(COLOMBO, LANKAPUVATH) – Leading Sri Lankan apparel manufacturer Brandix, launched ‘Ran Daru Abhises’, a scholarship scheme to support high-performing students qualified for university education across Sri Lanka. The initiative is designed to enable students selected to state universities to continue their higher education without hindrance, thereby strengthening the future learned workforce of the country.
An event marking the symbolic launch of the programme took place under the patronage of the Minister of Education, Dinesh Gunawardena, parallel to World Children’s Day, October 1, 2021. The first recipient of the Brandix ‘Ran Daru Abhises’ scholarship, K. Akshika, was presented with a scholarship to support her as she received her tertiary education at the University of Colombo, Faculty of Technology. Akshika was ranked 2nd All-Island and 1st in the Batticaloa district in the Bio Systems Technology stream at the 2019 G.C.E Advanced Level (A/L) examinations and was employed at Brandix’s facility in Batticaloa while she awaited her results, during which time she performed her duties exceptionally.
Participating in the event, Minister of Education, Dinesh Gunawardena recognised Brandix for setting an example through its socially responsible actions across its communities. “The Ministry of Education would like to thank Brandix for making the decision to support education through the Randaru Abhises initiative. It is important that private businesses extend their support to help children continue their education and Brandix is taking a very important step in this regard. I am happy to meet Akshika, who has come here today from Batticaloa, and has chosen to continue her higher studies with the support of a company like Brandix. I would also like to invite Brandix to continue working closely with the Ministry to support students in areas beyond traditional higher studies. Let me also congratulate the company for performing very well in the present situation, both locally and overseas, and I wish you continued success.”
A significant portion of students in Sri Lanka qualifying for state universities face varying obstacles as they pursue their higher education, which in turn impacts their employability and career progression. The Brandix ‘Ran Daru Abhises’ initiative will address this issue by making an annual selection of the best A/L exam performers from communities within the ‘Brandix Model Village’ projects and support them for the 4-year duration of their university education. Phase 1 of this programme will award scholarships to 18 students across 8 districts.
“In our journey to live our purpose every day, Brandix is committed to providing inspired solutions to all our stakeholders. This has helped us build a sustainable framework that allows us to make an impact beyond the business and across our communities and planet. With Education being one of our pillars on which our CSR concept is founded on, ‘Ran Daru Abhises’ is the next milestone in supporting aspiring youth of Sri Lanka to ensure the continuity of their education despite financial constraints and other challenges. The initiative will also create an opportunity for our team members at Brandix to become an ‘Abhises Champion’ and support its funding, enabling them to play an active role in inspiring a difference across recipients of the scholarship,” said Malika Samaraweera – Head of Corporate Social Responsibility of Brandix Apparel Limited. “The potential of youth in Sri Lanka is immense, and we believe that this initiative will help develop many capable future leaders,” she added.
Enabling continuous education to pursue individual aspirations has been a key component of Brandix’s Corporate Social Responsibility strategy and is aligned with the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goal 4 of Quality Education. Within this focus, Brandix’s journey to inspire the next generation through education began in 2010 with the launch of ‘Ran Daru Scholarships’, offering financial assistance to Grade 5, O/L, and A/L students of Brandix Associates, and ‘Ran Daru Thilina’ in 2016 to provide schoolbags, stationery, and other school essentials to children from nursery age to Grade 5. Additionally, Learning and Development plays an integral role in the personal and professional development plan for Brandix Associates and includes P.A.C.E. (Personal Advancement & Career Enhancement), a Gap Inc. programme for female Associates launched in 2012, and ‘Brandix Shilpa’, an initiative that took life in 2018 to optimise existing career pathways and vocational training for Associates who lack formal education qualifications.