“For the Next Generation” is the phrase to describe Oxford College of Business and its Alumni’s CSR direction. OCB and the OCB Alumni continue to pursue a wide range of initiatives based on this direction. This time the CSR initiative revolved around two major projects. While one project involved the donation of a fully equipped library and play area to the Salvation Army Boys Home in Rajagiriya, the second initiative involved the donation of medical equipment, beds and dry rations to the Preethipura babies’ home in Wattala. Funds for these projects were jointly raised by the OCB Alumni past and present student body together with Oxford College of Business. All past and present students of Oxford College of Business and its management contributed, attended and took part in this worthy cause held on the 8th of March 2014.
“The OCB Alumni and Oxford College of Business have been supporting such similar projects very regularly and CSR is one of the key activities at OCB, where all past and present students of OCB needs to actively get involved in,” said the CEO of Oxford College of Business. As a part of their education students at OCB are made to understand that “customers seek it; communities in which we operate insist on it, and your clients, business partners and even employees will hold you accountable for making a positive contribution.”
While the issue of education in Sri Lanka remains a key theme, the access to books – an indispensable tool for literacy education – is limited, and the ratio of children’s homes possessing a library is very small, it is based on these reasons that the OCB Alumni together with Oxford College of Business decided to set a fully equipped library and a playground area to the Salvation Army Boys Home in Rajagiriya.
“The entire project took us about 4 months to complete” said the President of the OCB Alumni Mr. Shawn Adams. “We managed to collect approximately 3000 used books which were donated by our past and present students and over 250 new books donated by Oxford College of Business. All our past and present students of Oxford College of Business participated in the project which includes donating books, cash, volunteering their time or to pack books. Book collection has been extended to schools and members of the public as well as we wanted all our stakeholders to get involved in this project” say Mr. Shawn Adams. In addition to donating a fully equipped library the OCB Alumni together with Oxford College of Business also refurbished and donated new playground equipment.
While the Children’s home consisted mainly of children between the age of 5- 17, two students who had completed their A/L at the boys home were granted full scholarship to study English Language at Oxford College of Business.
The 2nd project involved the donation of rare therapy equipment to the Preethipura babies’ home which was required urgently. The significance of this project was that the equipment that was donated had to be manufacture from scratch, as they were not available to be readily purchased from shops. The equipment donated included: Back straightening therapy equipment, Leg straightening therapy equipment, walking steps and baby cots were among some of the items that were donated to the babies’ home in addition to the supply of dry rations and 500 nappies for new born babies.
“The successful completion of both these projects has made us realize that the initial investment in developing good relationships with stakeholders can have a significant financial payoff by preventing protests, work stoppages, and employee turnover. And many corporations find that social impact issues such as supply chain analysis, partnerships with social enterprises, and ‘bottom of the pyramid’ approaches can serve as true drivers for innovation,” says Mr. Safraz Careem who was the Leader of the fund raising subcommittee. Mr. Eardly Kern the leader of the second subcommittee said “It was a personal milestone for me, and to head such a worthy cause and complete it successfully is a privilege. The amount of support and assistance that both the past and present students at OCB demonstrated was extremely commendable. The participation exceeded all our expectations, and I was amazed to see the amount of interest students placed on contributing towards a worthy cause.” The Managing Director of Oxford College of Business went on to say: “Business will ultimately drive success, but those leaders who understand these issues can develop appropriate services and products to address them will not only create successful organizations, but will also help build a better world. Knowledge and awareness of CSR are critical to success and these are the kind of business leaders that we like to produce. We are proud to have an Alumnus which gives CSR its due place in socity.”