LIGHTING UP FUTURES

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At a time when 50 per cent of Sri Lankan families are struggling to support their children’s education, and children already dropping out of school, Atlas has partnered with Sarvodaya to ‘Light a Future’.

The sky-high prices of school supplies and stationary are one of the biggest reasons behind why so many children are dropping out of school. Children from families who are already struggling to eat three decent meals a day have little money to spare for the sake of their children’s education, and it is showing.

Education, the greatest tool for families to escape from poverty is a right that ever child deserves. But as more children drop out of school, this inevitably leads to a vicious cycle that will continue to keep more families in poverty, while robbing Sri Lanka from brilliant minds that could have made a difference, if they only were able to continue in school.

In an effort to help students continue to stay at school, Atlas’s partnership with Sarvodaya, Sri Lanka’s largest Non-Governmental-Organisation (NGO), is a welcome effort. Together, they aim to provide the necessary school supplies of 100,000 children who otherwise would have dropped out of school.

This ‘Light a Future’ initiative has set a target to raise US$ 1.5 million in 90 days. To make this goal a success, members of the Atlas team is volunteering more than 10,000 hours of their time otherwise spent in making profit for Atlas, to help safeguard the education of these children in danger.

While Atlas will be contributing the necessary funds for about 2,500 children, their aim is to appeal to the generosity and kind hearts of Sri Lankans both local and abroad, and people known around the world for their kindness and giving nature.

The beneficiaries will be selected through Sarvodaya’s widespread network to find families that are in dire need of this help, and globally renowned Ernst and Young has also partnered to audit the whole operation for greater transparency. Donors will also be able to view the status of their contribution via the Light a Future website, which will carry live updates on the progress of their contribution.

The programmed kicked off at a special event held at Jetwing Colombo, with a panel discussion from various dignitaries on the importance of education in alleviating poverty, as well as the importance of education to continue to nurture skilled individuals for a more productive society.

Even amidst a crisis that was brought on by mismanagement by government officials and elected representatives, it is once again the people that must suffer, and this initiative by Sarvodaya and Atlas is a welcome one that brightens the lives of those who give, while possibly saving the future of many in the process.

As such, why not take this opportunity to help make a difference, by sharing the message, donating or partnering with the Light a Future initiative to help brighten the school life of 100,000 and ease the burden of 100,000 families in the process. The call to help is open, please head to their website to help out.

(Pix by Dumindu Wanigasekara)

By Shanuka Kadupitiyage