Hatton National Bank (HNB) – Drops of Life – CSR Water and Sanitation Project

Hatton National Bank (HNB) – Drops of Life – CSR Water and Sanitation Project

As part of its commitment towards establishing meaningful partnerships with Corporates, Habitat for Humanity Sri Lanka partnered with Hatton National Bank (HNB) to launch the ‘Drops of Life Project’ in March 2018. Targeting the improvement of water, sanitation and hygiene standards in the Batticaloa district, the ‘Drops of Life’ project aimed at providing marginalized communities with access to safe drinking water, adequate sanitation facilities while promoting hygiene education. At a handover ceremony to mark the completion of the project held on July 11, nearly 50 families in Kattankuddy, Batticaloa were donated 1,000L water tanks providing these rural families with much needed drinking water storage facilities. Additionally, this partnership enabled Habitat Sri Lanka to construct 03 toilets for Ameer Ali Vidyalaya, a rural school in Batticaloa benefitting more than 150 primary students and teachers. This corporate partnership was launched as part of Habitat Sri Lanka’s ‘Partnerships with Purpose’ Campaign which seeks to engage more Corporates in the country to give back through various Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives.

Commenting on the significance of this new partnership with Habitat for Humanity Sri Lanka, HNB Chief Operating Officer, Dilshan Rodrigo said: “HNB is a bank that prides itself on our ability to serve as a partner in progress to Sri Lankans from all walks of life, and in that regard, we are deeply satisfied to have partnered with an organization of the stature of Habitat for Humanity Sri Lanka. The remarkable work that they have carried out as part of their mission to provide decent and secure homes for Sri Lanka’s often overlooked rural communities is strongly aligned both with our own mission to build a sustainable future for all Sri Lankans, and with United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and we look forward to building on this invaluable relationship moving forward.”

HNB Al-Najah partners with Habitat for Humanity Sri Lanka to launch ‘Drops of Life’ Project’

HNB Al-Najah partners with Habitat for Humanity Sri Lanka to launch ‘Drops of Life’ Project’

Furthering its mission to serve as a partner in progress to all Sri Lankans, Hatton National Bank’s Islamic Banking arm, HNB Al-Najah entered into a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Habitat for Humanity Sri Lanka (HFHSL) to launch the ‘Drops of Life Project’for the year of 2018.

Targeting the improvement of water, sanitation and hygiene standards in the Batticaloa district, ‘Drops of Life’ is a project aligned with UN Sustainable Development goals aimed at providing disadvantaged and marginalized communities with access to clean water, sanitation and hygiene facilities, leveraging on the extensive expertise of Habitat for Humanity Sri Lanka.

Commenting on the significance of the new partnership with Habitat for Humanity Sri Lanka, HNB Chief Operating Officer, Dilshan Rodrigo said: “HNB is a bank that prides itself on our ability to serve as a partner in progress to Sri Lankans from all walks of life and today’s agreement with Habitat for Humanity Sri Lanka represents another vital milestone in this journey.”

“In that regard, we are deeply satisfied to have partnered with an organisation of the stature of Habitat for Humanity Sri Lanka. The remarkable work that they have carried out as part of their mission to provide decent and secure homes for Sri Lanka’s often overlooked rural communities is strongly aligned both with our own mission to build a sustainable future for all Sri Lankans, and with United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and we look forward to building on this invaluable relationship moving forward,” he noted.

The Project is intended to construct 03 latrines for a primary school named Ameer Ali Vidyalaya in Kattankudy and donate 50 water tanks – each with an individual capacity of 500 litres – for 50 low-income families residing in the Divisional Secretariat of Kattankudy in Batticaloa, for which HNB Al Najah will donate Rs. 1 million, while the company’s employees will also be volunteering their time and effort towards completion of this vital initiative.

Echoing Rodrigo’s sentiments, Habitat for Humanity Sri Lanka National Director, Yu Hwa Li expressed his gratitude to HNB for its enthusiastic response to the Drops of Life Initiative. “At the outset, we wish to thank HNB and its Islamic Banking team for supporting us in this vital project. Habitat for Humanity has been operating in Sri Lanka for the past 23 years, and during this time we have been able to construct affordable housing for communities in the North and East, as well in flood prone regions in the Kalutara district utilizing funding from the European Union, and Indian Government, together with generous donations from corporate donors like HNB Al Najah”.

“Our approach is however somewhat unique in that we invite all who are willing to not only contribute their money but also their time towards building housing, water, and sanitation across Sri Lanka’s underserved communities. Today’s agreement to provide water, sanitation and hygiene solutions is a vitally important aspect of these projects and we are confident that today’s agreement with HNB will mark the start of and long a fruitful relationship”.

According to the most recent research conducted by UNICEF, 11% of Sri Lankans on average today still lack access to safe drinking water, while in rural communities, this figure averages as much as 35%. Similarly, 19% of Sri Lankan schools were found to lack safe water and adequate sanitation facilities while 1,299 schools were found to have no functional sanitation facilities whatsoever.

“While Sri Lanka continues to make remarkable progress in its development, there are still significant gaps that must be addressed in order to fulfil our duty towards our fellow citizens. Building adequate water, sanitation, education and housing facilities are perhaps some of the single most urgent areas in need of attention in order to drive meaningful quality of life improvements, particularly among rural communities”.

“In that regard, our team at HNB Al Najah is eager to contribute towards a solution for all. Together with our initiatives aimed at supporting entrepreneurship through the delivery of reliable and responsible Islamic banking products we are confident that our team working in concert with HNB and Habitat for Humanity can help uplift standards of living in the Batticaloa District, and across the island moving forward.” HNB Assistant General Manager Islamic Banking, Hisham Ally stated.

Established in 1994, Habitat Sri Lanka has enabled more than 24,600 low-income families to build strength, stability and self-reliance through shelter. Habitat for Humanity partners with people in communities all over the world, to help them build or improve a place they can call home.

The HNB Islamic Banking is powered by the core banking system of HNB, which helps to maintain swift and customer friendly service delivery. Furthermore, the service is complete with Al Najah branded cheque books and savings books as well as premium banking facilities. Through Al Najah, customers can enjoy benefits such as internet and SMS banking facilities, international debit cards, and access to 460+ ATMs across the country. All of this is coupled with a dedicated service team to provide a personalised, efficient and friendly experience to all of its customers. (Press Release issued by HNB)

Habitat for Humanity Sri Lanka on a mission to forge ‘Partnerships with Purpose’

Habitat for Humanity Sri Lanka on a mission to forge ‘Partnerships with Purpose’

Board Build 2017

Board Chairman of Habitat for Humanity Sri Lanka – Mr.Lakshan Madurasinghe and members of the HFHSL National Board of Directors volunteering to construct homes for families in Muthurajawela

COLOMBO, 22 January 2017 Habitat for Humanity Sri Lanka’s (HFHSL) President and Chairman of the National Board of Directors – Lakshan Madurasinghe’s unique Habitat journey started with him volunteering at a Habitat Build event, and thereafter led to over a decade long partnership with HFHSL. Today, a key member of HFHSL’s leadership team, Lakshan not only continues to volunteer whilst encouraging hundreds of others to do so as well, he has applied his corporate, PR and management expertise to shape the vision and mission of Habitat for Humanity Sri Lanka, and aid its ongoing commitment to providing homes for families in need across Sri Lanka.

Since its inception in 1994, Habitat for Humanity has enabled over 24,600 families to achieve strength, stability and self-reliance through shelter. A proper home is the strong foundation on which families and communities thrive. Better, affordable living conditions lead to improved health and stronger childhood development and give families the ability and financial flexibility to make forward-looking choices. In 2017, HFHSL had the opportunity of providing homes for 80 families affected by landslides in the Kegalle District and providing 37 families who lived in temporary shelters in Kalutara with permanent homes. HFHSL is also currently in the process of implementing two large-scale housing projects funded by the European Union in Killinochchi, Batticaloa and Mullaitivu and the Indian Government in Batticaloa and Pussellawa.

In 2018, Habitat for Humanity is on a mission to forge more partnerships with like-minded individuals, Corporates, organizations and donors that will enable them to reach more communities and provide safe and decent homes to more families in need across Sri Lanka under the theme of “Partnerships with Purpose”. In keeping with this theme, Habitat is committed to enhancing its corporate engagement through partnerships with Corporates who are interested in implementing Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) projects that focus on housing and providing adequate sanitation facilities for vulnerable communities across the country. Habitat Sri Lanka is particularly looking for support from the corporate sector for its newly launched ‘Homes for Hope Campaign’, which focuses on constructing homes and sanitation facilities for families that are battling disabilities, special needs, or chronic illnesses such as Chronic Kidney Disease and Leprosy.

Additionally, towards fostering volunteerism within the Corporate sector, Habitat for Humanity Sri Lanka has also launched its ‘Corporate Team Builds’ program which offers Corporates the opportunity to have their staff volunteer at a Habitat build site on a one-day build where they will provide their unskilled labour to construct a home for a family in need. Very often corporate teams opt to invest in high-end training and out-bound team building exercises for their staff; however Habitat Sri Lanka offers a unique alternative to those types of typical out-bound training programs through its ‘Corporate Team Builds’ program.

Unlike any other volunteer experience, Habitat’s volunteers get hands-on construction experience building a home with their teammates and also have the satisfaction of knowing that their generosity and hard work resulted in a family in need being blessed with a place to call home. Commenting on this further, Mr. Madurasinghe said, “At HFHSL, you get to do more than just donate money to a cause. The beauty of volunteering with Habitat is that you get to be a part of changing people’s lives. An additional benefit is that the results of your team work will be extremely tangible and will have a positive impact on multiple generations. It’s a great way to give back to communities and do something truly meaningful with your work colleagues. I invite all corporates to join us in our mission to provide everyone in Sri Lanka a decent place to live.”

 

From a Volunteer to Board Chairman – Lakshan Madurasinghe’s life-changing journey at Habitat for Humanity Sri Lanka

From a Volunteer to Board Chairman – Lakshan Madurasinghe’s life-changing journey at Habitat for Humanity Sri Lanka

COLOMBO, 5 December 2017: On International Volunteer Day, which is celebrated universally on 5th December, to foster a spirit of volunteerism amongst individuals and organizations alike, Habitat for Humanity Sri Lanka (HFHSL) would like to highlight the story of its current Board Chairman and President – Lakshan Madurasinghe. Lakshan’s unique journey, started with him volunteering at a Habitat Build event, and thereafter led to over a decade long partnership with HFHSL. That single experience fueled a deep love for volunteering within him, that he has since then shared with countless colleagues, friends, donors and communities. Today, a key member of HFHSL’s leadership team, Lakshan not only continues to volunteer whilst encouraging hundreds of others to do so as well, he has applied his corporate, PR and management expertise to shape the vision and mission of Habitat for Humanity Sri Lanka, and aid its ongoing commitment to providing shelter and homes to hundreds of families in need.

Habitat builds homes not houses: Since Habitat for Humanity was launched in Sri Lanka 23 years ago, the organization has enabled 24,600 families to achieve strength, stability and self-reliance and rebuild better lives. A proper home is the strong foundation on which families and communities thrive. Better, affordable living conditions lead to improved health and stronger childhood development, well-being of children and give families the ability and financial flexibility to make forward-looking choices. Recognizing that donors may not always understand the immense value of building homes, or even consider building a house to be a feasible or practical form of charity, Mr. Madurasinghe said: “A typical Habitat home will be a 550 sq.ft lockable home with two bedrooms, a living room, a kitchen and a toilet, and constructing a home of this nature would generally cost approximately One Million Rupees. Having worked in Sri Lanka for over 23 years, wherever we work, we witness tangible evidence that strong and stable homes help build strong and stable communities”.

A journey spanning over a decade: Commenting on how his journey started and how he embraced HFHSL’s mission, Mr. Madurasinghe said: “My journey with Habitat for Humanity started in 2005, while I was serving as the Head of Public Affairs and Communication for Coca-Cola Beverages Sri Lanka Ltd. As part of my responsibilities, I also led the company’s strategic CSR efforts and community engagement initiatives. Following the aftermath of the Tsunami, we partnered with Habitat for Humanity in 2005 to rebuild homes in Galle. Our company volunteers were able to actively engage with homeowners and help them build their new homes and regain a sense of normalcy in their lives in the aftermath of the disaster. I was deeply moved by the warmth, hospitality and kindness that was extended to us by those homeowners. They had lost everything, and were so grateful and moved that we had come all the way, to help them rebuild their lives.” Having understood the impact of volunteering instead of simply opting to donate funds, Mr. Madurasinghe explained: “At HFHSL, you get to do more than just donate money to a cause. The beauty of volunteering with Habitat is that you get to be a part of changing people’s lives.” HFHSL provides families with a hand-up not a hand-out; so that Habitat homeowners are able to achieve the strength, stability and self-reliance they need to build better lives for themselves and their families.

After volunteering and engaging in HFHSL’s fundraising activities for many years, Lakshan was invited to serve on the National Board of Directors of Habitat for Humanity Sri Lanka in 2009. In 2012, he was selected as the Vice-President of the Board and in 2015 he was appointed as the President and Chairman of the National Board of Directors. His decade long journey with Habitat for Humanity Sri Lanka has made him a champion of volunteering, who is passionate about expanding HFHSL’s dynamic volunteer engagement initiatives and programmes, whilst increasing awareness about the manifold benefits of volunteering.

Volunteering beyond borders: In the hopes of fostering volunteerism internationally, Habitat for Humanity conducts a unique volunteer program known as ‘Global Village’ (GV), which encourages volunteers from around the world, to travel to Sri Lanka on a cultural exchange for a period of 5-7 days and provide unskilled labour to build homes for communities in need. These volunteers cover their own travel and accommodation costs, and also donate towards Habitat for Humanity’s housing projects. Commenting on this Mr. Madurasinghe said: “Our GV program is a rewarding experience not only for the volunteers themselves but also for our beneficiary families and our staff. This year alone we’ve had GV teams from Japan, China, Hong Kong, Korea, Netherlands, Canada, Abu Dhabi, Saudi Arabia, Singapore and the U.S travelling to locations such as Kalutara, Batticaloa, Muthurajawela, Aranayake, Yatiyantota, Deraniyagala and Pussellawa to help communities in need of a safe place to call home. It is remarkable to see how touched our homeowners are when people from all over the world, travel all the way to Sri Lanka, just to be with them and help them build their homes.”

Volunteering as a team: Throughout his time at HFHSL Lakshan has always highlighted the exceptional team building skills and bonds that Corporates as well as school students can forge when they spend a day working together at a Habitat build.  Commenting on this further he said: “Many Corporates opt to invest in high-end training and out-bound team building exercises, however we always urge them to consider sending their entire team out on a ‘Corporate Team Build’ where they can work together with a common goal in mind. You really do bond exceptionally well as a team, when you have to put all of your differences aside, and focus on delivering on an important need – a home that will help a vulnerable family and generations to come. Something powerful happens when we stand shoulder to shoulder to work toward a common goal. Every helping hand, every donation, every voice makes a difference, and the work can be transformative, not just for the family who will reside in a Habitat home, but for everyone involved. It’s a great way to give back to communities and do something truly meaningful.”

Engaging with the next generation of young leaders: Each year, on International Volunteer Day, Habitat for Humanity launches the Habitat Young Leaders Build (HYLB) which is an Asia-Pacific initiative that engages young people, and encourages them to volunteer and advocate for decent housing. Commenting on this, Mr. Madurasinghe said: “A very important part of our International Volunteer Day celebrations, is launching the Habitat Young Leaders Build. In Sri Lanka in particular, we really do want to strengthen our youth engagement and have more youth aged 16-35 be a part of our volunteer initiatives. Going forward we also hope to strengthen our public-sector partnerships and engage with more youth-based NGOs and organizations to bolster our youth volunteer drive.” The HYLB campaign following its launch on the 5th of December culminates on the 21st April 2018.

Every gift makes a difference: Another key segment that HFHSL will be working on moving forward is to actively engage the Sri Lankan Diaspora who may be keen to give back to people in need in their home country, by contributing funds for housing projects or by volunteering with Habitat. Commenting on the support needed by Habitat to continue its work in the country, Mr. Madurasinghe stated: “Our work extends far beyond providing shelter and building homes; the work we do gives people much-needed security, and this has an immense ripple effect on society and the economy. We welcome volunteers and donors regardless of their age, background, career, whether they are individual donors or are a part of an organization. Irrespective of whether you live in Sri Lanka or abroad, regardless of how much and what you have to give; we welcome you to join hands with Habitat for Humanity Sri Lanka and become a part of a story that is reshaping our nation, one Habitat home at a time. Through shelter, we empower and have the immense pleasure knowing that we would be causing a positive generational impact in our nation.”

Mr. Lakshan Madurasinghe – President & Chairman of the National Board of Directors, Habitat for Humanity Sri Lanka

 

 

Corporate ‘Global Village’ volunteers from KEPCO Korea partner with Habitat for Humanity in Batticaloa

Corporate ‘Global Village’ volunteers from KEPCO Korea partner with Habitat for Humanity in Batticaloa

A group of 42 Global Village volunteers from Korea Electric Power Corporation(KEPCO) joined Habitat Sri Lanka to build homes for families in Batticaloa, Sri Lanka. The volunteers donated USD 14,350 and assisted in the construction of 8 homes through this GV build. The KEPCO team donated 30 solar lanterns to the families in the Eachnattivu village in Batticaloa and also hosted an interactive activity on best practices related to good hygiene and sanitation with the children of the community.
Habitat for Humanity Sri Lanka partners with Coca-Cola on a ‘Corporate Team Build’ program

Habitat for Humanity Sri Lanka partners with Coca-Cola on a ‘Corporate Team Build’ program

KALUTARA – 25 August 2017 -The staff of Coca-Cola Beverages Sri Lanka Ltd. joined hands with Habitat for Humanity Sri Lanka recently in Kalutara, for a unique volunteer experience through Habitat’s ‘Corporate Team Build’. Over 20 volunteers came together to construct homes for a community of 12 families in Diyalagoda, Kalutara who currently live in temporary wooden shelters with limited privacy and protection from adverse weather conditions and intruders. Through the Kalutara Housing Project Habitat for Humanity Sri Lanka will be realizing the housing dreams of 37 families, and will provide nearly 150 individuals with a safe and decent place to live.

The Coca-Cola volunteers represented the Public Affairs, Communication and Human Resources departments. All the Coke volunteers provided unskilled labour towards the construction of homes while their work was supervised by skilled construction experts from Habitat Sri Lanka. Mr. Priyantha Ranasinghe, Country Human Resources Manager for Coca-Cola Beverages Sri Lanka Ltd, commented on his team’s experience at the Habitat Corporate Team Build saying, “This was a very unique experience to be a part of. It was also an amazing day of team building. There really is no other feeling like helping to make a family’s dream of a home come true. Our team is so grateful to have had the opportunity to give our time and effort towards a cause like this. We want to encourage other Corporates to also join hands with Habitat for Humanity Sri Lanka in this worthy project.”

Since 1994, Habitat for Humanity Sri Lanka has assisted more than 23,000 families by building and improving homes and by providing training and access to resources to help families improve their shelter conditions. Speaking at the event Mrs. Melissa Jayasuriya, Senior Manager, Corporate Relations & Resource Development said, “Habitat for Humanity Sri Lanka will focus on increasing the participation from Corporates of Sri Lanka to further the reach of its volunteer programme by promoting ‘Corporate Team Builds’ with Habitat for Humanity. I believe this programme allows participants a unique experience in being able to participate in an exceptional ‘team building’ activity where you are able to construct a home for a family in need.”

If you are a leader or a member of a corporate team looking to strengthen your team through a unique and dynamic team-building experience, while giving back to the community; you can partner with Habitat for Humanity Sri Lanka on its next Corporate Team Build. All contributions made through Corporate Team Builds are channeled towards sponsoring a home for a family in need through Habitat Sri Lanka’s ‘Build a Smile Campaign’. To learn more about Habitat for Humanity Sri Lanka’s work in communities across Sri Lanka, to donate or to volunteer, please visit www.habitatsrilanka.org or follow www.facebook.com/hfhsl or email info@hfhsl.org