The Connect Initiative
At Authenticities, we see tourism as an opportunity to give something back to the rural communities that we interact with. Our approach is simple: to identify and develop communities through engaging with them, developing their skills and providing job opportunities. We believe that this approach contributes to their social and economic stability.
“Connect”, an initiative of Authenticities, is all about connecting hearts, lives, communities and futures by working with children in particular. The birth of Connect complements the spirit of Authenticities to enrich lives and be true and genuine in everything we do. Connect’s educational projects provide occasions for our clients to touch the hearts of children in rural areas.
Education is an important ingredient in the development of a person. -In Sri Lanka, we see great scope for improving the lives of children and impacting their future through educational projects.
We believe that small is big! Smaller initiatives are less bureaucratic, allow for faster response and better follow-up. At Authenticities, we know that the impact of little actions sometimes can be more meaningful. We choose our projects with great care and deliberation, committing ourselves to put a smile on the faces of children. Connect gives the opportunity to either donate to a fund that will be used to do projects in line with the Connect concept or to be involved in “hands-on” projects while visiting Sri Lanka.
We believe that prioritizing projects is as important as their conceptualization and execution. The regions that are most in need are in the north-central province, the northern province, the hill country and the east coast. The following initiatives that we have highlighted give the opportunity to get involved and make a difference:
Scope of Connect
The scope “Connect” is to Identify basic educational needs in rural Sri Lanka – helping and supporting children who are less fortunate. Our primary focus is to “identify” such projects prioritise them and execute efforts to see that it gets done and change their life through simple efforts. Funding for such “identified projects” would come through the following:
The role of Authenticities would be to contribute to such identified projects through financial contribution, total effort from identifying projects, creating awareness, generating funds, executing the projects and finally to ensure that the outcome if satisfactory and enduring.
As a responsible partner, we commit ourselves to this cause through regular checks and balance, site visits by our area coordinators and communicate progress through our website and social media. Through such transparent communication, all participants will be able to review our progress for such projects.
I am pleased to read that Authenticities has embarked on its project CONNECT, which is yet another positive step towards the making of a fine company. To my mind, businesses of every hue should have a difinitive approach and understanding towards social causes, as part of their portfolio.and success. Authenticities are laying this path and if other companies can take example, then Sri Lanka will turn out and an even better place, offering dignity and greater opportunity to its deprived. I am often amazed at the negative consequence of tourism on the culture, values, environment and social fabric around ancient societies such as ours and its about time that our industry learns to preserve and Give, more than it takes. Our people travelling with you in Lanka, will return with a much more fulfilling experience of not just marvelous sights and resorts but also of being surrounded by a compassionate lot. More importantly, you will be bringing some joy to so many beautiful Sri Lankan kids.
The main reason why we support enthusiastically the Connect Project is that we believe that one of the main purposes of tourism is connecting peoples, enhancing mutual understanding and, over all, concurring to improve the world education, mainly of children. Knowing that our job can give them a better chance gives us a great incentive.
Project - School equipment for the Ambanpitiya Primary school
Ambanpitiya Primary school is based in the Sabaragamuwa Province in the Kegalle District. Supporting of this school project was identified and funded by LAMA MITHURU NO KAI based in Japan. The requirement of the school included mattresses, blender, steel cupboards, desks and chairs. The regional representative of Authenticities facilitated all coordination and handed over the required materials to the school authorities.
LAMA MITHURU NO KAI
School equipment for the Ambanpitiya Primary school
Project - School equipment for the Eralodai Valluvar Vidyalam Pasikuddah
The Eastern Province requires greater attention in respect to educational development efforts. Based on an initiative by the Lama Mithuru No Kai foundation from Japan, this project was identified. The funding was urgently required for the water pump, water filter, white boards and cupboards for the classroom and sports equipment for this rural school. The regional representatives of Authenticities coordinated efforts between the school and the donor and we sourced the required materials and equipment based on the budgets and handed over to the school authorities.
LAMA MITHURU NO KAI
School equipment for the Eralodai Valluvar Vidyalam
Project - School equipment for rural village school in Kap-Ela Dambulla
Kap-Ela is rural village in Dambulla bordering part of the Kandalama Tank. Predominantly a farming community, the village school required 2 desks and 6 chairs for the children and in addition another 2 chairs for the teachers to facilitate the requirement. This project was funded totally by the Connect Initiative, a philanthropic effort mainly focusing in uplifting educational efforts in the rural areas of the Island. The regional representatives from Authenticities coordinated all efforts including budgeting, sourcing and providing the required items to the school.
School equipment for rural village school in Kap-Ela Dambulla
Project - Playground equipment for the Thalkote Primary School in Sigiriya
Thalkote is a small village off Sigiriya, which is also a dominant farming community set against picturesque paddy fields. The main schools in Dambulla and in Sigiriya are too far for the children in these areas to attend and have to settle for the small schools in the village. The requirement for this school is mainly playground facilities (including sea-saw, slides and swing) so that children of this primary school have activities apart from their educational efforts. This project was funded totally by the Connect Initiative, a philanthropic effort mainly focusing in uplifting educational efforts in the rural areas of the Island. Regional representatives of Authenticities coordinated efforts including liaising with school authorities, sourcing and installation of playground equipment
Playground equipment for the Thalkote Primary School
Project - Musical equipment for the Yahalatenna Primary School
Yahalatenna primary school is based in the Central Province in the Kandy district. This project was identified by the LAMA MITHURU NO KAI foundation in Japan to provide musical equipment. The regional representative of Authenticities coordinated the efforts of budgeting, sourcing and providing musical equipment whilst installation of playground facilities to the school.
LAMA MITHURU NO KAI
Musical equipment for the Yahalatenna Primary School
Project - Renovating dilapidated school building for rural school
With the assistance of LAMA MITHURU NO KAI, Japan, we funded an amount of Rs. 154,000 to completely resurrect the abandoned building to facilitate graduating students of the rural school Siri Parakum Vidyalaya Udugama in Kununegala. The project is expected to complete by the end of August 2015.
Lama Mithuru No Kai
Resurrecting the abandoned building to facilitate graduating students
Project - Building Toilets with water facilities for rural school
We undertook the 2nd project supporting this rural school located in Habarana primarily funded by BMW Poland and supported by funds from CONNECT Authenticities. The school children didnt adequate toilet facilities and water supplies which caught our attention when we visited the school with Ms Paulina Jaworska Brand Manager of BMW, Mr Kris Pobozniak President of Haxel accompanied by Dilshad Sadiq Vice President of Authenticities Sri Lanka.We identified that building a new school toilet was a priority, which would be a great benefit to the school children. The funding and contribution came from the directors and representatives who visited Sri Lanka as a group in March 2015. They subsequently visited the school to meet the teachers and children and also to inspect the progress of the toilets they were funding. The BMW representatives also donated hundreds of schoolbooks to each and every children of the school. They also donated sports goods such as footballs, volleyballs with nets to the principal of the school to be used for recreational activities. Anthem and a touching local Poem and the clients joined in and sang the Polish National Anthem. Parents and Teachers of the school were kind enough to prepare local herbal tea and offer seasonal fruits to clients as a gesture of gratitude.
Toilets with water facilities and school books
Project - Building racks and furniture for rural school
MMA Insurance, France funded a project by supporting a local rural school in Hathareskotuwa, Sigiriya by building school racks and furnitures for the school library. Funding of the project coincided with the group traveling in March to Sri Lanka with 104 of their participants. The building of school racks and furniture were undertaken by staff of Authenticities and coordinated many efforts to ensure that the delivery, installation and arrangements went well. Today the school is proud to have its own furnished library where school children could store and protect books and the chairs and table at the library being very useful. The school principal organized a wonderful welcome by getting the school band to escort the group from the entrance of the school to the college where the band played and the school children sang locals songs to entertain the group. During the visit, the group also funded to provide all children and teachers with a simple snack and fresh juices. Following the school band performance and later, children and teachers indulged themselves to the snacks, over 300 balloons filled with helium were offered to the children to be released into the air.
Racks and furniture for rural school
Project - Rebuilding rural school
Sooriyagama is a rural village close to HABARANA, a highly popular zone which has close access to four UNESCO world Heritage sites. AUTHENTICITIES identified this project together with one of our friend and premium Italian partner Ms. Silvia Terreni, Product Manager of MISTRAL based in Torino, Italy. Sooriyagama School in Habarana, a government rural school consisting of little over 40 students. After a thorough inspection of the school premises, Silvia identified to re-build the primary section together with AUTHENTICITIES. The primary section building was a wattle and daub structure with a cadjan roof, which leaked whenever it rained.
Ms. Silvia Terreni, MISTRAL
Rebuilding of the primary section of the rural school
Project - Donation to rural school in Habarana
A Group from Switzerland donated Musical Instruments and Stationery to a school in Habarana with Authenticities.
Musical instruments and stationery items
Project - Donation to rural school in Trincomalee
A Montessari School which needed support to the School children.
Mr and Mrs Vollan
Donation of 50 School Bags and 50 Water Bottles
Project - Donation to rural school in Pussellawa
At the HELBODA Estate (Up Country Plantation). We identified a rural school Donated 5,000 School Books, Pencils, Pens and School Bags
French Marathon Group
5,000 Books, Pens, Pencils, School Bags
Project - Rural school renovation in Medirigiriya
We identfied this rural school where most classrooms required plastering and finishing. Most work was halted due to lack of Govt funding and parents of children did most of the work. The Donation was to assist the school to renovate the classrooms
Mr. Chris Reinier
Rs. 25,000 in Cash to the trustees of the School