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CDB’s Autism Awareness Project bags another award

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  • Accorded the Ian Dias Abeysinghe Memorial JASTECA CSR/Sustainability Special Award
  • Award places the importance of early detection of autism in the spotlight

 

Recognising a disorder that afflicts one in hundred children in Sri Lanka and creating awareness to ensure understanding and forming a supporting framework for early detection, CDB’s ‘Act Early for Autism’ project gained yet another accolade for its inclusive CSR focus, this time from JASTECA, the Japan-Sri Lanka Technical & Cultural Association.  Last year, the project gained a Category Merit Certificate at the Best Corporate Citizen Sustainability Awards for the Best Sustainability Project.  CDB was accorded the Ian Dias Abeysinghe Memorial JASTECA CSR/Sustainability Special Award 2017 at a gala ceremony held recently, rewarded on its holistic business approach to create long-term shareholder value.

 

Selected for embracing opportunities and managing risks derived from economic, environmental and social developments, the Autism Awareness Project reiterates CDB’s commitment to strengthen its unique brand of sustainability which makes sustainable business practices critical to its business imperatives.  As Deputy CEO/CFO Damith Tennakoon mentions, “Our journey of twenty years which has placed us now among the top seven NBFIs in the country has shown us the importance of incorporating a strong and holistic sustainability ethos into our business model, which ultimately creates long-term stakeholder value.  We have always believed in putting our words into action and hence, our thought process and action plans are always integral to ensuring that sustainability imperatives are priority.”

 

Collaborating with the Sri Lanka Association for Child Development, CDB invested in a three phase project launched in 2016 on its 20th anniversary to highlight a disorder that for the most part remains under the radar.  Ignored, unattended and unspoken of, CDB placed autism under the spotlight, launching a mass media campaign for early identification, setting up an Autism Trust Fund and having a dedicated hotline at the CDB Customer Care Center to create a holistic support framework for families to obtain information and assistance.

 

This was followed up with tri-lingual poster campaigns via mobile clinics and outreach programmes conducted at rural hospitals across the country.  Instigating stakeholder ownership into the project, CDB will draw in customer contributions to strengthen the Autism Trust Fund by mobilising Rs 100 for each contribution of Rs 1 Mn business secured.

 

“There is a permeating lack of awareness on this complex neuro-developmental disorder and we want to spread the message that early identification will ensure that developmental delays in children are prevented,” says Tennakoon. “While the award itself gives us great pride, the fact that autism and the importance of early detection are brought into the limelight through these awards helps us achieve our goal of increasing awareness and thereby, assisting families and children with autism deal with this developmental disorder.”

 

 

Dr Samanmali Sumanasekera from SLACD is presented with the Winner’s certificate by Counselor/Deputy Head of Mission Embassy of Japan Koji Yagi, while at the far right, Head of Sustainability Aroshi Ranatunga holds the award.  Also in the photograph L to R: President of JASTECA Nihal Seneviratne, Chairman CSR Sustainability Awards Committee Athula Edirisinghe, Chairman JASTECA Awards Committee Nimal Perera and Director/CEO of Unisons Capital Leasing Limited Karthik Elangovan