GSK backs disability programmesJune 2009
GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), the global pharmaceuticals group, is putting 39million Sri Lankan rupees ($340,000, £210,000) into a project to empower disabled people in southern Sri Lanka that has been started by the Leonard Cheshire Disability Resource Centre, which was established to support victims of the 2004 tsunami.
The project, at Habaraduwa in the Galle district, will provide health and rehabilitation programmes as well as community-based services to show disabled people how to live independent lives, plus guidance on economic empowerment and self-reliance. At the same time it will support the right of disabled children to have a suitable education.
During the project the organizers aim to enable 200 young disabled people to lead a life of dignity through their Young Voices programme, which concentrates on producing leaders of society.
At present only 30 per cent of disabled children in Sri Lanka receive appropriate education and about 60 per cent of them remain unemployed.
Stuart Chapman, managing director of GSK Pharmaceuticals Sri Lanka, said: ‘We are confident that this project will help eliminate some of the attitudinal, environmental and institutional barriers and pave the way for a better quality of life with self-esteem for persons with disabilities and their families.’
The company’s recent CSR projects include the refurbishment of a ward at the Welisara Chest Hospital, renovation of a ward at the Lunawa District Hospital and the donation of a fully equipped high dependency unit to the Lady Ridgeway Children’s Hospital. After the tsunami GSK spent 29m rupees on restoring healthcare systems and improving services in affected areas.