One hundred and fifty two young Sri Lankans identified as potential leaders of tomorrow received more than Rs 22 million in scholarships from Ceylinco Life recently at the 22nd edition of the life insurance market leader’s ‘Pranama’ scholarships presentation, an event at which their future duty to help build the country was emphasised.
A noteworthy feature of this year’s ceremony was the voluntary doubling of the value of the ‘Pranama’ scholarships by Ceylinco Life in recognition of the escalating costs of education and the impacts of the economic crisis on the cost of living.
Delivering the keynote address as Chief Guest, the Vice Chancellor of the University of Colombo Senior Professor H. D. Karunaratne focussed on the importance of skills development, language proficiency, ICT literacy and financial literacy as essential tools to face the challenges of the future.
Professor Karunaratne urged students, their parents and their teachers to understand the value of proficiency in English and at least one other international language in addition to the mother tongue, the need to be masters of the “smart part” of smartphones, the need to be literate in how to earn, use, save, invest and grow with money, and the importance of networking skills to master coordination and collaboration to work as groups instead of individuals. He also emphasised the importance of extracurricular activities to the development of team spirit, and for a balanced life.
Ceylinco Life’s Director/Chief Operating Officer Mr Ranga Abeynayake urged scholarship recipients to think about the last two lines on the Pranama song which contain a pledge that as they develop as individuals, they will build the country. Pointing out that a 10-year-old who received a Pranama scholarship at the inaugural presentation 22 years ago would now be 32 years old, Mr Abeynayake posed the questions: “But is he or she here in Sri Lanka? Are they building our country or helping build another country?”
With many past Pranama scholarship recipients now successfully employed as doctors, engineers, lawyers, accountants and in other professions, one objective of Ceylinco Life’s Pranama scholarships programme to inspire future leaders has been met, he said. “But we also want to build generations that love our country,” Mr Abeynayake stressed, and advised scholarship recipients to go overseas for higher education if they must, but to return to Sri Lanka and do what previous generations have failed to do, to build the country.
Ceylinco Life presented Pranama scholarships to 25 students who excelled at the 2022 Year 5 scholarship examination, to 25 students who excelled at the 2021 G.C.E. Ordinary Level Examination,
to 25 students placed 1st in their districts at the 2021 G.C.E. Advanced Level examination, and to 66 students placed 2nd, 3rd, and 4th in their districts at this same public exam. Additionally, Merit Awards were presented to young Sri Lankans who have excelled at the national or international level in sports, art, drama, invention or the creative fields.
With this round of ‘Pranama’ Scholarships, Ceylinco Life’s investment in the programme reaches Rs 200 million, and has benefitted 3,186 students.
Adjudged Sri Lanka’s ‘Brand of the Year’ and ‘Service Brand of the Year’ by the Sri Lanka Institute of Marketing (SLIM) and ‘Best Life Insurer in Sri Lanka’ by World Finance for the ninth consecutive year in 2022, Ceylinco Life was conferred the ‘Peoples Life Insurance Service Provider of the Year’ title at 2023 SLIM Kantar Peoples Awards for the 17th consecutive year, and was recently named one of the 10 Most Admired Companies in Sri Lanka. Ceylinco Life has been the country’s leading life insurer for more than half of the 35 years it has been in existence. The Company was also ranked the ‘Most Valuable Insurance Brand in Sri Lanka’ across both life and general insurance categories by Brand Finance in 2023 and certified a ‘Great Workplace’ in Sri Lanka for the third consecutive year in 2022. Ceylinco Life has close to a million lives covered by active policies and provides innovative life insurance solutions which offer protection while de-risking the goals and ambitions of the Company’s policyholders.