WIN Youth Empowerment Program
Asian Alliance Insurance PLC
The program’s vision is to “Empower 10,000 underprivileged but outstanding youths in the rural areas, thereby contributing an additional income of Rs.1 Billion to the rural economy by 2021”.
INTRODUCTIONThe program’s vision is to “empower 10,000 underprivileged but outstanding youths in the rural areas, thereby contributing an additional income of Rs.1 Billion to the rural economy by 2021”. As per the Household Income and Expenditure Survey 2012/13, conducted by the Department of Census and Statistics, Ministry of Finance and Planning Sri Lanka, the income gap between the rural and urban households stands at Rs. 12,095 (US$81). This program hopes to achieve its vision by enhancing the attitudes, confidence, knowledge and opportunities among the 10,000 youths which will result in an income increase of Rs. 5,000 per person. This will effectively close the urban-rural income gap by at least 40%. The Expected Return on Investment is 22 times.
FRAMEWORK AND STRATEGYAimed at students who have completed their GCE Advanced Level studies, this program scouts for deserving youths through a systematic process using referrals from the Government’s Ministry of Education and the Asian Alliance Insurance Branch network. Step two is a four-day workshop which is a comprehensive attempt to enhance the employability of youths and help them put their best foot forward in their first job. The first two days of the workshop features four intense sessions while on the second day the students are put through a practical session to develop their communication and presentation skills. The students are exposed to role plays and other training activities from which they will receive invaluable feedback relating to their performance. At the end of the workshop, the program is evaluated to ensure that it has achieved the maximum impact. 55 programs per year are scheduled to be conducted in selected rural areas in the country. Step three will see the company offering internship opportunities to participants through its 25 partner companies in the Softlogic Group. Students are selected for these internships using an assessment center with the aid of senior HR managers in the group. During the internship, students have access to a mentoring program where the top executives in the respective companies groom them. The final step is linking the students with prospective employers using the partnerships with some of the largest job banks in the country. Significant numbers are expected to be absorbed into the Softlogic group of companies as well.
ACHIEVEMENT AND IMPACTWhen the program achieves its end goal it will have an immediate and significant impact on the rural community where these youths hail from. Benefits will not only be monetary. The knowledge and the experiences of these youths will be passed on to their respective communities creating a multiplier effect. The additional income generated will be used to improve the quality of life of the respective families through increased spending on education and better sanitation facilities thereby improving health conditions. The savings will also result in entrepreneurship opportunities which will generate further income. Further, this will reduce the unrest among rural communities due to the belief that they are disadvantaged and will create a positive environment for the community as a whole.
FUTURE DIRECTIONOnce the first phase of the program is completed the second phase will be launched with the experiences and knowledge acquired by the first 10,000 students. Those who have benefited from the first phase will be used as ambassadors to take the program to other communities as well. In order to maximize the impact a further 25 companies in the group will be invited to conduct the programs as opposed to the only role that they are playing now, which is to provide internship and job opportunities. That will multiply the impact and add greater value to the rural community in Sri Lanka.
Asian Alliance Insurance PLC is the winner of the coveted “Innovation of the Year” award at the Asia Insurance Awards 2015 (Singapore). It is a composite insurance solutions provider and one of the fastest growing insurance companies in Sri Lanka. The Company is part of the Softlogic Group which is one of the largest conglomerates in the country.