Ceylinco General Insurance rolled out its latest CSR initiative for the distribution of free clothes to the underprivileged. As part of the programme, used clothes will be made available to the country’s poor and financially burdened.
Sri Lanka has come off worse in a post-pandemic era, with the COVID-19 leaving large scars that may take decades to cover up. As a result of the pandemic, an estimated 48 to 59 million people in South Asia have been reduced to poverty or become entrapped in its snare.
The established $3.20 per day poverty line in Sri Lanka was projected to fall to 10.9 per cent in 2021, which is still significantly higher than the 9.2 per cent in 2019. Although the country has done well to vaccinate much of its population, economic recovery is a slow-going process.
Understanding the abject poverty which threatens to consume the nation, Ceylinco General Insurance came up with an innovative strategy to address it in its own way. Ceylinco Insurance PLC Chairman and CEO, Ajith Gunawardena, is the man behind the whole thing.
Based on his concept, Ceylinco VIP Pihita centres are being opened in Bandarawela, Anuradhapura and Matara, which will handle the distribution of clothes to the needy. The centres are located in easily accessible areas and open three-days a week. Any visitor will be entitled to two pieces of clothing for personal use.
These facilities will be extended to other cities as well in the coming days.
Underling that Ceylinco General Insurance was committed to inclusive development and social development, Chairman/Chief Executive Officer, Patrick Alwis, stated that this was just one of the many projects carried out by the organization to ease the hardships of the financially burdened individuals.
“All our CSR projects are aimed at enhancing the lives of people and to let them know that they are in our thoughts always. We expect those who have a desire to help the needy will come forward and contribute to this worthy initiative to ease the burdens of our fellow citizens in whatever way they could,” he added.
The Ceylinco VIP Pihita project involves the employees of the organization in a big way. The initial contributions were done by members of the company who were asked to donate used clothing which were in good condition and cleaned.
According to Gunawardena, the response was huge. The 3,500-odd employees of Ceylinco General Insurance were more than happy to oblige. “Every staff member considered it a good opportunity to participate in a worthy cause. Now, we have invited our customers, friends as well as the public to bring-in their used clothes that are in good condition to the nearest Ceylinco VIP branch,” he states enthusiastically.
In a world where millions of clothes are destined for dumps and landfills, thanks to the fast-fashion culture, Ceylinco General Insurance has found a way to free two birds with one key. Used clothing is being reused to clothe the needy and the environment is saved from toxic landfills.