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Brandix rewards commendable voluntary service of associates

Marks World Water Day 2014 by recognising employees' own service to communities with Rs 2.75 million in water supply schemes

Eleven employees of Brandix, or associates as they are titled by Sri Lanka's single largest apparel exporter, have been recognised for voluntary community service as part of the Group's commitment to World Water Day 2014, observed annually on 22nd March.

Titled, 'Nihanda Mehewara' (silent service), this year's initiative sought to identify those among Brandix's associates in Sri Lanka, who through their efforts and expense have helped others in their communities.

Each of these associates will receive Rs 250,000 from Brandix for a community water or sanitation project of his or her choice as a reward for their silent service. The ceremony to honour them took place at Brandix on 28th March 2014.

The search for these exemplary citizens took the Brandix team to many diverse locations in Sri Lanka where the company has manufacturing operations, and the final 11 represented six districts – Polonnaruwa, Badulla, Ratnapura, Kurunegala, Gampaha and Colombo.

"The stories of these 11 associates, who face their own share of day-to-day challenges in supporting themselves and their families, are truly inspiring and represent a widespread culture of community engagement among Brandix associates," said Anusha Alles, Head of CSR of the Brandix Group. "For a Group that has identified community empowerment as one of the pillars of corporate social responsibility, it is encouraging to see our corporate credo mirrored in the commitment of individuals."

This year's World Water Day programme was modeled on last year's, when Brandix similarly rewarded 10 associates chosen for the work they had personally undertaken to help people in need of water -- the cause adopted by Brandix as its principal commitment to the community. This year, the search criterion was expanded to encompass any form of community service. "Nevertheless, six of the 11 winners were involved in helping their communities with water-related needs, which reaffirms that water is one of the areas that requires the most attention," Ms. Alles said.

Among the 11 Brandix 'Nihanda Mehewara' winners of 2014 were Sudharma Priyanthi of Brandix Casualwear - Rideegama who donated two perches from her own land to build a common well for her village, her colleague Sandya Kanthisiri Basnayake who shares her crop well with all the villagers in the dry season, Sulekha Janaki of Brandix Essentials - Kahawatte, who shared a water facility she received from Brandix with 20-25 other families, Keerthi Sandaruwan of Brandix Essentials - Nivithigala who collected water from a spring to an overhead tank and distributed it to four other families and Gamini Piyatissa of Brandix Finishing - Ratmalana who built his own well and constructed pipelines with his funds to give water to five other families.

Recognised alongside them were Buddhika Roshan Kumara of Brandix Intimate Apparel - Polonnaruwa who dispenses traditional Ayurveda treatments that he learnt from his father free of charge, Subhani Gayanthi of Brandix Lingerie - Nittambuwa who teaches traditional up-country dancing free to 45 children in her village, Sarath Prathapage of T&S Buttons - Biyagama whose many contributions to the Sunday School at a nearby temple included the donation of five toilets built at his request by Brandix, Raveendra Srimal Wimalarathna of Textured Jersey - Avissawella who built an innovative method of collecting water from a stream into an overhead tank which supplies four neighboring houses, Rohan Fernando of Brandix Intimate Apparel - Katunayake who has helped many disabled children whose stories he read in newspapers, and Hemamali Liyanage of Brandix Casualwear - Ratmalana, who donates books and food to the children of her colleagues.

Since this year's World Water Day theme was 'Water and Energy,' the CSR Division of Brandix has also partnered with the Group's Environment & Energy Management team to offer advice and assistance to the award winners, to introduce environmentally friendly practices in their households.

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.


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