Preventing gender-based violence and child abuse through education and awareness creation.
Project WAVE (Working Against Violence through Education) is a long-term initiative, combating gender-based violence and child abuse through education and awareness creation, commencing with the employees of the John Keells Group and designed to progressively encompass various vulnerable communities associated with the Group’s business locations and the general public.
Impact (as at 31st October2019):
Some of the key initiatives conducted since the launch of the project in November 2014, are as follows:
Phase 1 (general) awareness sessions in all sectors of John Keells Group businesses sensitizing over 18,800 Group personnel.
Launch of a staff-focused glass bottle campaign in November 2017 under the tagline “Zero Tolerance – I stand against Violence” with the objective of driving personal commitment to building a violence free society whilst also reducing the use of plastic water bottles.
Phase 2 awareness addressing sexual harassment in the workplace launched in March 2018. Sessions have been conducted for the President level as well as supervisory staff of in 9 resorts in Sri Lanka and the Maldives as well as one City hotel, UA and SAGT sensitizing over 430 Group personnel.
A five-day train-the-trainer workshop on GBV for 16 selected volunteers of the Group.
Awareness sessions on child protection for school children covering 3080 school children in 3 districts.
Awareness sessions on Cyber Exploitation & Violence Prevention Programme for City-based Group staff focusing on parents.
A systematic drive on Child Protection has been implemented in the Cinnamon Hotels through the adoption of their Human Rights Policy.
Two separate two-day train-the-trainer workshops on Child Protection for 54 staff volunteers from the resort sector
Enhancing the awareness, protection and channels of recourse available to vulnerable and strategic groups are criteria in determining the external communities for whom sensitization on GBV and child abuse are extended. Thus far, key initiatives undertaken for external target groups include:
general awareness sessions conducted for lawyers and police officers (in collaboration with the Bar Association of Sri Lanka), and school children sensitizing over 5,500 personnel.
Special police sensitization and training programmes conducted in collaboration with The Asia Foundation focusing on as well as police personnel and community members of the Mullaitivu District through a two-year intervention during which infrastructure and facilities at the Children and Women’s Bureau of the Putthukkudiyiruppu Police Station were upgraded to make the facility more conducive space for women and children. General sensitisation was conducted for 46 officers from the Mullaitivu SSP Division (including officers from Mullaitivu, Oddusudan, Mulliaweli, Mankulam and Malavi stations) while a train the trainer workshop was conducted for 35 officers to ensure that police are empowered to respond effectively and appropriately to incidents of GBV. In addition, community outreach programs were conducted benefiting 580 persons. Under the second of such initiatives, a 5-day train the trainer workshop was conducted for police officers from 8 police stations of the Colombo Central Police Division.
Community awareness on gender based violence - International Women’s Day 2019 was commemorated with an awareness session for 35 members of the women’s society of Iranaipalai in Mullaitivu. Following this, at the request of the women, two awareness sessions were conducted for the men folk of Iranpalai and Puthumathalan (Mullaitivu).
Community awareness on Child Protection – As part of the John Keells Praja Shakthi community awareness programme conducted in Colombo 02, 75 participants including community leaders and police personnel were sensitized on child protection.
Teacher training workshops – At the request of the Provincial Director of Education of the Western Province, a two-day skills development programme was conducted for 55 Health and Physical Education (H&PE) teachers of the Colombo Zone with the objective of empowering them to communicate the H&PE syllabus effectively including awareness on Child Protection.
Development of awareness material – JKF has developed awareness presentations, brochures and video clips to be used at sessions on both GBV and child protection.
Gender based violence campaigns - Since 2016, JKF has organised Public Transport Campaigns in commemoration of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women falling on 25th November. These campaigns targeted the 4 main public and private bus depots (2016 and 2018) and the three main Railway stations and the railway yard (2017) in the City of Colombo to create awareness on sexual harassment on public transport including that it is a criminal offence punishable by law, remedies, response and reporting mechanisms. These three campaigns saw a cumulative total of 5300 awareness stickers (in Sinhala, Tamil and English) pasted inside the buses and trains and 88,000 information cards distributed to commuters during a single day that each campaign was carried out. Pick Me cab service also supported the initiative in 2016 by distributing 150 stickers to their fleet of trishaw drivers. The campaign received encouraging support from the Sri Lanka Transport Board, Western Province Provincial Road Passenger Transport Authority and Sri Lanka Railways as well as bus drivers, conductors and commuters and similar campaigns are planned for the future. Parallel to the public campaign, an internal campaign involving awareness posters, a staff pledge board and pinning of the white ribbon was undertaken across the Group as a demonstration of staff commitment to building a workplace free of harassment.
Child Protection campaigns - In 2019, the first campaign on Child Protection was carried out in commemoration of World Children’s Day. John Keells Foundation together with Keells Food Products, Ceylon Cold Stores and Hikka Tranz by Cinnamon conducted a poster campaign on Child Protection on 1st October 2019. Posters were distributed among neighbourhood schools situated around our businesses. The initiative was followed by a series of awareness sessions on Child Protection in neighbouring schools around Hikka Tranz under the John Keells Praja Shakthi initiative.
|Cumulative Total as at 30th September 2020||Total Persons||Total Internal||Total External||Public Campaigns (estimated)|
Our collaborative partners, The Asia Foundation, developed a mobile app to address Gender based violence issues. The app titled 2six4, was launched on 8th March at the International Women’s Day event in Matara. The mobile app is available on Google play store for free. Please share this with your friends and family and download the app. For more details, watch the video below.
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