific, Simon Machell was in Sri Lanka last week and took the opportunity to call on Lalith Weeratunga, the Secretary to President Mahinda Rajapaksa and present a donation to the government’s initiative to encourage the reading habit among children.
The cheque for half a million rupees was part of worldwide Aviva group’s ‘Street to School’ Corporate Responsibility programme that recognizes every child’s right to fulfill his or her potential. Sri Lanka has approximately 4.1 million school-going children and a significant number do not have easy access to reading.
“We are proud to become a partner in this far reaching and momentous initiative of the Government, where one day we could be proud of having made a difference in the lives of millions of children in Sri Lanka. We are also delighted that through our Street to School initiatives we are able to add significant value to the children as well as the nation,” commented Shah Rouf, Managing Director of AVIVA NDB Insurance who accompanied Machell to the Presidential Secretariat.
Weeratunga said: “The vision of Mahinda Rajapakse for the children of this country is to see them grow into responsible, creative, healthy and productive citizens one day. Enabling access to books and opening vistas of knowledge through them is a sure way of directing a child towards this vision. Children are the most promising investment if we correctly nurture them, develop their skills and talents and prepare them to take over the destiny of this country one day.”
AVIVA NDB’s Street to School agenda focuses on recognising the unrecognised in the country and ensuring that every child in the country has the right to fulfill their potential. The Company is progressing on three Street to School projects involving education / vocation development of deprived children and young persons, within a 90-degree triangular geographic spread covering Western, Uva, and Southern provinces of the country.
In Street to School, the Company’s endeavours are focused on giving identified children groups something they would never have - a childhood worth remembering and the hope for a bright future.