The Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Bank (MUFG) conducted their annual CSR initiative, earlier this month, utilizing 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, stationary, school shoes, and a school bag. With the MUFG being an active member in supporting and engaging with the communities since 2013, the MUFG formed an impactful partnership with A-PAD Sri Lanka in the midst of the 2016 floods affecting the Kalutara district, providing much needed relief to those affected.
At the initiative, General Manager of the MUFG Mr. Tatsuo Matsushita said “It is a privilege to donate school stationary items for these children and we were rewarded with their smiling faces. Through our annual ‘MUFG Gives Back’ global community outreach program, we hope we can motivate young learners to continue their quest for knowledge, while overcoming difficulties along the way.” A-PAD Sri Lanka would like to wholeheartedly thank Mr. Masaru Enamoto, Resident Representative of MUFG, Ms. Dulini Rathnayake, HR Associate for MUFG, Ms. Chalini Jayathilake, and Mr. Matsushita for their presence and actions.
A lighthearted quiz was conducted by the MUFG on the finances and economics of saving money, turning the initiative into a fun, entertaining, and informative event with A-PAD Sri Lanka additionally engaging with the group, and the audience of parents, by giving a presentation on the disasters that occur and the preventative and safety measures that can be taken by families and the children in preparation for such circumstances. A-PAD Sri Lanka is thankful to the Dodangoda District Secretary, Mr. U. D. C. Jaylal, Kalutara Government Agent and Mrs. K. T. S. Derarathne, Additional Divisional Secretary, Dodangoda, for providing A-PAD Sri Lanka with their full and utmost support in helping with the co-ordination efforts of the initiative.
The Kalutara district, which encompasses the Dodangoda district, is categorized as a zone that is prone to flooding, made all the more evident by the floods which decimated the region in 2016. Creating awareness of the methods and actions that can be taken during such disasters through such presentations will help the populaces not only mitigate succumbing to the incoming disaster, but also help others by doing the same and increase the chance of survival. A-PAD continually influences the CSR initiatives and events hosted by corporate companies to include presentations, public forums, and dissemination of informative materials that create awareness, to name just a few, in order to reduce the risk to persons and communities thereby enhancing the adaptation and resilience to disasters.
The overall success of the initiative by the MUFG, steered by the garnered 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, Philippines, Bangladesh, Korea, and Sri Lanka. The alliance continually co-ordinates disaster preparedness, carries out disaster mitigation, and conducts disaster risk reduction activities amongst all flocks to ensure that a minimal loss of life is achieved during disaster scenarios and that the right resources are deployed to those in need using optimal channels.
With the MUFG and A-PAD both being Japan based organizations, 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. Country Director for A-PAD Sri Lanka, Mr. Firzan Hashim, personifies the mission of the partnership platform created by A-PAD stating “Our goal is to help identify the needs of the areas affected and get them the right resources that they require, from the support of the private sector who want to help, at the right time through the A-PAD connection.” , such as helping the MUFG provide for the students in the Dodangoda district, who were exceptionally grateful for the assistance given and gifts received.