By Nipun Nupearachchi
My journey with the China State Construction Engineering Corporation (CSCEC) Sri Lanka started in July 2022 and has been the most amazing, challenging and meaningful career experience ever.
This special feeling is quite strong when I recall enrolling in the CSR programme narrated below.
At the end of last year, CSCEC Sri Lanka launched a programme named “LIGHT UP LIFE & WITNESS HAPPINESS”, which was aimed to support low-income families, students and teachers in remote schools in Sri Lanka.
Along with my Chinese colleague, I set out to visit a few remote villages keeping aside our busy schedules. As I recalled, during travelling to the very remote areas in Sri Lanka to find the most suitable school for the donation programme, we did not even have time to think about our lunch or dinner. We were fatigued by the long journey, but the happiness of helping people in poverty replaced it at last.
As a result of our hard work, we found the village of Maradankadawala located in the North Central province. This was the fourth village we inspected.
As part of the village, Ihalakaagama Primary School has about 105 students, and their only request was schoolbooks and other study materials for the 2023 school term.
Due to the prevailing economic crisis, parents in the village were going through a tough time buying school study materials for their children. Quite similar to them, we found that some villagers who were suffering from power cuts were also expecting assistance.
Once we were back in Colombo, we informed about this village to the senior management and eventually the CSCEC headquarters in Beijing. The CSCEC management did not think twice and they requested the team “Ceylon Dream Makers” to gather and make arrangements to support the selected school and the students before the new school term.
To the people without electricity, our company imported a batch of solar lamps from China. The kindness of the CSCEC attracted the attention of the Manusath Derana program and they decided to support us organizing the event in every possible way.
On 27th December 2022, the day of the ceremony, the school and the villagers welcomed the CSCEC team and the Manusath Derana team in a traditional way.
More than 100 households including villagers, students and teachers received donations. They prepared some authentic Sri Lankan dishes for our CSCEC staff to show their appreciation.
What Mr. S.P.M Karunathilaka, the Principal of Ihalakaagama Primary School, said greatly impressed me: “These items are exactly what our teachers and students need, they just arrive just a few days before the school started on the New Year's Day.” He also pointed out that they rarely received donations in the past, and this time the donation helped them the most.
Frankly speaking, I have served a few leading conglomerates for the past 10 years in my career and was fortunate enough to participate in several CSR projects, but by far this would be the most memorable CSR initiative in which I participated.
Once again, the CSCEC showcased the Sri Lankan people that the Chinese people are with them during this economic crisis and I personally was very happy and proud to be a part of this great initiative, which helped to support these families and witness their happiness.