Sana holds CSR initiative ‘Sipsatharata Arunellak’ 2019 in grand scale

Engaged in an ever-evolving knowledge-based industry, ISM APAC very recently concluded its annual corporate social responsibility program ‘Sipsatharata Arunellak’ on a grand scale, as part of its ambitious plans to uplift education by developing underprivileged schools across Sri Lanka.

The leading global software developer, marking its fifth year anniversary in the country, built three classroom buildings and an IT and science laboratory for the Maha Andarawewa Junior School in Nawagattegama, as well as renovating other infrastructure to provide a learning-conducive environment.

ISM APAC also conducted a knowledge transfer session among the students on the basics of using computers, providing scholarships to the best-performing students, and then went on to plant around 100 plants at the school as a way to give back to Mother Nature.

It further donated ten computers and a multifunction printer, furniture for students and teachers, sporting items, musical instruments and study packs for around 116 students. Most of the students had not seen a computer before now, just as in many other schools where improvement projects had been done in the past. Through this CSR initiative, the company was able to positively change the mindset of the people in the village through guidance and highlighting the importance of education, which was well reflected in their comments.

The company also provided computers, a printer, sporting items, agricultural utensils and musical instruments to yet another deserving school in Galgamuwa, Vikadeniyagama Junior School.

The total investment for this year’s program was 54,000 euros, making it the most significant event so far in this annual signature initiative. The Sipsatharata Arunellak project, which means ‘helping hands for education’, began in 2015 with a vision of supporting and improving thousands of schools in the country that lack even the most basic facilities.

‘‘Quality education will be achieved not only by providing infrastructure facilities but it is also important to change the mindsets of people towards positivity,’ commented Head of the CSR Committee 2019 Uditha Wijesundara.

It went on to build a water purification system for Kahatagollewa Vidyalaya at Kabithigollewa to combat chronic kidney disease, a building with standard sanitisation to the Kanthale-based Peramaduwa Vidyalaya, donate equipment to upgrade Kumbukgahawewa Primary School and a school building to Weragala Vidyalaya in Habarana last year, which had not had one till then.

In line with its passion to give back knowledge to its industry and society, ISM APAC also actively hosts and participates in knowledge transfer sessions, organises inter and intra-hackathons with universities and supports and sponsors industry-related events, including career days and workshops and recruitment of interns from universities, among various other initiatives.

The Dutch-based group, with its partnerships and experienced teams collectively consisting of over 500 employees, is a major contributor to the e-commerce industry globally, with offices in Sri Lanka, Australia, Austria, Colombia, Germany, Ukraine, UK, and the United States. ISM APAC was also recently awarded the Great Place to Work certification this year and named one of the Best Workplaces in Sri Lanka back in 2017 by the Great Place To Work Institute.

Donating one new sophisticated school building – project 2018

“Thousands of children are denied access to education each year which an unacceptable hedge against our country’s future is. The fact that we’re a leading software company benefitting daily from the knowledge economy only accentuates our resolve to do something,” said Dimuthu Nilanka – Chairman of the 2018 CSR Committee at ISM APAC
It’s not news that the Sri Lankan education system is in dire need of an overhaul. From the very early grades to the lessons that students learn in A/L classes to university lectures. It’s very questionable whether the curriculum will help students meet the challenges of the 21st century.
However, That’s Not All That Needs to ChangeThere are many schools beyond Colombo that lack even the most basic facilities. In such schools, it’s practically impossible for students to have a conducive environment that facilitates learning.
The issues highlighted above are a few reasons as to why ISM APAC conducts its annual Sipsatharata Arunellak (සිප්සතරට අරුණැල්ලක්) – Helping hands for Education program. The purpose of this program is to help underprivileged children get access to quality education.
Thus, ISM APAC invests both time and money in ensuring these children can receive a quality education. They receive global support from their employees across its global offices in The Netherlands and Ukraine.
Onwards To Sipsatharata Arunellak 2018. The program, which occurs annually, chose Weragala Vidyalaya located in Habarana for this year’s program. This school currently has 55 students enrolled. However, this school was one that lacked the basic facilities to provide a conducive learning environment for these students. In fact, they didn’t even have a roof over their heads. This is why ISM APAC chose this school for the program and offered a new building. One that was equipped with new facilities that could offer a better education to these students. Thus, making the long-time dream of the principal of the school who had a vision of developing the school but lacked the resources.
Having developed Weragala Vidyalaya, ISM APAC also donated equipment to upgrade the facilities of another school in the Anuradhapura district, which was Kumbukgahawewa Primary School. ISM APAC shared that these facilities can be used by the school from the coming year onward.
An opening ceremony was held to mark the completion of the new building at Weragala Vidyalaya on the 17th of November. The opening saw employees of ISM APAC from The Netherlands in attendance with the students of the Anuradhapura district. Describing this year’s program, Priyantha Perera – Operations Director at ISM said, “We were given a grand welcome by the little kids and were able to see genuine smiles in all of their faces.”
Improving Education In Sri Lanka Isn’t Easy. But this isn’t all that ISM APAC does to improve the state of education in Sri Lanka. As we mentioned earlier, the issues aren’t merely at the school level. Even at the university level, there is work to be done. Here ISM APAC hosts free lectures for the students of different universities, which are conducted by their employees on various topics. The goal of these lectures is to help ensure that future graduates have the skills required by the industry.

Donating one building and a proper sanitation unit for peramaduwa vidyalaya – project 2017

Children are our next generation, and taking care of them is our responsibility. “සිප්සතරට අරුණැල්ලක් – Helping hands for Education” is the mission of our CSR Committee. This year we selected T/ Kan/ Peramaduwa Vidyalaya, which is a school found in Agbopura, Kanthale towards the border of the Eastern Province and the North Central Province to help in the means we can.

The children and teachers were very nice and humble, but the school lacked proper infrastructure. Building this is the aim of the determined principal who is not only a strong man but also a gift to the school. After hearing about his efforts, we decided to be a support to him and the school by building one building to hold classrooms and a proper washroom for the boys. The project estimated an amount of Rs. 2,000,000 that the committee raised through fundraising activities and donations.

One of these activities was a musical concert conducted in collaboration with a leading Sri Lankan musical band and a few well-known singers. The concert raised a huge sum of money and the rest were funded by the ISM offices worldwide.

Water purifying filter for the kahatagahagollawa vidyala – project 2016

Chronic Kidney Disease (hereinafter known as CKD) is a major health problem prevailing in many districts of Sri Lanka; vastly in the North Central, North Western, and Uva provinces.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the North Central province had reported an estimate of 20,000 CKD patients with Anuradhapura being the most affected district in the year 2000. The disease had caused many casualties stranding a lot of children in many rural areas.

One such town was Kabithigollawa, which we selected during our appraisal process this year.

Kahatagahagollawa Vidyala is a small school in Kabithigollawa with only 180 students studying in grades from 1 to 11. The school and the village had been largely affected by CKD and many of them lived too far to seek medical attention. After research, we did in that area, we found that access to clean drinking water could solve the problem to some extent. Considering that, we at ISM APAC committed to investing in fixing a water purifying filter for the school.

We can’t wait to meet you.

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