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hemasoutreach_christmasThe story of Hemas Christmas Spirit!!!
Sharing your love all the way to Jaffna


‘Top Community Care Company in Asia 2014’ and ‘Best CSR Campaign of the Year’

Piyawara, the flagship CSR initiative of the Hemas Group was crowned last Wednesday (26 Nov) night at the prestigious Asia Corporate Excellence and Sustainability Awards 2014 (ACES) at the Fairmount Hotel in Singapore.

Piyawara emerged overall winner in two categories – ‘Top Community Care Companies in Asia 2014’ and ‘Best CSR Campaign – Community Care’ winning from numerous entries across several Asian countries such as Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, India, Hong Kong and Vietnam.


Graveyard to Schoolyard…

The children of the remote village of Malhewa, Bible did not have a pre-school. The villagers therefore decided to run a pre-school in the community hall of the village cemetery. There was however one little snag. Whenever there was a funeral, the school had to be closed.

Today with the opening of 40th ‘Piyawara’ pre-school in Malhewa, Bibile these children now have a proper pre-school consisting of two classrooms, toilets, tap water, educational material and a well-equipped play area. At present there are 29 children. The number will increase to 50 next year with the increasing demand.

Two qualified pre-school teachers, Premawathie and Kusumawathie, manage the school with great enthusiasm. Both of them have undergone training organised by the Hemas Outreach Foundation and will continue to receive more training in the near future. This pre-school will be monitored by the officers of the Ministry of Child Development.

The school was donated by Der Touristik Germany through its partner Fly and Help Germany. Chief Guest at the opening was Mr. Andreas Museler, Sustainability Manager, Der Touristik Germany. Trustees of the Hemas Outreach Foundation along with Project Ambassador Mr. Roshan Mahanama attended the ceremony.


piyawara-annual-teaching Hemas Outreach Foundation together with the Ministry of Child Development and Women’s Affairs held its Annual Teacher Training programme for the 12th consecutive year at the Thalahena Training Center from 13th to 15th August, 2014.

The Head/Assistant teachers of all 40 Piyawara schools participated in the training, representing all provinces in the country. On the final day of the programme, the teachers together with the ministry officials visited Hemas house, 10th floor for a fun filled Paduru Party organised by our own staff.


graveyard-schoolyard Mallahawa is a small remote village in Bibile, Monaragala. At the moment the children of Mallahawa village have their preschool at the cemetery community center. After the request of the higher authorities of government, we visited the location and witnessed the reality. It was heartbreaking to see them in an inappropriate environment of this nature.

Following the initial fact finding operation, Hemas Outreach Foundation begun construction of its proposed 40th Piyawara community pre-school at Mallahawa, Moneragala. This project is sponsored by Der Touristik Germany and supported by Reiner Meutsch Stiftung FLY & HELP Germany.

The foundation stone of the Monaragala Piyawara community pre-school was laid recently by Ms. Shiromi Masakorala, Executive Director of the Hemas Outreach Foundation along with a student, and construction work is currently undergoing with the aim to open the school in October 2014.


hemasoutreach_another_preschoolThe Piyawara community pre-school in Veheratanna was ceremonially declared open on Friday 14 March 2014 by Sri Lanka’s legendary cricketer Mr. Roshan Mahanama in the presence of the Minister of Child Development Hon. Tissa Karaliadda, Chairman Hemas Outreach Foundation Mr. Abbas Esufally and several other dignitaries.

This school was built with Mr. Mahanama’s personal funds. An emotional Mahanama said, “In 1996 I did my part in a humble way for Sri Lanka cricket and we won the Word Cup. Today I have no words to explain my feelings. The gifting of this Piyawara pre-school is yet another great achievement in my life and a fulfilling one. I want to contribute to the well-being of the children of this country and I strongly believe that a sound education for our children is of utmost importance”.

The villagers of Veheratanna experienced the brutality of a 30 year old war and have now come back to the village to resettle. The village has grown into one big jungle and these simple men and women have had to start life from scratch.

Seeing their little clay huts with minimum belongings makes one feel guilty. The only proper building in the village today is this pre-school. Children from the neighbouring villages of Kohombagaswewa, Konwewa, Veherawewa and Kambiliwewa will also attend this pre-school. A total of 136 children will use the school by 2015. The tragedy is that many of the children from these villages have to walk 12 kms through thick jungle to reach the nearest Primary School. This too is yet another crying need.

We do place on record our thanks to the Sri Lanka Army’s 62nd Division which came forward in a magnanimous show of support and physically built the school for these children. They have been very supportive of this project and have gone all out to help us bring about a tangible and significant change in the lives of these villagers.

Yes, the Government has provided basic infrastructure and development is taking place. This however is not an easy task. The chasm is wide and thus support from each and every one of us will go a long way to help this community.

Shiromi Masakorala
Head of Group Sustainability & Corporate Communications
Executive Director – Hemas Outreach Foundation


hemasoutreach_ape-sihinaya ‘Ape Sihinaya’ exhibition and sale opening ceremony was held on 8th January 2014 under the patronage of Roshan Mahanama, Brand Ambassador for Hemas Outreach Foundation. The Hemas Outreach website was launched at the same event. 22 children from the Hambantota Piyawara special school participated with their parents. A tea party was organized for the children at the Hemas House cafeteria where they enjoyed singing and dancing with our staff members. The occasion was graced by Chairman/CEO Hemas Holdings PLC and other directors along with their families. The children were invited to spend the day at Club Hotel Dolphin on 9th January where they took part in many activities. This had been a memorable journey for the children and their families. The exhibition was a great success with a sale of over Rs. 100,000/-. These funds will be utilized to sustain the school. Thank you for your contribution.


hemasoutreach_this_seasonThank you for your generosity. Your little gesture brought much happiness to the children in Malhawa, Bibile and Veheratanna, a resettled village in Welioya. We were able to collect 601 individual gifts this season. Words can never describe the happiness expressed on their faces when unwrapping their gifts! Thank you again for all your support.


– Winston Churchill -


hemasoutreach_win-gold-medalsThree differently abled children form the Hambantota “Ape Patawnta Piyawarak’ school won three gold medals at the recently held Paralympic Games in Sydney Australia. All three children are affected with Downs Syndrome. We as members of the Hemas family take pride in congratulating these children for their great achievement.

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hemasoutreach_time-sharing A time for giving & A time for sharing!

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hemasoutreach_veheratannaVeherathanna is a small rural village located off Kabathigollewa and south of Mullathivu. The local community was forced to flee the village during the war. They have now come back and begun to resettle in their lands without any proper infrastructure. This little village has nearly 136 pre-school children all of whom lack basic facilities for education. Our Honorary Brand Ambassador Mr. Roshan Mahanama has come forward to build the 39th Piyawara Community Pre-School with his personal funds. The foundation ceremony was held on 16th November 2013 in the presence of Hon. Minister of Child Development Mr. Tissa Karaliadda. Mrs. Maureen Enderby, the wife of the Deputy CEO also joined this event. The Sri Lanka Army’s 62 Division has offered its assistance to build the school. We hope to finish construction of this school by March 2014 and make a difference to the lives of this innocent children.

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The group of ten bikers from the Harley Owners Group (HOG) Dubai Chapter whose logistics in Sri Lanka were handled by Diethelm Travel Sri Lanka (DTSL), not only wowed Sri Lanka with their gleaming machines and their pure passion for riding but also joined hands with Diethelm to raise awareness for the Hemas’ Piyawara Pre-School Project.

The bikers rode cross country and raised a significant degree of awareness among the general public for the Piyawara Pre-School established by the Hemas Outreach Foundation of Hemas Holdings PLC. They took time off and rode to the Piyawara Pre-School in Hamabantota where they spent the day interacting with the little children to whom they also gifted school bags, stationary and other goodies.

The bikers were unanimous in their thrill to bike in Sri Lanka. They added that they were both happy and privileged to lend their patronage to the Piyawara Pre-School Project and lauded Hemas for launching a social service initiative of this nature.

Following the initiative of the Motor Racing Association (MRA) of Sri Lanka, Diethelm Travel Sri Lanka (DTSL), part of the Hemas Holdings Group came in as the official ground handler and logistics provider for this event. DTSL is one of Sri Lanka’s premier Destination Management Companies (DMCs) with over 35 years of experience and provides quality, tailor-made travel for individual travellers and groups.

The philanthropic arm of Hemas Holdings PLC, the Hemas Outreach Foundation is a Government approved charity. Its mission is “To enrich the lives of underprivileged children of Sri Lanka through education”. ‘Piyawara’, is one of two CSR projects initiated and facilitated by the Hemas Outreach Foundation.

The Foundation collaborated with the Ministry of Child Development and Women’s Affairs in 2002 and initiated ‘Project Piyawara’, focusing on early childhood care and development through establishing child friendly preschools in Sri Lanka. The program has been established to provide a holistic approach to pre-school education. Today, the project consisting of 37 pre-schools across Sri Lanka has enabled the Foundation to take a pioneering step in re-defining the scope of early child care and development in Sri Lanka. The focus group under this project is children between the ages of 3 -5 years.

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From a canvas tent to a proper preschool…

We are proud to be associated with our nation’s development program. Hemas is honoured and privileged to have H.E. Mahinda Rajapaksa visiting Piyawara preschool.

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Piyawara’s first-ever model Pre-School in Kilinochchi was recently opened by Hon. Minister Tissa Karaliadda, Minister of Child Development and Hon. Namal Rajapaksa, MP. This school can accommodate 80 children and will be used as a model training centre by the Ministry of Education of the Northern Province. After three decades of conflict, this is the very first time that these little children have got a fully-fledged facility that consists of four classrooms, a teacher’s office, storage, play area, education equipment, and, trained teachers. This is the 37th Pre-School under the ‘Piyawara’ initiative. Its total cost of Rs. 12 million was funded by a donation made by The Matri Trust, Edinburgh, UK.

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The little children of the village of Theethakarei, approx 10 km off Mulativue town, recently moved out of their temporary shelter to a well-equipped Hemas “Piyawara” Community Pre School. Joining them on their big day to share their happiness were Minister Hon. Tissa Karaliyadda and Hon. MP Namal Rajapaksa. Theethakarei is a fishing village in the Mulativue district with over 211 families. This 36th Piyawara school was constructed by the troops of 59 Division of Sri Lanka Army.

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Thank you for your generous contribution this season. The pictures tell it all….. Our aim was to collect 500 gifts, however, we were successful in collecting 870 gifts with all your support. The gifts were collected by the Sri Lanka Army and they organized Christmas parties in Kilinochchi, Mulativue, Ambalnagar, Pudukuduirppu and Vishwamadu. Sorry for the delay in sending this mail to you as we had to postpone some of the Christmas parties in the Northern areas due to bad weather.

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We have selected 500 kids between the ages of 3-5 years from the resettled villages of Mulativue and Kilinochchi to share the joy of this season.

These little children are not fortunate as you and I. They are still coming to terms with the trauma they experienced and trying hard to build their lives. You have an opportunity to make them smile with a little gift during this festive season.

We will be setting up an Angel Christmas tree at the lobby by mid-November in order to collect the gifts in advance as we plan to dispatch them by 6th December 2012. The value of your gift can range from Rs. 500/- to Rs. 1000/- .

Details to follow…

Please join us to make this effort a success and give them back the smile they deserve.

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A variety of hand-made cards by the differently-abled children from the Hambantota “Ape Patawnta Piyawarak” school will now be on sale at Hemas House. Each card is priced at Rs. 45/-. Extend your support and help us integrate these children into mainstream society. Proceeds from the sale of these cards will be sent directly to the school.
Please contact : Mihirani on 4731731 ext 1166 or email her at e:

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Held on 23rd May 2012 at Hemas House
Dear All,

The exhibition and sale organized by the Hemas Outreach Foundation yesterday was a huge success. The chief guest was Mrs. Neloufer Anverally, Managing Director of Cotton Collection, while several other VIPS also attended the event.

A big Thank You to all Hemas Staff who supported our initiative and helped us in making it a success!

Our sincere appreciation to the Hotels Sector for their contribution in sponsoring the meals for the visiting children, caregivers and for providing individual gifts to all 44 differently abled-children.

I’m proud to say that due to the endeavours of the Hemas Outreach Foundation and Piyawara we have been able to change the image the villagers have had of these children. There IS hope that they will be gradually integrated into mainstream society.

Thank you for making a difference in the lives of these “special” children.

We hope to have more such events and look forward to your participation.


NB : Six paintings were left behind. Please contact me if you are interested.

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hemasoutreach_partnership Minister of Child Development and Women’s Affairs Hon. Tissa Karaliyedde and
Director of the Children’s Secretariat Yamuna Perera with the plaque
presented to the Ministry to commemorate ten successful years of ‘Piyawara’.

Over 3000 children across 34 Pre-Schools islandwide

Colombo. Tuesday 13 March 2012. The Hemas Group recently celebrated ten successful years of its early childhood development initiative “Piyawara” in partnership with the Children’s Secretariat of the Ministry of Child Development and Women’s Affairs. Ten years on, Piyawara is both a visible and tangible proof of one of the most successful public-private sector partnerships in recent times.

The Piyawara story began in 2002 when the Hemas Group, through the ‘Hemas Outreach Foundation’ launched its CSR Initiative in the area of Early Childhood Development in Sri Lanka. Named ‘Piyawara’, it signifies the initial steps taken by a child at the beginning of the journey through life.

Its vision was to nurture children with good care and provide a solid foundation. Its focus is on children between 0-5 years, the most important stage when 80% of brain development takes place.

The Piyawara project has added and upgraded 34 model preschools to the existing governmental network spanning Sri Lanka’s geographical divide and today enriches the lives of nearly 3,000 children daily. It has a holistic approach focusing on seven key areas – creating parental awareness, engaging in teacher training, improving recreational facilities, empowering children with special needs, working towards eradicating child abuse, improving infrastructure development and emergency intervention during national disasters

Hemas is today on the National Coordination Committee on Early Childhood Development, the body which oversees the development and implementation of the National Policy.

The CEO of Hemas Holdings, Husein Esufally, also attributes the sustained financial assistance and support received from the main board of Hemas Holdings PLC and the Senior Management as yet another driving force behind Piyawara’s success. “Together with this is, it is our conscious non-commercialisation of this CSR project by avoiding undue publicity”, that has helped it to be a success, he added.

To mark ten years of Piyawara, awards were presented to key partners of the project. Among them were officials of the Ministry, the Sri Lanka Police and the Academics in the field. Present on the occasion were Hon. Tissa Karaliyedde Minister of Child Development and Women’s Affairs, Minister of Parliamentary Affairs Hon. Sumedha Jayasena, Member of Parliament Hon. Sudharshana Fernandopulle, senior officials from Rewe Group Germany, top officials from Hemas and several others.

Says Hemas’ Senior Manager Corporate Communication and CSR Shiromi Masakorala, “A key success factor was our partnership with the Children’s Secretariat which gave us access to the government network, resource personnel, monitoring and links to all local councils which helped us sustain a project of this nature. We also gained hands on experience working in the 29 post-Tsunami make-shift camps and in the Manik Farm in Vavuniya where we managed pre-schools and play areas to help children return to normalcy after their traumatic experiences”.

As a first-time initiative, the ‘Piyawara Community Pre-School’ concept is being adopted to assist marginalised rural communities in Sri Lanka. The first such school of its kind is in Ambalnagar, 10kms from Kilinochchi Town, where resettlement has taken place. Hemas is also in the process of developing more schools in the resettled areas of Mullativu.

Chairperson of the Hemas Outreach Foundation, Abbas Esufally said, “A project of this magnitude also incurs recurrent costs on a very frequent basis. Over the years, Piyawara’s success story attracted foreign business partners who rallied round in a show of solidarity with continued financial support. Among them is a key donor Rewe Touristik Germany, a pillar of strength in this journey”.

Over the years, Piyawara has touched the lives of thousands of children from all parts of Sri Lanka, from North to South and East to West, thereby resulting in a better quality of education. It stands today as a successful initiative, a sustainable and ongoing project by Hemas Holdings Plc and the Children’s Secretariat … demonstrating the success of government – private sector partnerships in addressing national issues and transcending geographical and ethnic boundaries.

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