From right: Fashion Bug Deputy General Manager Dr. S.H.M. Faraaz, University of Colombo Director Career Guidance and Development Ajith Jayawardana and supportive staff of Ajith Jayawardene
Fashion Bug, one of Sri Lanka’s leading retail clothing chains with over 16 outlets island wide, which launched its CSR programme, Career Guidance, under its educational CSR platform ‘Sisu Dirimaga’, has now completed 28 schools with 11500 students having benefitted.
“We launched this programme with the intention of helping school leavers who need guidance regarding their future career paths. It is our aim to conduct these programmes in a total of 120 schools, thus benefitting over 100,000 students in total,” said Director Fashion Bug, Shabier Subian, whose brainchild this is.
The company which in the recent past has been involved in many such CSR initiatives, has organised a series of islandwide career guidance workshops together with the Provincial Education Offices for students who are doing the Advanced Level examination.
The most recent programme was conducted last week at the Maliyadeva Girls College Kurunagala, with over 1100 students from both Maliyadeva as well as Wayamba Royal College Kurunagala participating.
The resource person for this workshop was Ajith Jayawardana – Director, Career Guidance and Development University of Colombo. In addition E.M.M.S Ekanayaka- Divisional Secretary Kurunagala, also attended for the programme. Representing Fashion Bug were Namal Ekanayaka - Human Resources Development Manager, Oshada Eragoda- Marketing Executive, Dr. S.H.M Faraaz, Deputy General Manager, and other senior staff members who lent their support.
“The Sisu Dirimaga Foundation is a sustainable CSR platform as opposed to miscellaneous one-off projects that lack long-term objectives. The Sisu Dirimaga programme will ensure that all our projects will stem from one key platform, establishing a clear CSR identity for Fashion Bug as a responsible Corporate Citizen, as well as giving our customers the satisfaction of being part of a noble national cause, namely that of bettering the prospects of rural school leavers,” said Dr. S.H.M Faraaz.
The topics addressed at these workshops include how to get through A-level exams effectively and in a stress-free manner, coping with educational as well as family issues, managing time effectively, as well as instructing students on how to asses themselves as a student and how to pre plan their future taking into account their individual strengths and desires. New industries to enter and how to plan subjects accordingly to meet the country’s demand and supply for jobs, what sort of jobs are popular and what areas are risky, strategic planning on what one needs to do in order to select A/L subjects to match the chosen career path, are also amongst the topics under discussion. Additionally, included in the programme are a few motivational programmes, as well as ‘tricks and strategies’ on how best to prepare yourself for exams. Real-life examples of successful leaders and professionals are also given, thus serving to further motivate students to achieve their goals.
A number of projects have got under way as part of Fashion Bug’s Sisu Dirimaga scheme - namely the drinking water project that was completed and presented to the Ovitigamuwa Maha Vidyalaya, the donation of the computer unit at the Thumbe Kanishta Vidyalaya and most recently the sponsorship of the Dhammikka Kithulgoda scholarship foundation in the presence of Thilanga Sumathipala - the Deputy Speaker of the Parliament of Sri Lanka and President of the Sri Lanka Cricket council.
In addition, Fashion Bug is also involved in several other CSR projects which includes the refurbishment of the maternity ward at Ragama Teaching Hospital, the Kalubowila Hospital, Maharagama Cancer Hospital, and an environmental project namely ‘Thuru Sahasak’ and ‘Puruduvenna”, regarding preserving the environment . “Developing underprivileged schools in rural areas through mobilizing of projects, upholding and financially enabling underprivileged students who excel academically, enabling the dreams of those with the desire to learn and making a reality of education for all no matter your circumstances, is our goal,” said Subian.