ProMate gives used exercise books a second life to aid visually impaired students’ education

(LANKAPUVATH | COLOMBO) –  Leading stationery manufacturer ProMate Sri Lanka participated in an impactful book collection drive recently to help visually impaired students pursue their studies, engage in communication, and interact with the world.ProMate is a product of one of the most famed and oldest pioneer book publishers in Sri Lanka, Ratna Publishers.

Due to rapid inflation and rising costs, the price of school supplies has increased by a staggering 300%. This has exacerbated existing challenges for students, especially schools for the blind across the country faced with sourcing the necessary paper for their students.

It is a known fact that the enrollment of visually impaired students at schools is dismal, and few receive a proper education.Braille paper is expensive and often in short supply. ProMate identified the importance and urgency of upcycling usedexercise books for their education and as a means to expand access to learning. After all, to a visually impaired student, a used exercise book is like brand new.

Supporting this worthy cause, ProMate lent its extensive branch network as collection points for the public to donate used CR notebooks. It was noted that each book provides six pages that can be used for Braille writing. By upcycling used books, ProMate realized that it could maximize resources for visually impaired students’ education.

ProMate estimates that papers worth LKR 500 million are discarded annually in Sri Lanka. Upcycling them for social good is also environmentally and economically beneficial.ProMatecollected used books, trimmed the pages to A4 size, and distributed them to the special schools most in need. ProMatesupplied the A4 sheetsto schools based on the number of students.

The company also aims to deliver papers using cast-off books to aid Braille education nationwide, as the materials will help hundreds of students continue their studies despite fiscal challenges.

As part of the campaign to create awareness for the cause and educate the public on upcycling used books, the company also collaborated with advertising agency Ogilvy to create a heartwarming video. The video depicts how students can pass down used books to benefit those who are visually impaired, just as families hand down toys or clothes between siblings.

Volunteer Sri Lanka, a non-profit, also partnered to expand the reach of drop-off locations using its volunteer base across provinces, widening the collection network. The initiative enables Sri Lankans nationwide to come together and support the education of visually impaired children, enabling the public to uplift disadvantaged communities.

The impactful upcycling effort aimed to make a positive difference for visually impaired students and schools. ProMate firmly believes that education is the greatest empowering force, and upcycling used books can help unlock potential and transform lives.

ProMate’s efforts also reflect its ethos of enabling progress through knowledge and making sustainable use of resources. The company hopes that, through its initiatives, more children can access learning materials despite constraints.

The collaborative campaign also highlights the power of businesses partnering with civic organizations to uplift communities.


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