Habitat for Humanity Sri Lanka, an international non-profit organization dedicated towards providing every family in Sri Lanka with a stable and safe place to call home, appointed entrepreneur, philanthropist and advocate Otara Gunewardene, as its Goodwill Ambassador in celebration of its 25th Anniversary.
Otara Gunewardene, the Founder and CEO of Embark and the Otara Foundation, has been a long-standing supporter of the work of Habitat for Humanity. She first joined hands with Habitat for Humanity in the aftermath of the 2004 Tsunami, volunteering and supporting Habitat’s Post-Tsunami Rebuilding efforts in the Southern Province.
Since her first partnership with Habitat Sri Lanka in 2005, Ms. Gunewardene has played a pivotal role in rallying the support of donors and volunteers alike to raise funds for Habitat Sri Lanka’s work across the country. Following her experience in working directly with Habitat Sri Lanka to rebuild after the Tsunami, Ms. Gunewardene was inspired to sponsor the construction of 13 homes for flood-prone families in the Kalutara District. In celebration of World Habitat Day in 2015, Ms. Gunewardene championed Habitat for Humanity Sri Lanka’s ‘Corporate Build’ volunteer event, which provided employees of corporates an opportunity to volunteer their time and effort towards engaging in a tree planting campaign and constructing permanent homes for families in need in Kalutara.
Speaking at the announcement ceremony held in Colombo, Ms. Gunewardene said, “I look forward to supporting the good work done by Habitat for Humanity Sri Lanka in bringing tangible changes to people’s lives, which is what I have always wanted to do. I always look at engaging in work that benefits the people, the animals and the environment; and Habitat for Humanity’s commitment towards creating ‘Habitats’ for people in need, is a vision I have always felt strongly about.”
Mr. Yu Hwa Li, National Director of Habitat for Humanity Sri Lanka, commenting on the appointment of the Goodwill Ambassador said, “We’re delighted to welcome Habitat for Humanity Sri Lanka’s Goodwill Ambassador, Otara Gunewardene. She is a successful entrepreneur, trendsetter, fashion icon, philanthropist, advocate and a mother who understands that ‘home’ is the key to a brighter future. She has been a longstanding supporter and volunteer of Habitat for Humanity and we’re very excited to welcome her on board as she continues to support us in realizing the global vision and mission of Habitat; creating a world where everyone has a decent place to live.”
For 25 years Habitat for Humanity Sri Lanka has been committed to the mission of bringing people together to build homes, communities and hope. Having empowered more than 26,000 families across Sri Lanka to break the cycle of poverty and helping them to achieve strength, stability and self-reliance; Habitat Sri Lanka looks forward to reaching even more impoverished, marginalized and vulnerable communities in the future.