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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2429

Hemas provides pre-school for kids in Ganthalwa, Kantale

By Quintus Perera – Asian Tribune

Colombo, 16 August, (Asiantribune.com): Hemas Piyawara Initiative recently opened its newest Pre-School in Ganthalawa, a remote village,6 Km off Kantale. Built at a cost of Rs. 5.3 million, the Pre-School has 78 children and is headed by three dedicated teachers. Funding for this project came from Ness Yammin, a generous donor in Monaco, through Ms. Chintha Senanayaka, a Sri Lankan resident there.

Ven. Bandagiriye Somawansa Thera, Director, National Children’s Education Foundation speaking as chief guest at the occasion said that it is a blessing to have corporates such as Hemas which are dedicated to the uplift of ECCD in Sri Lanka.Director Hemas Holdings Abbas Esufally unveils the plaque to commemorate the opening of the Kantale Pre School. Also in the picture (L to R) are Director of the National Children's Education Foundation and Chief Guest Ven. Bandagiriye Somawansa Thera, Corporate Relations Manager of Hemas Holdings Ms. Shiromi Masakorale and Deputy Director (Children's  Secretariat) of the Ministry of Child Development Director Hemas Holdings Abbas Esufally unveils the plaque to commemorate the opening of the Kantale Pre School. Also in the picture (L to R) are Director of the National Children's Education Foundation and Chief Guest Ven. Bandagiriye Somawansa Thera, Corporate Relations Manager of Hemas Holdings Ms. Shiromi Masakorale and Deputy Director (Children's Secretariat) of the Ministry of Child Development

He said that the quality improvement of early childhood education is critical since it lays the foundation for the long-term development of the country. As an ECCD specialist he valued Hemas' services in the East despite logistical difficulties.

Ms Shiromi Masakorale, Corporate Relations Manager of Hemas Holdings, said that Hemas involvement with Ganthalawa Pre-School began in 2004 and said that it was then housed in a small shed with 42 children. They enrolled the teachers in their annual Piyawara teacher training programme and formed a Parent Teacher Association to develop the infrastructure. With an initial donation of Rs. 50,000/-, they were in constant touch with the school and monitored its progress.

Ms Masakorale said that since the development of the Eastern province is a high priority on the national agenda, corporates need to support this initiative to ensure sustainable peace. She said that with this in mind they opened a 'Piyawara' Children's Park in the Pottuvil area in May this year. Hemas already has three Piyawara Pre-Schools in the East - in Kalmunai, Navadanveli and Sammanthurai - each at a cost of Rs. 5 million. She said that they plan to concentrate their CSR projects in the Eastern province, despite the logistical difficulties.

Piyawara is currently operational through 32 Pre-schools Island wide. The Hemas Group, together with the Ministry of Child Development and Women's Empowerment conducts many training programmes for teachers and parents island-wide, in order to promote the concept of child friendly Pre-Schools.

Last September, Piyawara, won an Award of Excellence for Support and Improvement of Education in Asia region as an outstanding, innovative and sustainable project in Asia, presented by the Asian Institute of Management at the annual Asian CSR Awards 2007 in Vietnam. Since its launch five years ago, Piyawara has touched the lives of thousands of children from all parts of Sri Lanka, from North to South and East to West, thereby resulting in a better quality of education of the pre-schools.

Hemas Holdings PLC is one of Sri Lanka's top conglomerates with a focus on five key sectors - FMCG, Healthcare, Transportation, Leisure and Power.

At this inauguration of the Pre-School, Director Hemas

- Asian Tribune

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