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Community
As one of Sri Lanka's biggest insurance companies, we consider it our responsibility to make a positive contribution to the community within which we operate. This is put into operation through various community programmes.
Our Partners in Community Service

We work closely with government institutions. The Sri Lanka Police are our partners in a crime prevention hoarding project. We coordinate with the Ministry of Education in our “Pasalen Karaliyata” programme. We also have a long standing relationship with the National Blood Bank, with whom we conduct an annual blood donation campaign.

Corporate Social Responsibility Committee

Formed in 2007, our CSR committee continued its activities for the third consecutive year. The objectives of the Committee continue as before:
  • To proactively align business initiatives with CSR guidelines.
  • To develop CSR standards and make them available.
  • To ensure continuous communication with the communities within which we operate.

The structure of our CSR committee is given below.


UA’s community activities are based on the platforms of security, education, and health which have a direct link to the company’s business objectives and activities.

Security

Insurance is a mechanism where a nominal premium collected from a large number of persons is pooled to settle the losses suffered by a few. There is a direct correlation between the occurrence of a loss and the safety and security of a neighbourhood / business establishment. The initiatives taken by UA i.e. erecting police boards, providing shelters for security personnel etc., are to enhance the level of security in the communities within which the company operates, for the benefit of all stakeholders.

Education

Sri Lanka’s rapidly ageing population requires retirement and health care solutions. The economic development that is likely to take place in the medium term will also lead to an increase in domestic and business related spending on insurable assets. However, life and general insurance penetration in Sri Lanka lags behind most countries in the region and is significantly below the penetration levels achieved by developed countries. One of the main factors for this apparent anomaly is the lack of awareness regarding the benefits of insurance among the general public.

On the one hand, the education related community activities conducted by UA for students, teachers and the community at large provides them with tools and techniques to ensure their long term success. On the other hand, it also offers an opportunity for UA to familiarize participants regarding the nature and benefits of insurance, thus increasing awareness at grass root level.

Health

As mentioned above, an ageing population will increasingly demand health related products and services. UA’s product portfolio includes health insurance related products and services, and our contribution to uplift the health infrastructure is in line with our long term objective of fulfilling this market requirement in a cost efficient manner.

The following table outlines our community initiatives and their link to the platforms mentioned above.

Community Activity
Security
Education
Health
Union Day
*
*
Crime Prevention Hoardings
*
Union Pasalen Karaliyata
*
Pre-School Teachers Training Programme
*
Scholarship Seminars
*
Improving Hospital Conditions
*
White Cane Donations to Visually Impaired
*
Blood Donation Campaign
*

Union Day

The CSR Committee conceptualized Union Day in order to educate the general public regarding important aspects of life, which affect the community as a whole. Every first Friday of the month all staff members across the island took to the streets and went on a massive leaflet distribution campaign. Over 150,000 leaflets were distributed, dealing with various topics, e.g. tips on healthy living, child development, examination success, prevention of dengue, etc. These leaflets were developed by experts in their respective fields, drawn from both the private and public sectors.

As mentioned above, such initiatives have a direct benefit to the general public, while at the same time raising awareness levels regarding the importance of insurance to their daily lives.

Crime Prevention Hoardings

The crime prevention project was begun in 2005 in partnership with the Sri Lanka Police. The objective of the project was to reduce crime in the country by erecting display boards carrying the telephone numbers of the relevant police stations and promoting the police emergency number, 1-1-9, to encourage citizens to report criminal activities. The other objective of the hoardings was to keep motorists advised as to which police jurisdiction they were travelling through.

By December 2009, the project had covered the Western, Southern, Central, North Western, Sabaragamuwa, North Central, Eastern and Uva provinces, including Jaffna and Trincomalee as well.

Province
Number of Hoardings
Western
48
Southern
26
Central
38
North Western
53
Sabaragamuwa
24
North Central
38
Eastern
42
UVA
29
North
9
Total
307

Having already erected over 300 hoardings carrying the telephone numbers of relevant police stations, our on-going task is to maintain these hoardings and in some war-affected areas, to install new ones.

Union Pasalen Karaliyata

Pasalen Karaliyata is a joint project with the Ministry of Education. The main objective of this programme is to bring out the aesthetic talents of students and to bring such children into the lime light. This all Island inter school aesthetic contest includes dancing, singing, and art competitions.

The Pasalen Karaliyata programme offers rich rewards for winners and the schools to which they belong. Uniquely, it is not only the first, second and third place winners who are singled out for recognition. The schools they attend also received cash awards.

During the year, we conducted 19 Pasalen Karaliyata programmes.More than 50,000 students took part in competitions covering 20 districts. The breakup of the student participation by province is depicted in the table below.

Province
Number of Students
Central
10,360
North Central
1,935
Eastern
3,376
North Western
3,800
Western
19,436
UVA
5,060
Southern
4,345
Sabaragamuwa
5,320
Total
53,632

Sri Lanka has a rich heritage of dance, music, drama and creative art which must be preserved and fostered. Pasalen Karaliyata is UA’s acknowledgement of this cultural treasure and our effort to foster the natural, inborn talent of the next generation.

Pre-School Teachers Training Programme

Initiated to update the knowledge of pre-school teachers on the latest teaching techniques, basics of child psychology and how to identify the inherent talent and skills children possess, the 2009 teachers training programmes were conducted island wide. The participants rated the programme as one of the best they had attended. Our programme facilitator was Mr. Vimal Udupila.

Scholarship Seminars

Union Assurance, together with Tharuniyata Hetak, conducted scholarship workshops as a guide to students sitting the year 5 examinations. This programme was conducted island wide, with a special focus on rural areas. Approximately nine districts were covered.

This initiative was a success, and was well accepted by students and their parents. The participants were familiarized with new teaching techniques to benefit parents and teachers who participated.

Improving Hospital Conditions

Union Assurance has been consistent in helping develop government-run hospitals. In 2009, the sanitary facilities of several hospitals in the North (Jaffna, Velvetiture, Karaiyanagar and Point Pedro) were improved. The UA officers in these areas are given the responsibility of establishing a good relationship with hospital authorities so that their needs may be met.

White Cane Donations to Visually Impaired

Our recreation club continued the tradition of donating white canes to the visually handicapped. The canes (cost of which was entirely funded by UA employees) were donated direct to the Sri Lanka Welfare Society of the Blind.

Blood Donation Campaign

For the 11th consecutive year, we conducted a blood donation campaign, organised in collaboration with the National Blood Transfusion Service (the Central Blood Bank). It was well attended by UA staff.

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