|John Keells Foundation’s “Gift of Knowledge” Campaign to Support Literacy|
|Written by Ramesh|
|Friday, 14 September 2012 08:52|
The books were collected through a book donation campaignnamed “Gift of Knowledge” conducted among the staff of the John Keells Group. Special collection boxes were made available across the Group’s businesses in Sri Lanka including Keells supermarkets and selected branches of Nations Trust Bank (NTB).Group employees as well as customers of Keells supermarkets and NTB branches responded generously to the project tagline “Give New Life for Your Old Books”, by donatingused books in good condition appropriate for children between the ages of 5-17 years in English, Sinhala and Tamil languages. The campaign resulted in the collection of over 2900books.The Colombo International School (CIS) provided noteworthy support by donating approximately 700 books from its library. A total of twenty John Keells Volunteers were involved in planning and implementing the project as well as collecting, sorting and packing the books.
Mr. Susantha Ratnayake, Chairman of the John Keells Group, handed over the boxes of book sat the John Keells Head Office premises on 10th September 2012toprincipals of eight schools supported by JKF in the presence of the project team and representatives of the John Keells Foundation’s Management Committee. The beneficiary schools were: Al Iqbal Muslim Balika Vidyalaya, Holy Rosary Sinhala Vidyalaya, Holy Rosary Tamil Vidyalaya, Siri Sariputta Maha Vidyalaya and T.B. Jayah Maha Vidyalaya, all of Colombo 2; A/Matambuwa Halmillawe Primary School, Sri Vipula Pre School and Sri VipulaDhamma School, all of Halmillawe in the Anuradhapura District; and AM/Managalarama Maha Vidyalaya of Mangalagama in the Ampara District.
Under its Neighbourhood Schools Development Programme, JKF has since 2004 been supporting infrastructure and facility development as well as educational opportunities available to students attending five disadvantaged Government schoolsin Colombo 2 (the location of the Head Office and several offices of the John Keells Group), towards creating an environment more conducive for learning. JKF also supports under-served schools in Halmillawe (in the Anuradhapura District) and Mangalagama (in the Ampara District) under its Village Adoption Project which is aimed at integrated village development through self-reliance and capacity building, towards addressing rural poverty in a sustainable manner.
Rev. Meegoda Athulasiri Thero, Chief incumbent and principal of Sri Vipula Dhamma School in Halmillewa, said “I wish to thank the Chairman of the John Keells Group and staff of John Keells Foundation for the great service you have extended to us over the years. These books will contribute much to my efforts in raising the literacy and educational levels of children and youth in Halmillewa. I must also appreciate your efforts in sorting the books according to our needs.”
Speaking on the occasion, Mrs. A.L.S. Nazeera, Principal of T.B. Jayah Maha Vidyalaya of Colombo 2, stated “On behalf of all the State schools of Colombo 2, I wish to thank John Keells Holdings and John Keells Foundation for the help given to our schools over the past 10 years for the benefit of deserving children in the area. Most people take a `telescopic’ approach to CSR, disregarding the needs of the neighbourhood in preference of distant communities. But John Keells Foundation has recognized our need and come to the aid of our children continuously. The Grade 5 scholarship refresher programme held recently and the vocational training programme being planned currently are indeed noteworthy services.”