John Keells Foundation (JKF), the Corporate Responsibility entity of the John Keells Group organized a `Govi Hamuwa’ for the benefit of farmer organizations of the Morawewa DS Division in collaboration with Morawewa Irrigation Project Management Office (Morawewa Major Irrigation Projects) and World Vision Lanka on the 19th of April 2018.
Govi Hamuwa, was organized to introduce cash crops which require less water for cultivation as well as to facilitate market linkages with potential buyers in order to enhance their average income during the Yala season by managing the limited water resource. Thereby uplifting their livelihoods and empowering them to build and develop themselves and their communities in a sustainable and entrepreneurial manner. The Govi Hamuwa was attended by 72 farmers from 11 farmer organisations. Officials representing John Keells Group business such as Ceylon Cold Stores and Keells Super as well as Ceylon Biscuit Limited, CIC Agri Business and Prima Ceylon (Pvt) Ltd were present at the forum to educate the farmers. The forum concluded with a panel discussion that discussed various aspects of cultivation including fruit and vegetable cultivation, maize cultivation, ground nuts cultivation and quality standers of post harvesting maize providing the farmers with valuable insights and information through case studies and success stories.
JKF has been working in Morawewa North in collaboration with World Vision Lanka supporting the lives and livelihoods of the villagers since 2014 and has been actively involved in the implementation of a sustainable development programme including basic infrastructure, livelihoods, school and youth development and gender empowerment. These activities are carried out under the focus areas of Livelihood Development which is aimed at poverty alleviation at village level through a sustainable and integrated development programme planned and implemented in collaboration with relevant stakeholders with the aim of empowering the nation for tomorrow.
John Keells Foundation (JKF) successfully conducted a leadership development programme for the BPOs in Jaffna, Seenigama and Mahavilachchiya with the objective of assessing the development needs of the leadership teams and to set guidelines and KPIs for their ongoing learnings.
An external a trainer facilitated by JKF conducted phase 1 of the training which was designed to identify the needs and concerns of the respective BPOs. As per the insights gathered at phase 1, a Mentorship Programme has been initiated, where staff volunteers of the John Keells Group have begun mentoring the identified leadership teams to help sustain and monitor the progress achieved through the leadership training.
Thus JKF’s Livelihood Development initiatives do not only empower rural communities but it also enables our staff volunteers to share their expertise and give back to the community.
Project WAVE (Working Against Violence through Education) – the Group CSR initiative to combat gender based violence and child abuse – is in its 2nd phase which is focused on preventing and addressing sexual harassment in the workplace. This phase initially targets supervisory level staff of the Group and discusses practical aspects relating to the Group’s Policy Against Sexual Harassment and the measures that can be taken to effectively address and mitigate issues of this nature towards building an enabling work environment.
A session for Director level staff of the Group was conducted by Dr. Ramani Jayasundere and Mr. Hans Billimoria on 28th March 2018 at Cinnamon Lakeside, with the participation of 88 members. The session evoked positive feedback including the following: “It was a good eye opener as individuals may not have even thought some areas to be offensive”.
Project WAVE is planned and implemented by John Keells Foundation under the focus area of Health, as a means of enhancing the health and wellbeing of all persons targeted under the project which encompasses Group staff, strategic target groups and the general public.
John Keells Foundation organised its first career guidance program outside of Colombo on 22nd March 2018 in Mullaitivu with the participation of 142 youths from both Iranappallai and Maththalan. The main objective of the program was to educate the youth of possible job opportunities available outside of their comfort zone and to give them the confidence to take up new challenges in life. The youth received a training on life skills which was followed by presentations from John Keells Group businesses (JMSL, CCS, CHML and UA) giving them valuable insights into the companies and the available job opportunities.
“When I came home with my poor O/L results my father asked me what I would do with my life now? He actually gave up on me. It was my mother who stood by me, pushed me and supported me when I decided to apply for the John Keells Vocational Training programme last year. Now I’m working in the kitchen department at Cinnamon Red as a permanent employee and I would like to thank John Keells Foundation for giving me this golden opportunity and for helping me build my career”. This was Bhanuka Dananjaya’s sharing at the parents’ briefing on the Vocational Training Programme organized by John Keells Foundation (JKF) on 29th March 2018 at Al Iqbal MV.
The Vocational Training Programme targets students of Government schools of Colombo 02 and 03 who drop out of higher education after the Ordinary Level Examination. It is designed to give these youth an opportunity to gain experience working at John Keells businesses such as the City Hotels and supermarkets with the aim of empowering them by providing them with skill based training that would enhance their future livelihoods.
JKF organized the Parents’ Briefing targeting post- O/L students of the neighborhood schools and their parents prior to enlisting the new batch of potential vocational trainees. The briefing was conducted with the support of representatives from the hotel and supermarket sectors.
John Keells Foundation (JKF) organized the second workshop on motivation and empowerment for the women in Nithulemada, Digana on 13th February 2018 under JFK’s Village Adoption Project – Nithulemada, a collaboration with Victoria Golf & Country Resort, Rajawella. The primary objective of the workshop was to work towards establishing a womens’ society, the need for which was initially identified by the women themselves. It served as a platform that generated dialogue amongst the women enabling them to identify current problems and possible solutions and propose a strategy of working together as a structured community forum. 50 women participated in the programme and formed a committee to ensure that an open communication channel with JKF is maintained. They expressed their gratitude to JKF for providing them with this unique opportunity.