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A Great Privilege to Help Young Pupils

At Jacobi, we believe that education is a child’s right and, consequently, we consider it a great privilege to be able to assist with schooling wherever we can. One particular country where we focus on this is Sri Lanka, where we have an activated carbon factory. 

Education in Sri Lanka is generally very good. The literacy rate is over 95% and schooling is free, however, funding is not distributed evenly and in rural areas schools can be inadequate. Add to this the country’s current economic crisis, which has been ongoing since 2021, and it’s easy to see how some children end up slipping through the net and missing out on schooling. 

To help combat this, we have several initiatives, of varying size, in place. One of the most impactful is our book donation scheme. For the past twelve years we have been supplying children with books and other materials they might need for school. This includes:

• Exercise books
• Bags
• Pencils and colouring pencils
• Erasers
• Sports kits
• Volleyballs, footballs and netballs

Yves Debayles, President Asia, at the ceremony of our book donation scheme.

The Sri Lankan government provides the textbooks for pupils and Jacobi helps to provide the additional equipment that they will need in order to succeed at school. 

The programme began with just 100–200 students from two to three schools, but we are delighted to say that this has since grown massively. This year, we helped 1,700 students from 12 schools. Each student received ten books each, totalling a huge 17,000 books! 

As the momentum of this programme grows, so does the social impact. We strongly believe every child is entitled to an education and, by helping to provide this for them, we hope to open up more opportunities for the children in the future. We will endeavour to continue to pave the way for better education for children and to help them learn, grow and move forward confidently through life. 

Building Bus Shelters 

Our work with communities is not limited to education and when needs arise in other areas we are keen to work with local people to help to address them. Since 2016 we have been working on building bus shelters which protect citizens in rural areas from the strong Sri Lankan sun. At the time of writing, we have built a total of eight shelters. These shelters had previously been demolished during road construction work and a lack of funding meant that the authorities were unable to rebuild them. By implementing these much-needed new bus shelters we were able to give all members of the local community access to safe and adequate infrastructure.

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