CBL Sahan Sevana, a project aimed at empowering the differently-abled to enable them to stand as equals and contribute towards the development of the country, recently moved its ‘Hope’ cookies manufacturing facility to a new location in Ranala, Kaduwela.
The new facility, which is more spacious than the previous factory was declared open by CBL Group Chairman Ramya Wickramasingha.
Eighteen differently-abled individuals are employed at the new factory.
The new facility will continue to produce ‘Hope Cookies’ which comes in a variety of flavours; Peanut Cookies, Butter Cookies, Chocolate Chip Cookies, Sesame Cookies and Coconut Cookies.
The employees of Sahan Sevana receive training on the various aspects of Artisan Cookie Manufacturing and cookies are manufactured under the expert guidance and supervision of CBL staff.
A special team has been trained specifically to guide and train the differently-abled individuals while the entire manufacturing process is supervised to ensure highest standard of quality.
CBL provides premium standard raw materials for the manufacturing of ‘Hope’ cookies, and are responsible for the marketing and distribution of the product, which is available in all leading super- markets and grocery stores island wide.
Commenting on the new facility, Samitha Perera, Director/CEO of CBL Foods International Private Limited, a fully owned subsidiary of Ceylon Biscuits said: “CBL Sahan Sevana project reflects that if a person has the right determination, he or she can work for a living under any health condition.
The uniqueness of this project is that it is not just a CSR project created to help differently-abled people through sympathy but rather gives them an opportunity to be employed through their own talent. And we really value the happiness and strength this project brings to the employees and their family members.”
He explained that this is the main CSR project of the CBL Group and the company has already invested more than Rs. 30 million in this project and hope to expand it further to help many more differently- abled individuals to build their lives on their own.
Nishanthi Delph, Assistant Divisional Secretary for the Kaduwela divisional secretariat who provided assistance for the development of the new facility said that the efforts taken by the CBL Group to help these individuals to build their lives rather than letting them feel helpless and being put down by the society is a very valuable service.
A mother of an employee at Sahan Sevana too remarked that there is a remarkable improvement in the lifestyle and behavior of her child after commencing work.
CBL Sahan Sevana was established in 2010 with eight differently-abled employees, according to a concept of the CBL Group Chairman Ramya Wickramasingha and Group Director Susantha Gunawardena with the primary intention of providing differently-abled individuals employment opportunities.
The project has been branded as ‘Hope’, an indication of its vision backed by the CBL guarantee of quality.
The ‘Hope Cookie’ project has won a number of certifications – ISO 22000:2005 Food Safety Management System, ISO 9001:2015 Quality Management System, SLS 251:2010, SLS 326:2015 and SLS 1509:2015 and also in recognition of its services, Sahan Sevana was presented with the award ‘Best Organization that provides employment for differently-abled individuals’ by the Ministry of Social Welfare at the Swashakthi Abhimani 2018 national awards ceremony.
The profit generated from this operation is reinvested into the project’s upkeep and expansion.