28 Jun, 2019
“What is the essence of life? To serve others and to do good. To know that you have made something better”, Platinum awardee Abhishek Perera expressing his thoughts on volunteering at John Keells Foundation.
John Keells Foundation held its annual Volunteer Recognition Day (VRD) on 27th June 2019, to recognize staff who went beyond their day-to-day work and make a hands-on contribution to community and environment development, participating in the CSR projects and initiatives of John Keells Group in the financial year 2018/19. Most projects carried out by the Foundation functions with the support of staff volunteers. The Group’s volunteer network enables employees to go beyond their day-to-day work and make a hands-on contribution to the community and environment development while the volunteer leave policy facilitates the release of staff for CSR activities with minimum restraint.
Chairman, Krishan Balendra in his address, thanked all the volunteers for their contribution towards maintaining JKH as a responsible corporate citizen and encouraged more staff members to volunteer, pointing out the drop in volunteer numbers in 2018/19.
Staff volunteers vary from project champions, trainers and trained assistants to those who engage in skill-based volunteerism and administrative support. 2018/19 saw 786 staff volunteers engaged in 1,287 instances accounting for 4,652 hours. Every year volunteers are recognized for their commitment and contribution with ‘Platinum’, ‘Gold’, ‘Silver’, ‘Bronze’ or `Merit’ ratings based on the Foundation’s Volunteer Rating Mechanism with volunteers under the top 3 categories being felicitated at the event. For the first time in the history of VRD three exceptional volunteers were awarded Platinum trophies in recognition of their passion and commitment towards the Group’s CSR activities.
The 3 Platinum Award Winners were:
Ivan Perera – Security Manager at Habarana Lodge by Cinnamon: Ivan is an HIV Master Trainer who volunteered 36 hours of his time towards conducting 13 awareness sessions on HIV & AIDS at Army Training schools. He’s also assumed responsibility for not only conducting the awareness sessions but overall coordination of the sessions.
Abhishek Perera – Process Associate at InfoMate: A passionate volunteer who engaged in over 15 instances covering a range of projects such as Vision, Project WAVE, No Kunu, Kala Pola, Soft Skills, Plastic Cycle, and location-based CSR and Neighbourhood Schools by putting in a total of 89.5 hours of volunteerism.
Damith Perera – Team Lead in Foreign Operations at InfoMate: A hard-working individual who volunteered 99 hours towards CSR related projects. He has also volunteered in initiatives under Vision, Kala Pola, No Kunu, Neighbourhood Schools and Project WAVE; recording a total of 29 volunteer instances
The Foundation also took the opportunity to pay tribute at this gathering to Ms Dilani Alagratnam who has been the President for CSR since August 2014 and is due to retire at the end of the year and also present her with a token of appreciation.