By Mahieash Johnney – IFRC Communications & Information Manager in Sri Lanka
13/02/12 – Colombo, Sri Lanka: 250 scholarships to students from low-income families were awarded by the Sri Lanka Red Cross Society (SLRCS) in view of its 75th anniversary celebrations held at the BMICH in Colombo with the patronage of the Minister of Economic Development Basil Rajapakse.
This scholarship is an ongoing programme of the Society, which provides the facility to low income families in all parts of the country.
The Scholarship awarding programme is aimed at Advanced Level students who may encounter difficulties in continuing their education after getting through Ordinary Level, due to financial constrains.
The financial assistance under this scheme will be Rs. 1000/= a month for the two years of advanced level studies. The allowance is paid in advance at the start of every school term. The Education Ministry on the recommendation of principals will do the selection of recipients.
SLRCS children’s Scholarship Fund, a brain child of Hony President Jagath Abeysinghe and with blessing of His Excellency President Mahinda Rajapakse is governed by a panel consisting Coordinating secretary (Parliamentary Affairs) to H.E. the President, Mr. Kumarasiri Hettige and representatives of Education Ministry, Income Tax department, Bank of Ceylon and several other banks and Institutions.
250 students from all parts of Sri Lanka were in present at the ceremony held at the BMICH in view of the 75th anniversary.
One of the most commendable fact to note is that a student who received this scholarship last year from Jaffna was selected to the Medical University of Sri Lanka with a passing mark of 260.
Addressing the gathering the Minister of Economic Development Basil Rajapakse said, “The Sri Lanka Red Cross Society is the only organization in Sri Lanka that has actually looked after the most vulnerable without any hidden agendas. We have witnessed this in time and time after, especially in times of the tsunami. Many came to help us with big boards and big noise, but did nothing. Not the Red Cross. They were the one’s who did some honest work for the most vulnerable”
Furthermore the minister went on to say “This scholarship is a gift to our children. There are many who focus on school children who are young. They have various schemes to get into good schools and have a proper education, but this scholarship, which focuses on the higher level education certainly gives the boost to our children to finish their education in a proper manner. I thank the Red Cross for this.”
Meanwhile greetings from the President’s of International Committee of Red Cross (ICRC) & The International Federation of Red Cross & Red Crescent Societies Dr. Jacob Kallenburge & Tadateru Konoe were read out by the representation in Sri Lanka respectively.