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LIFE STYLE NEWS

Aspiring to Empower Communities: Achini's Inspiring Journey to Tackle Plastic Waste in Sri Lanka

Lankapuvath | Colombo | 11-12-2023 |

Sri Lanka currently imports over 500,000 metric tons of virgin plastic annually, while only 33% of the daily 10,786 metric tons of plastic waste is collected as per industry reports. About 3% of this collected waste is recycled nationwide. In the midst of this waste management challenge, Achini (42 years) from Ganemulla emerges as an unsung hero, embodying the transformative power of determination and knowledge.

Achini dedicated herself to collecting a post-consumer PET bottles and it is remarkable how her appreciation for PET bottles and their untapped potential blossomed in just under a year. Her affinity for recycling plastic, born out of a longstanding love for helping the environment, has now evolved into a powerful mission.

The ASPIRE Project: A Beacon of Hope
In response to the urgent issue of waste mismanagement, the ‘Accelerating and Strengthening the Plastic Informal Recycling Eco-system (ASPIRE) in Sri Lanka’ Project, funded by The Coca-Cola Foundation and implemented by World Vision Lanka, seeks to fortify plastic collection, enhance plastic waste recycling, and promote responsible PET plastic disposal. Achini's transformational journey begins here.

Initially, she viewed the project with skepticism. However, her first encounter with ASPIRE shattered these preconceived notions, revealing a world far beyond her expectations. The project opened her eyes to the realm of plastic waste: various types, efficient management, and the possibilities it held for creating stable livelihoods.

The awareness and training provided by ASPIRE have fundamentally changed Achini's perspective. What she once considered disposable PET bottles, like most others, she now recognizes as valuable resources. Her monthly collection has grown from 40 kg to 125 kg in just five months, expanding well beyond her immediate neighborhood.

Beyond Collection: An Advocate for Change
Achini is not just a waste collector; she is a catalyst for change. She has become the primary collector for two local schools and the town of Ganemulla. But her role extends beyond waste collection; she's a dedicated advocate for knowledge-sharing. Whether with teachers, students, shop owners, or households, Achini imparts the wisdom she has gained through ASPIRE. Even while waiting to pick up her own children from their tuition classes on Saturdays, she seizes the opportunity to educate parents on essential waste management tips.

She is just one of the local community members who have partnered with ASPIRE. They receive formal training as 'Recycle Industry Assistants' at National Vocational Qualification (NVQ) level 4, equipping them with the technical skills required to manage waste effectively. In addition, they gain expertise in waste segregation, and responsible PET plastic disposal, and are provided with the necessary tools and equipment to build their livelihoods.

The Tale of Transformation and Empowerment: A Holistic Impact
ASPIRE's impact extends beyond waste collection. The project collaborates with the families of its participants through World Vision's 'Journey of Transformation' model. It fosters collective development, promoting respect and understanding within families and raising awareness of gender roles. Achini, her husband, and children now work together as a family, inspired by their collective vision. Her husband, who can no longer work regularly due to health issues, has become her greatest support. Their family's shared efforts have led to the creation of value-added products, with a new tile awaiting certification as their latest achievement.

Achini's life no longer mirrors the insignificance she once felt. Today, not only has her income improved, but so has her overall well-being. Her increased income allows her to take care of her husband's medical expenses, demonstrating the profound impact of ASPIRE on her life. She has gone further by building a network of 20 more resource collectors, providing employment to two vulnerable individuals, including with psychosocial challenges. She actively engages with 26 Community Development Societies each month, and is recognized as an environmental champion.

Reshaping Narratives, One PET Bottle at a Time
Achini's story is not just about waste collection; it's a tale of personal transformation, community empowerment, and environmental stewardship. Thanks to ASPIRE’s dedication, The Coca-Cola Foundation (TCCF), and World Vision Lanka, waste collectors like Achini are rewriting their narrative, one PET bottle at a time.

Coca-Cola in Sri Lanka has set up over 555 PET Collection Points across 19 districts, along with Material Recovery Facilities and resource banks, resulting in the collection of approximately 800 metric tons of plastic waste each year. Remarkably, the ASPIRE Project has seen PET collection rates rise from 5.95 metric tons in January to an impressive 89.44 metric tons in September.
Niluksha Myelvaganam

Lankapuvath | Colombo | 29-11-2023 |
VIEWR COMMENT - Amal de Mel | Jerom is a crook in my opinion 😉 wanted by the CID for Rs 12 billion in his bank 🏦 accounts ? ( 💰 laundering just like his so called father in Zimbabwe? Unfortunately many gullible individuals fall in to his trap , the bible very clearly says beware of false prophets ( and in my opinion he is one of them ) I am only asking my fellow christians not to be hoodwinked by his false teaching. He is not recognised by the Catholic and the church of England and any other recognised churches in the world. - Newslanka Bulletin | Face Book

MSU Recognized for Malaysia's Best University Education

Lankapuvath | Colombo | 28-09-2023 |
Management and Science University (MSU) Recognized Malaysia's Best University (TVET Education), at the Malaysia Education & TVET Awards 2023.

Management and Science University (MSU) one of the leading higher institutions in Malaysia and it is a world ranked global university having several offshore campuses that emphasizes the success of its graduates, both in academic excellence and soft skills in order to produce a holistic, balance and well-rounded graduate.

MSU has been awarded the Malaysia's Best University (TVET Education), at the Malaysia Education & TVET Awards 2023. A recognition of the university's commitment to innovative education, industrial partnership, and employability.

Management and Science University (MSU) is a QS Global ranked university focused on building holistic human capital. Envisioning a better, more sustainable future for all, MSU champions equality by providing a level playing field across extensive efforts in transforming lives, enriching future.

MSU currently ranks in the QS Top 100 among the world’s top young universities, QS World University Rankings 2024, QS Asia Ranking 2023, Times Higher Education for impact Ranking 2022 as well as ranked in QS World University Rankings by Subject 2023 in Top 46 for Hospitality and Leisure Management, Top 101-150 for Art and Humanities, and Top 301-350 in Business and Management Studies.

In addition, MSU also is a member of the Association of Commonwealth Universities (ACU) as well as recognized by the University Grant Commission (UGC) of Sri Lanka and Sri Lanka Medical Council (SLMC)

Management & Science Institute (MSI) in Colombo is a fully affiliated higher educational establishment within the Management and Science University, Malaysia and established in Sri Lanka since last fourteen years which is also recognized by many other leading universities worldwide including those in the Southeast Asia, Australia, New Zealand, Europe, East Asia, Central Asia, China, Middle East, Eurasian as well as Western Asia.


Pic: Professor Mohd Shukri Ab Yajid, President and founder received the award

Website of Sri Lanka’s control body for Organic Agriculture unveiled – nocu.lk

Lankapuvath | Colombo | 28-09-2023 |

Sri Lanka’s control body for organic agriculture - the National Organic Control Unit (NOCU), operating under the aegis of the Sri Lanka Export Development Board (EDB), has taken a significant step towards promoting and regulating Sri Lanka's organic agriculture sector with the launch of its official website - www.nocu.lk. This website development was done through the project support to Small and Medium Enterprises in the Organic Agriculture Sector in Sri Lanka which was jointly co-financed by the EU and BMZ implemented by GIZ Sri Lanka. The inauguration ceremony was held at the EDB headquarters with the presence of dignitaries.
Honourable dignitaries included the Head of Cooperation at the EU delegation to Sri Lanka and the Maldives, Dr. Johann Hesse, and representatives from the GIZ (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit GmbH), EDB Chairman Dr. Kingsley Bernard, and Acting Director General Ms. Malani Baddegamage. Officials graced the momentous occasion.
The objectives of NOCU are manifold, including safeguarding the credibility of organic agriculture products within the domestic and international markets, the implementation of Sri Lanka Organic Regulations, as well as the promotion of organic agriculture systems. The establishment of an official website was deemed imperative to facilitate communication with stakeholders and provide essential information, thereby fostering a sustainable organic agriculture ecosystem in Sri Lanka.

The website - www.nocu.lk - will serve as the primary interface for NOCU to directly engage with stakeholders. This digital platform will enable NOCU to implement an effective communication strategy, ensuring transparent and efficient interactions with all the relevant parties and the online registration of stakeholder

The launch of www.nocu.lk represents a significant milestone in Sri Lanka's organic agriculture journey, solidifying its commitment to ensure the highest standards of organic practices and fostering sustainable organic agricultural systems. With this dedicated online platform, NOCU is poised to connect with stakeholders, disseminate vital information, and fortify Sri Lanka's reputation as a trusted source of organic agricultural products in the local and international marketplace.

ARMY BUILDS VIKUMPURA WITH 50 HOUSES AND DONATES FREE TO THE VILLAGERS


Lankapuvath | Colombo | 28-09-2023 |
Here is inspiring news about Sri Lanka Army, constructing of Vikumpura in Mannar. 50 numbers of houses built in the village of Murunkan and gifted to sinhales people who left their village during war time.

This is an initiative taken by the present Army Commander Lieutenant General Vikum Liyanage, when he was Brigade Commander in Mannar solely with the intention of helping the war affected innocent people said the present Brigade Commander.
These are the well completed houses donated to the brought back people, and they are satisfactorily living in their own village.
There are about 200 people living in this housing compound, directly supported by Sri Lanka Army with the guidance of General Vikum Liyanage.
These under privileged people are also been supported by Army with their daily needs.
Sri Lanka Army operates its own large farms producing fruits, vegetable, paddy and poultry and many other daily needs sufficient to feed the entire army. Part of such produce is donated to poor civil citizens as a Community Service Responsibility according to a senior official of Army.
These beneficiaries are highly praising and honoring Vikum Liyanage as their only Guardian Angel.
These were the comments made by the residents. There are many projects by Army. In our next Vlog we will bring you another project.

28th AGM of SLANZBC

Lankapuvath | Colombo | 11-09-2023 |
The 28th Annual General Meeting of the Sri Lanka – Australia – New Zealand Business Council (SLANZBC) was held recently, with His Excellency Paul Stephens – High Commissioner of Australia to Sri Lanka & Maldives and His Excellency Michael Appleton – High Commissioner of New Zealand to Sri Lanka & Maldives, gracing the occasion as Chief Guests.

In a significant move, Ms. Udara Cumaratunga - Senior Manager, Commercial & Marketing - South Asia Gateway Terminals was elected as the first female President of SLANZBC, while Mr. Sampath Jayasundara - CEO / Director hSenid Business Solutions, and Dr. Dhananjay Kulkarni – Dean, Universal College Lanka, were elected Vice-Presidents for 2023/24, with Mr. Ruwan Rajapakse - Managing Director - Jiffy Products S.L. (Pvt) Ltd., serving as the Immediate Past President

Ms. Cumaratunga outlined her vision for the upcoming year, aiming to provide a platform for new business ventures, encourage trade delegations, and work closely with respective trade missions to build stronger and broader industry engagements. She also emphasised the importance of collaboration between Sri Lanka, Australia, and New Zealand in various sectors, including trade, services, tourism, education, and agriculture, highlighting the significant potential for growth given their geographic uniqueness as island nations.
She expressed her commitment to strengthen existing connections and expand trade engagement in various sectors, including educational services, tourism, Indian-ocean economic cooperation, people-to-people links, dairy, fresh fruit, tea, sports, agriculture, rubber, and ready-made garments.
Committee Members 2023/24: Mr. Gerard Victoria - Air Global (Pvt) Ltd, Mr. Denver De Livera - ASL Logistics CMB (Pvt) Ltd, Mr. Kingsley Abeywickrema - CMA-CGM Lanka (Pvt) Ltd, Mr. Emil Kronemberg - E C D Global (Pvt) Ltd, Mr. Fazlan Faizal - Fonterra Brands Lanka (Pvt) Ltd., Ms. Jayanthi Dharmasena - Hayleys Agriculture Holdings Ltd., Mr. Chandana Amaradasa - Island Leisure Lanka (Pvt) Ltd., Mr. Lionel De Silva - Lidechsi Group, Mr. Delano Dias - Millers Ltd., and Mr. M H K M Hameez - Spillburg Holdings (Pvt) Ltd.

SLANZBC is a platform that aims to promote trade, services, and tourism between Sri Lanka, Australia, and New Zealand.

OLD BOYS & GIRLS UNITE IN A RUGBY CARNIVAL ON SEPT. 16

Lankapuvath | Colombo | 11-09-2023 |

Past students of brother & sister schools unite under college flags in a carnival of fun, food, sportsmanship & music

It’s that time of year when rugby loving old boys and old girls get together under their college flags to hit the pitch in the much anticipated 7-a-side C Rugby Tag Rugby Tournament. The tournament will be held on Saturday September 16th at the CR&FC Grounds at Longdon Place promising to be a game that will not end at fulltime. This is the only tournament that brings together past students of brother and sister school teams on to the same pitch, aimed at rekindling shared friendships and memories of wonder years while watching a great day of rugby accompanied by music and fun filled activities for the entire family.

While sixteen teams combining past students of brother and sister schools relive their rugby glory days of the past, a day of absolute fun is planned out in a carnival atmosphere with street food, a children’s play area and non-stop music. Popular local bands Slipping Chairs, Magic Box Mixup and Jam Lab will be joined by some of Sri Lanka’s best DJs including Lunatics to add to the party mood.

Starting from 1 pm and going on until midnight, there will be 44 games in total including exhibition games played before the Bowl Finals, which are scheduled for 7.30 pm with the Plate Finals and Cup Finals played thereafter.

With each team allowed two players above the age category of over-25, three players above 35 years of age and two female players from the sister school of the boy’s team, the mix ensures that players from different eras come together. The excitement is palpable as sixteen teams have already registered for the tournament.

The teams are past students of Royal/Visakha, Isipathana/St. Paul’s, St. Joseph’s/St. Bridget’s, Kingswood/Girls’ High School Kandy, Wesley/Methodist, D.S. Senanayake/Sirimavo Bandaranayake, Ananda/Musaeus, Trinity/Hillwood and Ladies, S. Thomas’/Bishop’s, St. Anthony’s/Good Shepherd Convent Kandy, St. Sylvester’s/St. Anthony’s Girl’s school, Dharmaraja/Mahamaya, St. Benedict’s/Good Shepherd Convent, Vidyartha/Pushpadana Girls School, St. Peters/Holy Family Convent Bambalapitiya and Thurstan/Rathnayake Balika Vidyalaya.

The C Rugby Cup 2022 was clinched by old boys and girls of Dharmaraja/Mahamaya, while Trinity/Hillwood were Plate Champions and St. Benedicts/Good Shepherd Convent won the Bowl Championships.

The event is organized for the seventh time by AGOAL International, headed by former Isipathana College, CR&FC and National rugby player and renowned rugby referee Dilroy Fernando.
Partnering the tournament is PickMe as Official Mobility Partner, Elephant House as Official F&B Partner, YES 101 is Official Radio Partner, Papare.com and FriMi. Look out for what promises to be yet another year of flying flags, resounding cheers, great entertainment of course, great rugby!