Standard Chartered Sri Lanka announced the donation of LKR3,680,000/- (USD 20,000) to the Foundation of Goodness (FoG) to improve the digital literacy skills of students at their centres in rural villages. The donation will help equip the centres with upgraded IT infrastructure, benefiting over 2,500 students in the Northern, Eastern and Southern provinces.
“Sri Lanka saw a sudden switch in the education system from physical to virtual due to the pandemic driven nation-wide lockdown, proving the inevitable dependence on technology. However, the lack of IT infrastructure in our country has made keeping up with the change difficult, especially for the rural communities. Standard Chartered, both globally and locally, is dedicated to achieving the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and we believe that this donation will take us one step closer to achieving inclusive and equitable education to students across Sri Lanka,” said Bingumal Thewarathanthri, CEO, Standard Chartered Sri Lanka commenting on the donation to Foundation of Goodness.
The new IT equipment purchased through the project will include high-speed computers with upgraded software, fast internet connections and Audio-Visual equipment allowing teachers to help facilitate a blended teaching approach by integrating digital learning tools in lessons.
Anuk De Silva, Head, Corporate Affairs, Brand & Marketing, Standard Chartered Sri Lanka commented on the Bank’s donation, “In today’s day and age, it is important that youth keep abreast of the developments in the world, especially in the digital front. Standard Chartered values the opportunity to create a positive impact in this area, supporting students in need with vital digital infrastructure facilities enabling them to learn new and more innovative educational content necessary for their growth. This year-long project also creates an avenue for staff at Standard Chartered to share their skills and expertise with the beneficiary children as part of the Bank’s Employee Volunteering mechanism.”
Foundation of Goodness is a Sri Lanka-based non-profit organisation dedicated to bridge the urban/ rural divide through humanitarian and developmental programmes across 500 villages in Sri Lanka, reaching over 35,000 beneficiaries annually, free of cost. FoG empowerment centres have been offering free Computer Training courses with high standards of IT training for many years. However, most existing computer systems are outdated, causing disadvantage to the rural youth looking to develop essential technological skills required for them to excel in a digitised world.
Expressing his gratitude towards Standard Chartered Bank, the Founder & Chief Trustee of Foundation of Goodness, Kushil Gunasekera said, “This donation means so much to us because it’s going to impact the lives of so many youth in rural areas who are in need of an up-to-date digital learning environment. Our centres in Rathgama, Mathagal, Monaragala, Sittandy, Oddussudan, Thirukkovil and Bandarawela are absolutely thrilled to have access to the latest technologies which will enable them to keep up with the rest and succeed in the digital age.”
Standard Chartered Sri Lanka recognises the manifest need for digital learning and has facilitated this donation with the goal of creating equal learning opportunities for students across Sri Lanka. Standard Chartered Bank recently published its first annual Sustainable Finance Impact Report highlighting the Bank’s unique contribution towards achieving the United Nations’ SDGs, of which ensuring inclusive and equitable quality education and promoting lifelong learning opportunities for all is a key factor.