K. Akshika, first recipient of the Ran Daru Abhises scholarship
Brandix, leading Sri Lankan apparel manufacturer, launched ‘Ran Daru Abhises’, a scholarship scheme to support high-performing students qualifying for university education across Sri Lanka. The initiative is designed to enable students selected to state universities to continue their higher education without hindrance, delivering an inspired solution to strengthen the future learned workforce of the country.
An event to symbolically launch the initiative took place under the patronage of the Minister of Education, Dinesh Gunawardena, parallel to World Children’s Day on 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. She joined Brandix’s facility in Batticaloa while she awaited her results, and has performed her duties exceptionally for the past two years.
Minister 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 Ran Daru 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 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.”
“In our journey to live our purpose every day, Brandix is committed to providing inspired solutions to all our stakeholders. 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 continue with their education despite financial constraints and other challenges. Phase 1 of the programme will award scholarships to 18 students across 8 districts. 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 inspire a difference for recipients of the scholarship,” said Malika Samaraweera – Head of Corporate Social Responsibility of Brandix Apparel Limited.
Brandix’s journey to inspire through education began in 2010 with the launch of ‘Ran Daru Scholarships’, for 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. 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 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.
Malika Samaraweera – Head of Corporate Social Responsibility, Brandix Apparel Limited
Malika added, “It is the first time that we are extending our Education initiatives under the CSR pillar to include the wider community at national level. As a responsible corporate entity, we believed it was important to do our part to support and sustain our country’s development through continued education. Schools for Ran Daru Abhises are located within our Model Village where establishments within a 10-km radius of our factories can nominate their top performers at the A/L examinations for the scholarship. Other considerations would include extra-curricular activities of the students as well their financial background to ensure that well-deserving candidates were provided the due support. The initiative will be sustained in alignment with the Ministry of Education, and we look forward to seeing aspirational young students achieve their potential.”
Hameed Shazuli, Senior Manager – Human Resources of the Brandix Batticaloa team commented., “Akshika was conscientious and performed all her assigned tasks with minimum supervision. While working at Batticaloa, she received her A/L results, and we were happy to find out that she was the District 1st and the Island 2nd in her chosen stream. She was also mindful of sharing her knowledge with other young students, and on weekdays, taught A/L subjects before her shift at the factory. We are proud to have her in our team and wish Akshika all success in her studies and future endeavours.”
Akshika expressed her gratitude towards Brandix on being the first recipient of the Ran Daru Abhises scholarship. “This is a wonderful surprise for me. I joined Brandix for employment and now I can complete my University education as well. I am exceedingly grateful to Brandix for their support and care, and I hope that this inspires other students to do their best in their studies and achieve their goals even amidst challenges.”