The development of the plantation community has been a major component in the KVPL management strategy and, in support of this policy, in 2006 KVPL launched a multi-dimensional initiative branded as “A Home for Every Plantation Worker”. It is an on-going project designed to uplift the quality of life of the community within the KVPL plantations in Sri Lanka and has been featured as a benchmark practice, in the booklet “Globally Positioning Sri Lanka’s Best”, released by the Global Compact Sri Lanka Network at the UNGC International Network Conference in Mexico, in October ’07.
The programme focus on four main dimensions;
Initiatives in this dimension are designed to improve worker welfare, housing and sanitation. Upgrading and rehabilitation of traditional worker houses, provision of factory and field rest-rooms, electrification of housing and living quarters are some of the major programmes that are followed to improve the standard of living of the our work force. In addition to that self – help housing projects involving the construction of new houses for plantation employees, with 5-7 perches of estate land being allocated per house.
Upgrading existing water supply schemes and the installation of new water delivery systems, improving access roads to worker housing, establishing rural agency post offices within the plantation boundaries are some of the major activities which are being carried out under this programme.
Health & Nutrition
The key estates have hospitals and maternity homes. Medical centers are maintained on most of the plantation estates. Medical camps are conducted periodically for all plantation residents. Regular health and nutrition checks which include immunization and child growth development monitoring are carried out for children, mothers and senior citizens. Ambulances are strategically located to be available to a cluster of estates, in close proximity to each other. Each family is assisted through continued pre-school child support, including day care centers which are known as ‘crèches’, as well as provision of medical facilities addressing major health requirements.
Community and Capacity Building
Estate Worker Housing Co-operative Societies (EWHCS) have been the catalyst and the agent for many of the activities carried out this programme. By providing micro financing for improvements to housing, purchase of transport facilities, for traditional ceremonies and redeeming mortgaged properties, people s’ life style have been made less burdensome.
Preschool and nursery education programmes followed by estate workers’children and the issuance of certificates have provided them with added support in applications for entry to government schools.
Empowerment of Community
This programme places special emphasis on the training and guidance of youth, empowering them with better life skills. Monitoring of child development from ages 5 to 18, according to International Labour Organization (ILO) standards, Projects for skill-building, including vocational training, computer classes, and also providing of guidance & assistance for higher education programmes.