Colombo. Monday 11 December 2017. The Hemas’ chain of Piyawara pre-schools has, since its inception in 2002, enriched the lives of underprivileged children across Sri Lanka through a focused early childhood care and development (ECCD) programme. Piyawara now has 44 such pre-schools across the country with over 3500 children cared for by over 150 teachers daily. This goes on record as being a sustainable and successful model enriching the lives of the most vulnerable communities in Sri Lanka.
It continues in its quest with the recent addition of three more pre-schools benefitting underprivileged communities in Mahasenpura and Dehikindagama in the Monaragala district, and, Bogaswewa in the Vavuniya district
“Investment in ECCD is a healthy way of developing the human capital of Sri Lanka. It is our mission to nurture young children with a solid foundation by giving them the opportunities to grow into successful individuals, who in turn add will empower society. Our mission is to nurture young children with good care in order to provide a solid foundation for a life long journey. The initial foundation provided by Hemas Piyawara resonates throughout their lives. This in turn gives us immeasurable joy as their lives are a testimony to the success of this selfless endeavor,” said Executive Director of the Hemas Outreach Foundation, Shiromi Masakorala.
Launched in 2002, the ‘Piyawara’ programme is the primary Corporate Social Responsibility project of Hemas Holdings PLC in partnership with the Children’s Secretariat of Ministry of Women and Child Affairs. The project focuses on key aspects within the framework of ECCD providing a holistic approach to pre-school education, teacher training, parental awareness programmes, emergency intervention during disasters, child protection etc.
The 42nd and 43rd ‘Piyawara’ community pre-schools were declared open in Dehikindagama and Mahasenpura respectively by Chairperson of the Hemas Outreach Foundation (HOF) Abbas Esufally with Trustees Sue Evans and Azira Esufally in attendance.
Children in these underprivileged localities did not have a pre-school for many years and were using the village community centre and temple premises with bare minimum facilities as a temporary pre-school.
The Dehikindagama pre-school was funded by Der Touristik, Germany while the Mahasenpura pre-school was funded by Reiner Meutsch Stiftung FLY & HELP/ families Kögler, Horn, Döppers, Mühmel from Germany.
Meanwhile the 44th Hemas Piyawara Pre-School was declared open in Bogaswewa, Vavuniya by Trustee of the Hemas Outreach Foundation /Group Director Hemas Holdings PLC Shaktha Amaratunga together with Security Forces Commander Wanni, Major General Kumudu Perera.
The residents of the Bogaswewa area were resettled post-war under difficult conditions. The pre-school was run in a mud hut with 20 children. With the opening of this new pre-school, a huge need in the area has finally been addressed with the total number of children increasing to 57.
The Sri Lanka Army played a key role in assisting the Hemas Outreach Foundation to build the Piyawara pre-school and keep expenditure at a bare minimum with the soldiers even going the extra mile to make bricks for the construction of this school. The school was funded by DER TOURCONTACT Germany through Fly and Help Germany.
Managed by the Hemas Outreach Foundation (www.hemasoutreach.com), Piyawara stands today as a successful initiative, a sustainable and ongoing project by Hemas and the Children’s Secretariat, demonstrating the success of government – private sector partnerships in addressing national issues and creating strong communities.