Friday, 25 April 2014 01:29
Hatton National Bank PLC, the largest private sector commercial bank in Sri Lanka has announced its ambitious plans to conduct an island-wide book donation campaign to assist school libraries. The campaign was ceremoniously launched on 23 April coinciding with UNESCO World Book and Copyright Day.
HNB has established 201 school libraries in some of the most deserving schools in remote areas of the country under its CSR program – HNB Nena Pubuduwa. HNB Nena Pubuduwa has seen over 50,000 children living in some of the most rural areas of Sri Lanka being given the opportunity to derive the simple pleasure of exploring the world through reading.
The program which commenced in the aftermath of the tsunami in 2004 in the Southern Province has been systematically expanded throughout the country. It was started with the intention of making a difference considering the lack of facilities and inhibition to education facilities faced by schools in rural areas.
Many of these schools lacked even the basic facilities as well as a scarcity of teachers, resulting in poorly developed students. HNB’s Nena Pubuduwa is thus not just a one-off venture but assistance that would make a lasting impression and a long-term difference in the lives of the future citizens.
The main objectives of the program include providing opportunities to under privileged children in rural schools to enhance knowledge and derive the simple pleasure of exploring the world through books with a special emphasis on stimulating a love of reading and learning in children; promote international and inter-cultural understanding and awareness; improve and expand the knowledge of English thus creating opportunities for higher education and employment; to support and facilitate the teaching and learning activities of the School, by providing access to appropriate literature and information resources and to provide an appropriate and comfortable environment, accommodation and facilities to encourage children to read.
HNB has paid attention to the program in its entirety without merely donating a few books. It involves renovating and furnishing of a proper library facility for the children. HNB employees maintain close relationships with the schools to ensure the continuity of the program. Maintenance work is carried out every year and the libraries are stocked with fresh collections on an annual basis. In addition to providing books worth millions of rupees on a diverse range of topics, the bank also provides books specifically requested by each school annually.
The ‘HNB donate a book campaign’ has been launched to add to the collection of books at the HNB Nena Pubuduwa school libraries current and proposed. Observing that there are a lot of books being dumped at the end of a school year as well as children outgrow them HNB wishes to constructively engage with customers, staff and any interested party to donate such books to needy schools and coordinate a large scale effort towards reading.
New and nearly new books suitable for children could be handed over at any HNB customer centre throughout the country during April-May 2014. Books suitable for children in all three languages i.e English, Sinhala and Tamil could be donated. Text books, story books, comics, literature, poems, dictionaries, books on science, history, geography, animals, birds, nature and on a variety of subjects could be donated.
The sifting and sorting process of books will be carried out by HNB with the assistance of experts from the Ministry of Education, the National Library Services Board and the Sri Lanka Library Association to classify the books and despatch to schools.