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Hemas ‘Piyawara’ Unveils Childcare Center at Welikada Prison on Independence Day

February, 13, 2018

Hemas Outreach Foundation (HOF), the CSR arm of Hemas Holdings PLC together with the Welikada Prison Department, unveiled the newly refurbished Child Care Center on 04th of February at the Welikada prison complex. The occasion was graced by Commissioner General Prisons Mr.H.M.N.C. Dhanasinghe and CEO, Hemas Holdings PLC Mr. Steven Enderby with other dignitaries including officials from the Civil Defense Force who provided their services to renovate the center.

The Rs 3.5 million project, enriched and empowered the lives of the young children who were compelled to live with their mothers under appalling conditions for no fault of their own.  The newly refurbished child care center  provided improved sleeping conditions, sanitation facilities, and  a play area within the premises. Further, along with providing the basic daily nutrition requirements of the children, Hemas will be distributing consignments of its Baby Cheramy products under the supervision of the HOF and Prison Authorities on a monthly basis.

‘Piyawara Singithi Diriya’ enhances the lives of the children residing at the prison quarters with their mothers who are prisoners at the Welikada Prisons. It is part of a larger project, ‘Piyawara’ which was launched in 2002 in partnership with the Children’s Secretariat of the Ministry of Women and Child Affairs. The project focuses on promoting Early Childhood Care & Development (ECCD) in Sri Lanka.  At present there are 44 ‘Piyawara’ preschools across the country, focusing on key aspects within the framework of ECCD providing a holistic approach to preschool education.

Senior Superintendent of Welikada Prison Chandana Ekanayake stated, “We have received suggestions by well- meaning individuals and renowned companies in the past towards the betterment of these children who have been incarcerated for no fault of their own, but it never materialized until this prerogative by Hemas. This valuable initiative by the company is much appreciated as it will provide these children with the carefree and secure environment to grow and flourish during their formative years.”

The Management and staff at Hemas place immense value on ‘Piyawara Singithi Diriya’ and extend their fullest cooperation towards the success of this project,” said Shiromi Masakorala, Executive Director of the Hemas Outreach Foundation. She further added that this initial foundation provided the platform for the implementation of further projects in line with our CSR venture. We have an added guarantee of the authenticity and sustainability of this project due to our partnership with the Children’s Secretariat of the Ministry of Women and Child Affairs of Sri Lanka that has enabled us to work together with the Prison Authorities to ensure that we are able to oversee the Early Childhood Care & Development of these children, who are the future of our country. I am proud to be attached to an organization which addresses the persistent issues of our society.

The special occasion was further signified by the planting of trees by two of the most legendary Sri Lankan cricketers, Roshan Mahanama and Kumara Sangakkara along with Yehali Sangakkara who extend their support to ‘Piyawara Singithi Diriya’. This was followed by a profound song sung by two inmates and a moving speech by a female inmate. The celebration culminated in a friendly cricket match, enjoyed by the male inmates who admire their cricketing heroes and made it a memorable day.

Mindika Thilakaratna, Manager Hemas Outreach Foundation (HOF), Shiromi Masakorala, Executive Director HOF, Roshan Mahanama, Steven Enderby, CEO Hemas Holdings PLC, Chandana Ekanayaka, Senior Superintendent of Welikada Prison, Kumar Sangakkara

Shiromi Masakorala, Executive Director HOF opening the newly renovated childcare center

Newly built play area

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Hemas Group CEO Steven Enderby and Mrs. Enderby  with the children 

Newly renovated childcare center