In Sri Lanka, Trelleborg now supports an initiative to strengthen young people to choose a healthy lifestyle and fulfil their future dreams. The programme Star for Life runs at a Kelani College, close to Trelleborg’s factory in the capital Colombo.
Chathuranga Guruge is a busy man. It took a while to get hold of him for an interview and the phone rings constantly during our conversation. He is the programme’s manager and head Coach of the Star for Life programme in Sri Lanka. Trelleborg Group made it possible to make the life changing programme available for yet several hundred young Sri Lankans.
“I am now in the school four days a week to support the teachers and hold introductions of the programme,” he tells.
Even though Star for Life mainly is directed towards teenagers, all 1430 students at the school participated at the colourful launch of the programme in January 2014. And the enthusiasm is big. There is already a sense of greater confidence and proudness of being part of something so different from the ordinary school curriculum. Through creativity, positive thinking and joy youngsters within Star for Life are strengthened for a healthier lifestyle and brighter future.
“It’s great to see what can be done with so little. When I see these children I remember my own childhood and what I was like,” says Chathuranga Guruge, who also is a child protection and rights specialist.
He explains that it is hard to get permission from the government to run a non-formal educational programme in public schools as a direct involvement of an NGO. But the success so far with Star for Life has made an impact and created interest at many levels among Sri Lankan officials.
However, according to Chathuranga Guruge, the latest Star for Life initiative in one of Colombo’s industrial suburbs wouldn’t have been possible without the support of Trelleborg. The company has a large facility in the neighbourhood. Many of the students have family working at the factory and there are plans for practical collaborations between the youth and Trelleborg in Sri Lanka.
“The idea is to have mutual benefits. The workers are as proud of the project as the children. That creates trust in Trelleborg,” Chaturanga Guruge points out.
Read more: New Star for Life program for Sri Lankan students supported by Trelleborg, Trelleborg Team Completes “Four Peaks Challenge” Charity Initiative