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HSBC Partners with Berendina in “Sahana” – Special Relief Programme

HSBC has joined hands with Berendina in its “Sahana” – a special relief and livelihood empowerment initiative which is currently being implemented responding to COVID-19 crisis. Under this initiative, 3700 Economically Inactive Poor (EIP) families identified in 67 Divisional Secretariat divisions will receive Nutritious Food Pack for two months’ period. These DS divisions are located in 11 operational districts of Berendina including Ampara, Anuradhapura, Badulla, Batticoloa, Kandy, Kegalle, Kilinochchi, Mullaitivu, Nuwara Eliya, Trincomalee and Vavuniya districts. HSBC has partnered with Berendina in many of its past projects benefitting the rural and plantation communities.

One of the communities most severely affected by the COVID-19 related lockdown is Economically Inactive Poor families (EIP) living in rural and plantation sector. These people, whose capabilities are extremely insufficient to engage in a productive economic activity due to many hindrances such as age, physical/mental strength and care commitments. These inherently vulnerable groups of people include abandoned elders who are physically not fit to engage in any kind of income generation, disabled people and widows with infants who has no regular income source.

The survival of these people are more often depended on the government social security programs and support receive from close relatives who are still struggling with their livelihood even the county is opened for economic activities. Responses in ensuring their food security are absolutely critical in making sure no-one is left behind during the crisis.

The Inauguration program of Nutritious Food Pack distribution held on 25th June 2020 at the Divisional Secretariat Office, Ambagamuwa at Ginigathena. The Chief Guest of the event was Mrs. Sithara Ruwini Gamage, Divisional Secretary, Ambagamuwa Divisional Secretariat while Mr. Jagath Harishchandra, General Manager, Berendina Employment Center was the Special Guest and distributed food packs along with the officials of Berendina to the members of EIP families who were present at the event.

Berendina Clients in Kahatagasdigiliya receive Dry Ration Packs

The micro credit clients of Berendina in Kahatagasdigiliya recently received dry ration packs under its Rs. 85 Million budget initiative “Sahana” – a special livelihood empowerment and dry ration distribution initiative responding to COVID-19 crisis. The distribution ceremony held on 24 June 2020 at the BMIC branch premises.

Dr. D. U. B. Pitahawatte, Head of MOH, Kahatagasdigiliya graced the ceremony as the Chief Guest while Police Officers attached to Kahatagasdigiliya Police Station, Agriculture Officer and other distinguished guests along with Berendina officials were present and distributed the dry ration packs to participants. 3,055 clients attached to the BMIC Kahatagasdigiliya branch will receive the dry ration packs through this initiative.

Berendina provides Yam Seeds to its Clients in Galigamuwa

Berendina distributed yam seeds to its clients attached to BMIC Galigamuwa Branch recently. “Sahana” - a special livelihood empowerment and dry ration distribution initiative is currently being implemented by Berendina responding to COVID-19 crisis. 78 clients who are into cultivation activities received yam seeds on 19th and 22nd June 2020 at the distribution ceremonies held at the Galigamuwa BMIC Branch. A technical awareness session on yam cultivation also was conducted to the clients by Mr. Saliya Senevirathna, Agriculture Instructor, Yasogoda Govijana Seva Centre.

Under the “Sahana” Initiative, Berendina has commenced distributing turmeric seeds, yam seeds, banana, Bangkok guava, cashew, cassava stems, coconut, ginger, papaya, pepper, spine gourd and tea plants for cultivation activities as well as Bee keeping among its micro finance clients to restart their livelihood activities. This will also enable them to be direct participants in increase of domestic food production. Earlier in May 2020, Berendina also provided turmeric seeds to a set of clients of BMIC Galigamuwa branch under Sahana initiative.

Berendina Clients in Serunuwara received Coconut Plants and Cassava Stems Under “Sahana” Initiative

A special distribution ceremony was held on 22 June 2020 to distribute coconut plants and cassava stems to 100 clients attached to BMIC Branch in Serunuwara recently. This distribution initiative comes under the “Sahana” - a special livelihood empowerment and dry ration distribution initiative responding to COVID-19 crisis implemented by Berendina in its 11 operational districts.

Mr. Seenitambi Muralitharan, Additional Director for Planning, Divisional Secretariat Office in Serunuwara was the Chief Guest of the ceremony while Mr. K. Santhirakanthan, Agriculture Development Officer and Mr. I. Jegathees, Technical Officer of Divisional Secretariat Office, Serunuwara, were the Special guests and distributed the coconut plants and cassava stems to the participants along with Berendina Officials.

Berendina Kilinochchi Clients received Coconut Plants Under “Sahana” Initiative

Berendina is presently implementing a special livelihood empowerment and dry ration distribution initiative responding to COVID-19 crisis in its 11 operational districts. Titled “Sahana” and under this initiative, 151 clients attached to the BMIC Kilinochchi Branch received coconut plants at a ceremony held on 17 June 2020 at the Kachcheri of Kilinochchi.

Mrs. Rupabathy Ketheeswaran, Government Agent, Kilinochchi, graced the ceremony as the Chief Guest and distributed the coconut plants to the clients were present at the event along with Berendina officials. Berendina officials also conducted field level distribution on 19 June 2020 in three locations namely, Selvanagar, Mavadiyamman and Mukkampan.

Berendina distributed Cassava stems to farmers in Thangavealuthapuram, Thirukovil

Under the “Sahana” – a special livelihood empowerment and dry ration distribution initiative responding to COVID-19 crisis, Berendina distributed cassava stems to 50 farmers of Thangavealuthapuram –Thirukovil recently. The distribution ceremony took place on 12 June 2020. These farmers belong to BMIC Akkaraipattru Branch and has been involved in cultivation activities.

Mr. R. Kajenthiran, Divisional Secretary, Thirukovil was the Chief Guest of the Distribution Ceremony while Mr. K. Sasisekaram, Assistant Divisional Secretary, Thirukovil and Mr. I. V. Kamalarajan, Chairman of Thirukovil Pradeshiya Sabha were participated as Special Guests and distributed cassava stems to the farmers.

Under the “Sahana” Initiative, Berendina has commenced distributing turmeric seeds, yam seeds, banana, Bangkok guava, cashew, cassava stems, coconut, ginger, papaya, pepper, spine gourd and tea plants for cultivation activities as well as Bee keeping among its micro finance clients to restart their livelihood activities. This will also enable them to be direct participants in increase of domestic food production.

Berendina commences “Sahana” – Dry Ration Distribution Initiative from Anuradhapura

Berendina commenced its “Sahana” – Dry Ration distribution initiative at Viharakallanchiya, Anuradhapura on 02nd June 2020. Berendina, an organization that supports the people at difficult times since its inception in 1992, has allocated Rs. 85 million budget to support its clients and beneficiaries through initiatives responding to present COVID-19 crisis. Under this significant initiative, 83,000 clients of Berendina from 11 operational districts will receive Dry Ration support. This project is one of the biggest dry rations distribution projects of the country.

Mr. Keerthi Gamage, Additional District Secretary - Anuradhapura District was the Chief Guest of the Ceremony. Mr. Gamini Senarathne, Divisional Secretary MaNuPa, Mr. Chandraguptha - Admin Officer, Divisional Secretariat, MaNuPa, Mr. Sumith Rathnayake, NGO Coordinator – Anuradhapura District, Miss. M. R. Dissanayake, Development Officer, Viharakallanchiya, Anuradhapura and Mr. Jagath Godakanda, Chairman, Berendina Micro Investments Company Ltd, participated as the Guests of Honour of the ceremony and distributed dry ration packs to 78 clients .

The distribution ceremony was organized following the heath guidelines such as hands sanitizing, wearing masks and keeping the required social distance among the participants..

In addition to its microfinance clients, Berendina also plans to distribute dry rations to 3,700 Economically Inactive Poor (EIPs) families who have received support including livelihood, housing and toilets projects in the past.

In addition to dry ration packs distribution, Berendina already commenced its support initiative to improve livelihood projects by distributing turmeric seeds, yam seeds and support for cultivating alternative crops to farmers attached to its branches in operational districts.

Berendina will also support banana, Bangkok guava, cashew, manioc, coconut, ginger, papaya, pepper, spine gourd and tea cultivations as well as Bee keeping among its micro finance clients in near future.

Berendina Distributes Yam Seeds to Farmers in Bulathkohupitiya Area

Berendina, an organization that supports the people at difficult times since its inception in 1992, has allocated Rs. 85 million budget to support its clients and beneficiaries through initiatives responding to present COVID-19 crisis. Under this initiative, 60 farmers in Bulathkohupitiya received Yams seeds for cultivation. This program is in line with Government Policy to increase domestic food production.

These farmers are Micro Finance clients of Berendina who were into cultivation activities. Two seeds distribution ceremonies were held at the Berendina Bulathkohupitiya branch Office on 27th and 28th May 2020 following the heath guidelines such as hand cleaning, wearing masks and keeping the required social distance. Each farmer received 5Kgs of yam seeds for cultivation.

Mrs. K. A. Nilanthi Wijesinghe, Assistant Director of Agriculture - Ruwanwella Region, Mr. R. M. H. Darshana Kumara, Agriculture Instructor - Bulathkohupitiya, Mr. B. M. P. Rathnayaka Area Manager, Kegalle Region - BMIC, Mr. Indika Branch Manager, Bulathkohupitiya - BMIC, Mr. R. A. P. Sampath, Enterprise Development Officer, BMIC and Ms. M. G. Minoli Sugathapala, PO – BDS were present at these occasions to distribute the seeds bags to the clients.

Under the same initiative, Berendina earlier distributed turmeric seeds to 75 farmers in Galigamuwa and Bulathkohupiya branches to start the cultivation in small plots in order to increase the income of local producers.

Berendina Staff and family members show their raw talents during Covid-19 Outbreak

Berendina Group organized special competitions to its staff and family members during the long locked down period in the country. These competitions paved way to show raw untapped talents of staff and family members in singing and drawing.

Children of staff members participated in drawing competition under 2 categories – Under 10 and age 10 – 15 categories. The staff competed in open singing competition and their children also got an opportunity to compete under 15 category. A total number of 35 entries received from branches in various locations for the competitions. The winners’ details as follows:

Drawing Competition for the Children of Employees

Category 1: Under 10

1st Prize: Chiranya Senuthmi

Staff: Sarathchandra

Branch: BMIC – Mawanella

YouTube: Watch Video



2nd Prize: Swan Vaneesha

Staff: Kushanth Benedict

Branch: BDS – Batticaloa

YouTube: Watch Video



Category 2: 10 – 15 Years

1st Prize: Sandika Dulnaka

Staff: Shiromi Harrison

Branch: BMIC – Dehiowita

YouTube: Watch Video



Singing Competition



Category 1: Staff

1st Prize: Mr. Uditha Wickremasinghe

Branch: BMIC Kahatagasdigiliya YouTube: Watch Videohttps://youtu.be/Pe4zT3DEk5A

2nd Prize: Mr. Malindu Kalishka

Branch: Head Office

YouTube: Watch Video



Category 2: Children of Staff Families (Under 15)

1st Prize: Saswin Manthisa

Parent: Pubudu Wanigasundara

Branch: BMIC – Dehiowita

YouTube: Watch Video



2nd Prize: Thinaya Devmanthi Kumara

Parent: R.P.S. Kumarawansha

Branch: Head Office

YouTube: Watch Video

BMIC offers Debt Moratorium Scheme and Loan interest waver to its Micro Finance Clients

BMIC has decided to provide a debt moratorium scheme for its Micro Finance clients who are severely affected by the recent COVID-19 outbreak. One of the largest players in the Microfinance industry in Sri Lanka, BMIC has an active client portfolio well over 83,000 clients as at 31st March 2020 and decided to implement a special scheme to support its clients.

A lockdown curfew was a first time experience for many Sri Lankans. Though this tough measure was taken to protect the country’s citizens, it greatly affected all segment of people without any difference of their work or business environment. It also severely affected self-employed and rural entrepreneurs who fully depends on open business environment to offer their products and services. Entrepreneurs who established their businesses by receiving microfinance faced severe hardships as they could not make substantial income to pay their loans on time. This situation was same for clients of BMIC as well since most of rural economic activities have become non operative.

Though Central Bank has directed banks and finance companies to provide loan moratorium period for borrows by issuing circular No 4 & 5 of 2020, it was a notable fact that these guide lines are not applicable for microfinance industry.

Though BMIC is not obliged to implement a debt moratorium scheme to its clients, being a poverty alleviation focused company, the Board of Directors of BMIC had decided to provide a special program to ease the burden of its clients. Accordingly, this moratorium scheme is applicable from March 2020 for those who did not pay their due instalment in March. For those who paid in March this scheme can be taken from April onwards due to the government imposed lockdown of whole country. Accordingly, clients can manage their daily essentials with the money retain with them in this difficult time.

However, there may be a few clients whose income sources may have been heavily affected, and as such 3 months’ moratorium may not be adequate for them. Such clients will be identified separately and may be provided with an extended loan moratorium period up to a maximum of 6 months.

BMIC also decided to waive off maximum of two-months interest as appropriate If any client who does not utilize the moratorium benefit and willing to pay the instalments on time.

The staff of Berendina has maintained communication with their clients throughout the lockdown period and provided sound advices on health measures and counselling to keep the positive outlook in the bleak business environment. The application process for moratorium scheme was commenced from 4th May 2020.

Further, BMIC decided to waive off major portion of the interest applicable for loan extended period if client settle the loan within original loan tenor even they enjoy moratorium.

Berendina provides Turmeric Seeds to 75 Farmers in Kegalle

Berendina is an organization support the people and in hard times since its inception in 1992 in addition to their normal poverty alleviation related development work. Our country and the people are experiencing an extremely difficult situation due to COVID 19 crisis. Berendina has allocated RS 85 million budget to support its clients and beneficiaries through initiatives responding to COVID-19 crisis. Under this initiative, 75 farmers in Galigamuwa and Bulathkohupiya branches received turmeric seeds to start the cultivation. These 75 farmers will grow 2 Acres in small plots by each farmer. Good quality seed material was not available in Kegalle. Therefore, Berendina through its branch office in Akkaraipattru found good quality seed material and transported to Kegalle taking approvals from health authorities and following all the health and safely protocols.

These farmers are Micro Finance clients of Berendina who were into cultivation activities. This program is in line with Government Policy to increase domestic production substituting imports in order to increase income of local producers and to manage the balance of payment issues. The seeds distribution ceremony was held at the Berendina Galigamuwa branch Office on 14th May 2020 with the participation of Mr. Susantha Herath – Divisional Secretary of Galigamuwa, Mr. J. C. R. D. Jayaratne - Grama Niladari and at the Berendina Bulathkohupitiya branch Office on 15th May 2020 with the participation of Mrs. J. M. Ramya Jayasundara - Divisional Secretary of Bulathkohupitiya, Mr. M. R. U. D. Senavirathne - Grama Niladari, Mrs. J. M. N. Wathsala Jayawardena - Export Agriculture Officer, Regional, branch managers and staff of Berendina.

Turmeric is a product that has demand always in the local and export market. The demand for Turmeric was increased with the lock down due to curtail of imports from India. Therefore, the market for turmeric in the future will not be a problem.