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Corporate entities must build healthy relationships with the communities in which they function. A healthy and content community can only boost the corporate image and contribute directly to a company’s bottom line.

A company’s relationship with the community depends on the products it markets and on whether the community perceives that it is getting value for money. It is also dependent on what the Company puts back into the community on which its profits are built.

At SLT we understand the need to develop strong and healthy links with the broader society. In that respect we initiated a number of programmes to nourish and build strong urban and rural societies.

The ‘Books for Asia’ Programme: Spreading Knowledge and Stimulating Curiosity
SLT and the Asia Foundation are working together to enhance child, adult and professional education through the provision of educational material on a variety of topics.

Our Books for Asia Programme in collaboration with the Asia Foundation has been based on our philosophy of stimulating curiosity, fostering knowledge and improving literacy levels. In 2003 we partnered the Asia Foundation to support their ‘Books for Asia’ Programme. SLT entered into an agreement with the Asia Foundation to support the distribution of 100,000 books which will help meet the needs of schools, universities, libraries and local English resource centres. We hope that the books would carry ‘more weight’ especially with the re-introduction of English as a medium of instruction. SLT hope that this partnership will act as a catalyst for other companies to make similar contributions.

Enhancing English Skills
A particular aspect of community care on which we have focused over the past few years has been on developing English Language skills of young people. We are conscious that a command of English can help them in the future.

Last year SLT supported D. S. Senanayake College with their Impromptu English Debating Competition. The Impromptu Competition and SLT Prepared Debating Competition are part of a series of debating competitions conducted by the school. 32 teams from 21 schools took part in the competitions.

Creating Awareness of the Internet
For last 2 years SLT has been associated with the ‘Web Spinners Unite' series of seminars. The seminars conducted islandwide focus on the many uses of the Internet and its benefits. The objective is to increase the levels of computer and IT literacy among school children. The Sri Lankan Division of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) has been SLT’s partner in this respect.

The topics discussed ranged from basics to various other aspects of the Net such as eCommerce, eLearning, career guidance on the Internet, and web design for eCommerce.

SLT was also associated in assisting three schools - Devi Balika, Sirimavo Bandaranaike and Anula Viyalaya - to establish their own websites. Through these Internet awareness programmes SLT plans to encourage school children to use the Internet for knowledge acquisition purposes.

Developing Careers: Providing New Opportunities
SLT continued its career development programme in collaboration with four professional bodies to guide young adults, school leavers and higher grade school students on their future career paths.

In a bid to build career awareness among the young population of Jaffna, SLT supported a seminar on the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) professional qualification. This was the ninth of a series of programmes aimed at creating an awareness of different careers among students. The objective was to expose young people to the potential that accountancy, marketing, personal management and administration hold as careers. More than 500 students from six schools in the Jaffna district participated.

In collaboration with Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA), Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM), Institute of Personnel Management (IPM) & Institute of Chartered Secretaries & Administrators (ICSA) SLT organised a career development seminar “To be number one” at the BMICH. This programme was aimed to create an awareness among professional education and career development. SLT will extend this programme islandwide to enable students from all parts of the country who complete their school education to choose a profession.

SLT fully supported the Annual Conference of the e-Club of the University of Moratuwa. The e-Club is the Public Relations arm of the Electronics Department of theUniversity. SLT understands the necessity of bridging the gap between the industry and the academic arena. The e-Club’s effort is to showcase their capabilities to their future employers and obtain the feedback from them in order to improve and restructure their academic activities. In this light we give our helping hand to young and future engineering professionals.

In 2003 SLT supported mini Comfest competitions around the country and a National Commerce Festival organised by The Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA). These events include “Wiz Kid 2003” - a do you know contest, “Student Bulletin 2003” - a competition involving team from each school compiling a Commerce magazine on an impromptu basis, “Ad Act” - where a group of students from each school act out an advertisement. The winners would be those who get the message across best and “Business Talk” - a threeminute speech contest on topics of current interest.

Individuals were awarded prizes while the best school and runner-up were chosen on the basis of aggregate points. There were 15 leading schools participating in this competition from Kandy, Galle, Negombo & Colombo.

Pushing the Frontiers of Excellence: Empowering the Country’s Professionals
SLT’s 'Empowering Professionalism' initiative is designed to enable Sri Lankan professionals achieve excellence in their chosen fields. To facilitate this SLT has been supporting a number of activities of Sri Lanka’s major professional bodies.

Over 200 professionals from the South Asian region attended the inaugural Networking South Asia (NetSA) meeting held last year. It was organised by South Asia Network Operators Group (SANOG) and Asia Pacific Advanced Network (APAN).

NetSA is a forum that brings together Internet Service Providers (ISPs), Internet related technology providers and corporate networks to share information and exchange ideas. SLT sponsored the opening session and also served as the official Internet supplier for the session. Lasting six days, the programme included workshops, tutorials and SANOG and APAN meetings.

ACCA with over 300,000 members and students located in 160 countries marked its 100th year with special sessions to highlight the important role Risk Management and Corporate Governance plays in the success of an organisation. The seminar was mainly for corporate and senior executives involved in the two areas.

The annual sessions of the Institute of Personnel Management (IPM) was supported by SLT last year. IPM is the largest professional organisation on human resources in this country. Over 600 professionals from a broad range of corporate entities attended the annual event.

SLT also sponsored the fourth annual sessions of the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) and was the strategic partner to the Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT) for its annual sessions held in August last year. SLT extended its strategic partnership to Institution of Engineers - Sri Lanka’s (IESL) 97th International Annual Sessions.