CSR effort combines donations with disaster prepareness | Daily News

CSR effort combines donations with disaster prepareness

Informative posters and flyers on disaster risk reduction.
Informative posters and flyers on disaster risk reduction.

The Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Bank (MUFG) conducted its annual CSR initiative last month, utilising the platform built by the Asia Pacific Alliance for Disaster Management (A-PAD) Sri Lanka. The initiative saw a group of 50 children from low-income households in the Dodangoda district receive educational packs containing exercise books, stationery, school shoes, and a school bag. Since MUFG has been actively supporting and engaging with communities for 2013, it formed a partnership with A-PAD Sri Lanka during the 2016 floods which affected the Kalutara district, providing much-needed relief to those affected.

MUFG General Manager Tatsuo Matsushita said, “It is a privilege to donate school stationery to the children and we were rewarded with their smiling faces. Through our annual ‘MUFG Gives Back’ global community outreach programme, we hope we can motivate young learners to continue their quest for knowledge, while overcoming difficulties along the way.”

A-PAD Sri Lanka said it was grateful to MUFG Resident Representative Masaru Enamoto, HR Associate Dulini Ratnayake, Chalini Jayathilake, and Matsushita for their assistance in the project.

A quiz was conducted on the economics of saving, turning the initiative into a fun, entertaining, and informative event with A-PAD Sri Lanka additionally engaging with the group which included parents, by giving a presentation on possible disasters and the preventative and safety measures that can be taken.

A-PAD Sri Lanka also said it was grateful to Dodangoda District Secretary U. D. C. Jayalal, the Kalutara Government Agent and Dodangoda Additional District Secretary K. T. S. Deraratne for providing their full support in helping with the coordination efforts of the initiative.

The Kalutara district is categorised as a zone that is prone to flooding, as evidenced by the floods which decimated the region in 2016. Creating awareness of the methods and actions that can be taken during such disasters will mitigate the effects of any future disaster.

A-PAD continually associates with CSR initiatives and events hosted by corporate companies to include presentations, public forums, and dissemination of informative materials that create awareness to reduce the risk to persons and communities, thereby enhancing their adaptation and resilience to disasters.

The overall success of the initiative by MUFG, steered by the experience of A-PAD Sri Lanka, highlights the potential that can be achieved by private enterprises in their efforts to provide relief and aid to those affected by disasters.

The Asia Pacific Alliance for Disaster Management holds offices in six countries across the region, including Japan, Indonesia, the Philippines, Bangladesh, Korea, and Sri Lanka. The alliance continually coordinates disaster preparedness, carries out disaster mitigation, and conducts disaster risk reduction activities to ensure that minimal loss of life occurs during disasters and that the right resources are deployed to those in need, using optimal channels.

With the MUFG and A-PAD both being Japan-based organisations, a strong bond was formed that would help ensure that the people on the ground are not left behind and are given the relief they need to get back on their feet.

A-PAD Sri Lanka Country Director Firzan Hashim said, “Our goal is to help identify the needs of the areas affected and get them the right resources that they require with the support of the private sector who want to help, at the right time, through the A-PAD connection.” One such effort was MUFG providing for the students in the Dodangoda district, who were grateful for the assistance given. 

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