-- Marks World Water Day 2013 by supporting employees' own service to communities with Rs 2.5 million in water supply projects --
Top apparel exporter Brandix has pledged Rs 2.5 million for community water or sanitation projects as a reward for the unheralded community service of Group employees in their individual capacities.
Ten associates, as employees are referred to across the Group, have been chosen for the work they have personally undertaken, of their own volition, to help people in need of water -- the cause adopted by Brandix as its principal commitment to the community.
Titled 'Nihanda Diyawara' (silent service) this initiative was launched by the Brandix Group to mark World Water Day 2013, celebrated globally on 22nd March, and the ten associates were honoured at a ceremony on Monday, 25th March.
Each recipient, who was chosen out of nominations by fellow employees, received valuable personal prizes as well as a pledge of Rs 250,000 from Brandix for a community project of his or her choice, anywhere in Sri Lanka.
"It is inspiring to have associates that live the values and the vision of their company, with no expectation of reward or recognition," said Anusha Alles, Head of CSR at the Brandix Group. "When we called for nominations, we had no idea that so many of our colleagues were actively engaging in helping the community with water-related services at their own expense and on their own time. This is a perfect example of walking the talk."
She said each associate would be provided an opportunity to select a project and a beneficiary for the funds allocated by Brandix, encouraging further engagement with the needs of the community.
Providing examples of some of the work done by the Brandix associates recognised for community service, Ms Alles said P. Saman Priyantha of T&S Buttons (Lanka) had supplied water to villages using a tractor. Since he was resident in an area that had inadequate water supply, Mr. Priyantha had himself qualified for assistance under Brandix's 'Care For Our Own' (CFOO) programme, but had donated the water supply system that his family would have received to the village temple for the use of the entire community.
Five other associates, Raveendra Jagath Kumara of Brandix Casualwear - Avissawella, Sudarshi Chathurani of Brandix Intimate Apparel - Welisara, Thilanka Jayasinghe of Brandix Lingerie - Nittambuwa, H. G. C. P. Dharmasena of Brandix Denim - Avissawella and Palitha Piyathilaka of Brandix Intimate Apparel - Katunayake had similarly donated their CFOO projects to the community.
P. G. Kanthi of Brandix Intimate Apparel - Welisara and Sithara Hansani Pathirana of Brandix Intimate Apparel - Minuwangoda had opened the wells in their homes to others in their respective villages, helping scores of needy families with water in the dry season.
Meanwhile, T. T. M. C. De Alwis of the Brandix Centre of Inspiration and K. M. P. Dasanayake of Brandix Finishing - Avissawella had, through their involvement in community based organisations, provided leadership for the construction of water supply systems that benefitted several hundred families.
The Brandix Group's World Water Day 2013 programme is the second occasion that the Group has donated community projects in recognition of the commitment of others to the cause of water. In 2012, the Group donated 19 water supply and sanitation projects to school children who won an essay competition titled 'My Water Wish for Sri Lanka.'
The Brandix Group's principal CSR efforts are driven by the central corporate theme of 'Water' and constitute a long term commitment to increasing the availability of water and the provision of safe drinking water to those most in need. The Group's community outreach initiatives also include providing wells and pipe-borne water to communities in and around its manufacturing plants and the improvement of sanitation facilities in needy areas.
Brandix also conducts a series of educational programmes titled 'Jalavahini' for women leaders of community-based organisations (CBOs) in Sri Lanka's water sector, in collaboration with government agencies and likeminded corporate sector partners. In 2012, the company conducted six Jalavahini programmes, reaching representatives of more than 200 community based organisations.