International Awards crown Hemas’ Piyawara CSR initiative

02 Dec, 2014

‘Top Community Care Company in Asia 2014’ and ‘Best CSR Campaign of the Year’

Piyawara, the flagship CSR initiative of the Hemas Group was crowned last Wednesday (26 Nov) night at the prestigious Asia Corporate Excellence and Sustainability Awards 2014 (ACES) at the Fairmount Hotel in Singapore.

Piyawara emerged overall winner in two categories – ‘Top Community Care Companies in Asia 2014’ and ‘Best CSR Campaign – Community Care’ winning from numerous entries across several Asian countries such as Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, India, Hong Kong and Vietnam.

Organised by the MORS Group, a Malaysia-based research and development organisation promoting Asia’s sustainable growth, the ACES Awards recognise successful companies and individuals in Asia across two main domains; leadership and corporate social responsibility.

This award was presented to Hemas Holdings PLC in recognition of its outstanding service to the children of the country across all geographical and social boundaries through the “Piyawara” Early Childhood Development initiative.

Expressing delight at this international endorsement Group Director Hemas Holdings PLC and Chairperson of the Hemas Outreach Foundation, Abbas Esufally said, “We are both humbled and honoured by this great accolade. This triumph is a shared experience, common to all stakeholders in this initiative. We are proud to share it with all those Piyawara teachers and students across the country, with all the officials of the Ministry of Child Development and Women’s Affairs who steadfastly partnered us, with all our donors and everyone else associated with the project, too numerous to mention by name. We are spurred on in our endeavours to take this to even greater heights and touch the hearts and souls of thousands of more little children as they journey towards responsible adulthood”.

Launched in 2002, the Piyawara initiative is the primary Corporate Social Responsibility project of Hemas Holdings PLC in partnership with the Children’s Secretariat of the Ministry of Child Development and Women’s Affairs. The project has a holistic approach and focuses on promoting Early Childhood Care and Development (ECCD) through the establishment of child friendly Pre-Schools across Sri Lanka.

The project has won international & local awards in the past and is aligned with one of the United Nations Millennium Development Goals – to “Achieve Universal Primary Education” by laying the foundation for successful primary education. ‘Piyawara’ goes beyond infancy to early childhood, helping children to achieve a solid foundation for life-long learning. ECCD encompasses a health factor and, Hemas Holdings PLC,being the leading healthcare organisation in Sri Lanka, is delighted to be involved in a project of this nature.

“Our community investment project Piyawara is one that has given us a deep and abiding sense of fulfillment both as responsible corporates and also as human beings. A project that began twelve years ago in Kurunegala with a small school with two teachers and 20 children has now grown to 40 schools, with over 100 teachers and 3000 students. The Piyawara initiative has significantly and meaningfully changed the lives of children from different ethnic groups, social classes and economic backgrounds. It has successfully given them a firm foundation and empowered them to face teenage and adult years that lie ahead. This is the ethos of Piyawara of which we’re proud to be a part”, said Shiromi Masakorala, Executive Director of the Hemas Outreach Foundation under whose purview the Piyawara programme operates.

The Piyawara project has been firmly established as a positive initiative among the company’s stakeholders, both internal and external, from the grass roots communities that they impact, to the suppliers and business partners they work with and the government authorities which partner them.