AkzoNobel, a globally renowned company in paints and coatings worldwide and manufacturer of Dulux Paints, renewed its partnership agreement with SOS Children’s Villages Sri Lanka for the second time consecutively in September this year. This partnership is part of AkzoNobel’s ‘Let’s Colour’ initiative project, aimed at tackling youth unemployment in the country through a series of educational and renovation training programs, with a focus on assisting youth coming from unstable backgrounds. These programs include training on professional painting and renovation, space utilization, and soft skill development which will enable youth to find respectable employment opportunities and be productive citizens of the country.
The partnership between SOS Children’s Villages and AkzoNobel is not only limited to Sri Lanka. This is a global partnership from which over 1000 young individuals have gained skills for better employment from ten countries; and it has reached over 5000 young adults worldwide.
With a presence in 136 countries, SOS Children’s Villages has over 70 years of expertise in caring for children without parental care, strengthening poverty-stricken families at risk of breaking down, and empowering youth in need worldwide. In Sri Lanka, this organisation has been present since the year 1981, and has served Sri Lankans for almost 40 years. There are six Children’s Villages in Sri Lanka located in Piliyandala, Nuwara-Eliya, Galle, Anuradhapura, Monaragala, and Jaffna.
In 2019, AkzoNobel also painted SOS Children’s Village in Monaragala to give the houses in this Children’s Village a fresh new look. Both of these organisations in Sri Lanka look forward to continuing this strong partnership into the foreseeable future and help many youth in need as they can in order to give such youth a better and a brighter future.
Each year, the partnership receives great feedback from both young people and employees who volunteer to be part of the programme. Young people not only gain new life and professional skills, they also report feeling more motivated and confident in their ability to find a decent job in the future, thinking more positively about their future and understanding better how to behave professionally in a work environment.
The employees and AkzoNobel as a company also benefit from participating in the programme. The volunteers feel more positive about themselves, report being able to put their talent, skills and experience to use, and highlight the value of developing new skills in the process. Last but not least, they feel more engaged at work and are prouder to work for AkzoNobel.
Divakar Ratnadurai, National Director of SOS Children’s Villages, Sri Lanka had this to say about the partnership renewal, “SOS Children’s Villages Sri Lanka is inspired by the forthright endeavour set forth to uplift life situations of youth, equipping them with professional skills, linguistics, and character formation required, to meet demands in the present-day job market. When civic Organizations like SOS Children’s Villages, partner with powerhouse corporates, such as AkzoNobel, to accomplish CSR Projects, it is the society that benefits on the whole at the end. Thus, SOS Children’s Villages Sri Lanka, looks forward to continue its endeavours with AkzonNobel, to transform lives of youth to create a better society.”
Wasantha Heenatigala, Managing Director of AkzoNobel Sri Lanka stated, “We are happy to continue our partnership with SOS Children’s Villages, Sri Lanka to empower and provide opportunities for youth through programs such as the ‘Let’s Colour’ initiative. Companies can contribute so much to society with right CSR partnerships and productive projects.” He also added, “AkzoNobel firmly believes the power of paint can change the lives of many, and will keep reaching out to individuals and communities alike, to colour their lives with skills needed for a brighter future, and demonstrate to them, the true power of paint.”