ComBank joins Mother Sri Lanka to promote responsible citizenship

The Commercial Bank of Ceylon has announced a partnership with Mother Sri Lanka (MSL) a non-profit organisation to fund ‘Project RUN’ which is the only programme in the country that promotes the concept of being a ‘Responsible Citizen’ among school children.

The Bank’s funding will go towards a competition launched island-wide to encourage students to design projects that help uplift life and enrich communities across the country. The scope includes selecting the best projects of three all-Island winners and nine provincial winners. They will be announced at a grand awards ceremony to be held in April 2022. Around 75,000 students from 1,500 schools are expected to participate in Project RUN which is named after the acronyms of three components: Responsible citizenship, Unity, and National Pride.

Launched to promote responsible citizenship and citizen engagement, MSL Project RUN has already implemented 1,400 projects and is a tried and tested programme which has been sustained for over eight years with the approval of the Ministry of Education.Commercial Bank’s CSR Trust is supporting the 2021-22 edition of the programme, also known as RUN Stage IV.

Commenting on Commercial Bank’s latest commitment to the community, the Bank’s Managing Director Mr S. Renganathan said: “Commercial Bank is no stranger to empowering school children through its CSR initiatives that promote IT literacy and mastery of the STEM subjects on a national scale. With this partnership, we are privileged to support an effort to mould young minds to be more socially-conscious so that they grow up to be well-rounded citizens that contribute to the community both through their skills and a sense of national responsibility.”

The Chairperson of Mother Sri Lanka, Dr Janaki Kuruppu said:“As citizens of this country, we must acknowledge that we have a long way to go in developing the concept of Responsible Citizenship.  How many times have we noticed someone abusing the free health system or the free education system in our country, or in much simpler terms, noticed with sadness how someone is misusing a public toilet, a government office, or a public transport facility with callous disregard to the facility or public funds? We at MSL feel that as the country is gaining material development, there is a dire need to develop the feeling of responsibility among our citizens to appreciate the resources given to us. Therefore we started this “attitude change” endeavour among children in Grades 6 to 12 under Mother Sri Lanka Project RUN.”

Mother Sri Lanka (MSL) is a non-profit organisation which brings together the collaborative efforts of the public, private, and non-profit sectors focusing primarily on the educational, socio-economic, and cultural development of Sri Lankans. The organisation is governed by a team of professionals who have been contributing their time voluntarily in the eight years since its inception. MSL projects are implemented through a network of 1,600 school clubs and over 500 preschools with a membership of approximately 75,000 coveringall 25 districts of the country. The objectives ofMSL Project RUN are to develop responsible citizens who understand and respect other ethnic and religious groups and are proud to beSri Lankans. Moreover, it helps develop entrepreneurship, leadership, projectmanagement skills, and personality traits such as self-confidence, independence, creative andstrategic thinking of the youth.

In the sphere of corporate social responsibility, Commercial Bank’s largest contribution is towards IT education in Sri Lanka. The Bank has to date donated 200 fully-equipped IT laboratories to schools and other institutions and is a partner to the ‘Smart Schools Project’ that helps to introduce a comprehensive digital Learning Management System (LMS) to 65 schools in the country. The Bank also supported a project to set up 100 Smart classrooms that focus on the STEM(Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) subjects as part of its centenary celebrations in 2020 and has funded projects to set up math labs in schools and to enhance vocational training opportunities for students that do not qualify for higher education. The Bank has also launched ‘Sipnena’ – its own innovative online educational website that brings the universe of knowledge closer to Sri Lankan children.

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