Hemas Outreach Foundation recently opened its 60th ‘Piyawara’ Pre-School in Wadinagala, Ampara and continues to support the national agenda in developing Early Childhood Care and Development (ECCD) in Sri Lanka.
Initiated in 2002, the ‘Piyawara’ was launched in partnership with the Children’s Secretariat of the State Ministry of Women and Child Development, Pre-Schools and Primary Education, School Infrastructure, and Education Services. ‘Piyawara’ aims to improve the lives of underprivileged children in Sri Lanka by emphasizing key aspects within the framework of the ECCD. Over the past two decades, the initiative has grown in stature and impact to become one of Sri Lanka’s most successful public-private partnerships; with 60 preschools across the country, over 200 teachers, and a daily impact on the lives of over 4000 children.
Commenting on the initiative, Group CEO of Hemas Holdings PLC, Kasturi Chellaraja Wilson said: “Hemas understands the significance of investing in early childhood development, and through ‘Piyawara’ we strive to shape the future of children, especially from underprivileged communities, ensuring that no child is left behind. During the twenty-years, our partnership with the Children’s Secretariat has grown stronger than ever, demonstrating the success of government-private sector collaboration in addressing national issues. We are determined to expand our activities and reach out to other underserved communities in the process of building strong and equitable communities in the coming years”.
‘Piyawara’ a sustainable and ongoing project by the Hemas Outreach Foundation, is a successful initiative demonstrating the effectiveness of public-private sector collaboration in addressing national issues and building strong communities. Children in Wadinagala, Ampara, an impoverished rural area were attending a common community center as the temporary shelter for schooling with minimum facilities that were collapsing due to heavy rains. By constructing the 60th ‘Piyawara’ Pre-School, the Group strived to create a conducive environment for children to learn in their early years.
“Investing in ECCD is a healthy way of developing Sri Lanka’s human capital. Early Childhood Education is key during this crucial developmental stage. After a child is born, the first foundation in a child’s life apart from what is imparted by parents, is laid in pre-school. ‘Piyawara’ provides early childhood learning to children aged 3-5 years old, with a mission to provide good care for young children in order to provide a solid foundation for a lifelong journey.
We are confident that ‘Piyawara’ Preschools will meet and exceed the expectations of parents who want quality experiences for their children in safe indoor and outdoor learning environments”, added Shiromi Masakorala, Executive Director of the Hemas Outreach Foundation and AYATI Trust Sri Lanka. The Hemas Outreach Foundation has been leading the Hemas Group’s purpose of promoting ‘healthful living’ through transformative corporate social responsibility. The mission of the foundation is to “To enrich the lives of underprivileged children of Sri Lanka through early childhood care and development (ECCD). The foundation operates as a Trust, managed by an eminent board of trustees.