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Double A Sri Lanka rewards winners of Friends of the Planet campaign

Colombo. 18 July 2016. Vincent Girls’ High School - Batticaloa emerged overall winner in the final round of the ‘Friends of the Planet’ project conducted by Double A in collaboration with the Ministry of Education and the Central Environmental Authority.

(L-R) Back row: Mrs. Chethika Hapugalle, General Manager, Double A Sri Lanka; Mr. A.S. Hewage, Additional Secretary (School Activities), Ministry of Education; Mr. Thirawit Leetavorn, Double A’s Senior Executive Vice President; Mr. Akila Viraj Kariyawasam, Hon. Minister, Ministry of Education; Mr. W. M. Bandusena, Secretary, Ministry of Education; Mr. M. J. J. Fernando, Deputy Director General, Environmental Education & Awareness Division, Central Environmental Authority; Ms. Damayanthi Balasuriya, Director of Education (Agriculture and Environmental Studies), Ministry of Education; front row: Mrs. A. Thevakanthan, Project Teacher; Members of the winning team, namely, Ms. Primraj Ravichandra, Ms. Abarna Kumarakuruparan, Ms. Litharshika Sadatchararajah, Ms. Thuwaraha Suntharalingam, and Ms. Tharshana Thevaraj; and Mrs. R. Kanagasingam, Principal, Vincent Girls’ High School – Batticaloa during Friends of the Planet awarding ceremony.

The award ceremony was held on 14th of July at the Ministry of Education Auditorium. Chief Guest on the occasion was Education Minister Hon. Akila Viraj Kariyawasam. Also present were Prof. Lal Mervin Dharmasiri from the Central Environmental Authority and Mr. Thirawit Leetavorn, Senior Executive Vice President of Double A (1991) Public Company Limited.  


Vincent Girl’s High School’s project - Minimizing the usage of polythene in the public Market – aims to create a clean, healthy and disease free environment by reducing the usage of polythene bags and increase the livelihood of people. To achieve this objective, the team has worked to educate the public about the ill effects of using polythene and promoted the use of eco-friendly bags when going to the market, and created a campaign to make a polythene-free school. Going a step further, the winning team introduced new outlet in the market where the public can purchase eco-friendly bags. They coordinated with Janathaksan, a local NGO, to increase the supply of eco-friendly bags in the market. This multi sectoral collaboration has converted two shops in the market to sell only eco-friendly bags, sold thousands of eco-friendly bags to consumers, empowered four housewives to make cloth and Palmyra bags, trained school children to make Palmyra products in the school, and even submitted a proposal to the President of Sri Lanka to ban the use of polythene in the Batticaloa market.


Mayurapada Central College – Narammala’s Eco friendly waste water filtration system and Palliyavasathurai Muslim Maha Vidyalaya’s Vermicomposting fertilizer for farming clinched second and third place respectively.


Double A ‘Friends of the Planet’ is a CSR project which was initiated in February 2016 to promote and educate school children island-wide on environmental protection. Seven schools were selected to implement their innovative projects under the guidance of Ministry of Education Director of Education (Agriculture and Environmental Studies) and Central Environmental Authority. This project was monitored by Director of Education (Agriculture and Environmental Studies) and Central Environmental Authority.


According to the campaign guidelines, the competing schools selected a team of five students above the age of 15 to come up with a cost-effective and ground-breaking solution to an environmental problem. Under the guidance of a teacher, each team developed and implemented a project within a period of three months. On completing the project each team compiled a detailed report which they presented to the expert panel of judges from Double A for evaluation.


“We are pleased to announce the winners who, with their creativity and intellect, were able to craft solutions to larger problems and awareness of how important it is for everyone to band together to save the planet. Armed with innovative ideas, these students are important stakeholders in a new way of life that will help save the planet”, said Mr. Leetavorn.


The members of the Vincent Girl’s High School - Batticaloa will be sent on an all-expenses-paid trip to Thailand where they will see the award-winning sustainability project carried out by Double A.


The Paper from KHAN-NA project is a landmark effort to make optimum use of vacant spaces between rice fields in Thailand, owned by local farmers. During the process, the KHAN-NA - previous unproductive land - is transformed into a productive resource, which provides additional income to over 1.5 million farmers when they sell the sustainable fibre-source back to Double A.


For more details on Friends of the Planet, visit Double A Sri Lanka’s Facebook page

Mayurapada Central College – Narammala clinched the 2nd place.
Palliyavasathurai Muslim Maha Vidyalaya – Narammala bagged the 3rd place.

News / Press Release