Articles on Latest events

BMI receives appreciation award from SIYB Association

27th September 2017: Berendina Microfinance Institute (Gte) Ltd (BMI) received a special appreciation award from the Start and Improve Your Business (SIYB) Association network of Sri Lanka recently in recognition of BMI being an Active Training Partner of the Association. 

The training services conducted by BMI was honored at the Annual Convention of SIYB Association held on the 27th of September 2017 at the Renuka City Hotel. The award was presented by the Country Director of the ILO Country Office for Sri Lanka and the Maldives - Ms Simrin Singh and received by BMI's Manager of Enterprise Development Services – BMI. Mr. Rajesh Khanna.

Deputy Minister of Skills Development and Vocational Training - Mr. Karunarathna Paranawithana, Chairman of SIYB Association - Mr. Hilmy Ishak and the CEO of SIYB Association - Mr. Mohan Thilakasri were also present at the event.
During the period from January to August 2017, BMI has conducted 88 Improve Your Business (IYB) training programmes of SIYB for over 1600 micro level entrepreneurs 

The 'Start and Improve Your Business (SIYB)' Program of the International Labour Organization is a system of inter-related practical management-skills training package for small-scale enterprise owners and managers. 
It encompasses a range of cost-effective and practical training, monitoring and evaluation methodologies and instruments which are designed to meet the management training needs of potential and existing small business persons.

The overall objective of the SIYB Association is to contribute to the economic development and to the creation of new and better jobs in any country it practices. The mission of the SIYB Association of Sri Lanka is “to facilitate the development of a vibrant, private sector led market for business development services that offers a wide array of quality products to micro, small and medium scale enterprises”.

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BEC commences Accelerated Skills Program

10th September 2017: Berendina Employment Center (BEC), in a joint collaboration with Institute of Computer Technology recently commenced the Accelerated Skills Acquisition Program to train youths in Malavi located  in the Mullaitivu District. Under this three-month programme, 50 under-privileged youths selected from the Mullaitivu district will be provided with a job-oriented training on English and IT Skills while a significant time is allocated to develop their social, moral and soft skills. 

“The program will be conducted in two batches in two different locations considering the geographical and practical situations of the district. Students will have four compulsory classes for four days and one optional class in a week,” District Manager of BEC,  Mr. Dinesh Chandru said. 

The program for the first batch of students commenced on the 10th of September 2017 at Malavi – TACAWEC Training center while the second batch is expected to begin in due course at the Virginia H. French Learning Center in Mulllaitivu. 

Berendina Employment Center will contribute a funding of Rs. 650, 000 for the course with Rs.  13,000.00 being paid per trainee (650,000.00) while the students taking part in the program will contribute a meager amount of Rs.3000.00 each.

“It is expected that at the end of the training program, each trainee will be able to develop their task schedule for the next three months in their career. Accordingly, BEC will also assist them to gain productive jobs. Those interested in pursuing higher education will also receive guidance on the choice of the professional course based on each person's vision,” Mr. Chandru said.

Berendina Employment Center (BEC) commenced its activities in the year 2000 with the objective of finding suitable and productive employment opportunities for youth in rural and plantation areas as well as to assist employers to find suitable employees at a minimal cost.

Since inception, BEC has successfully linked over 16,500 youth with jobs and during 2016, a total of 1623 youth were linked to productive employment opportunities through BEC.

Berendina is one of the Sri Lanka's leading poverty alleviation agencies in the non-government sector. It consists of Berendina Development Services (GTE) Ltd (BDS), Berendina Microfinance Institute (GTE) Ltd (BMI), Berendina Micro Investments Company Ltd and BEC.


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Berendina ties up with govt. to shelter estate workers

07th September 2017: Sri Lanka's Ministry of Hill Country New Villages, Infrastructure and Community Development recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Berendina Development Services (Gte) Ltd. (BDS) in a landmark Public Private Partnership (PPP) to build 10 houses for the vulnerable families in the estate community in Nuwara-Eliya and Ambagamuwa. 

According to the MoU, BDS will undertake the construction of ten houses at a cost of Rs. 8.1 million which consists of a contribution by the Ministry amounting to Rs. 5 million and the balance amount being borne by BDS by way of a grant.

The agreement between the two parties was signed by the Secretary to the Ministry of Hill Country New Villages, Infrastructure and Community Development, Mrs. Ranjani Nadarasapillai and Berendina Group Chairman, Mr. Anura Athapattu on the 07th of September 2017 at the Ministry premises. The signing event was witnessed by BDS General Manager, Mr. Dayantha Fernando, Additional Secretary to the Ministry, Mr. M. Uthayakumar and Consultant Engineer, Mr. Nawarathna Walisundara.

Established in the year 2005, Berendina Development Services (BDS) is a Non-Governmental-Organisation with a mission to assist the vulnerable and marginalized communities in the island by extending supports towards livelihood, water, sanitation and hygiene, house constructions, Health, Education and Social infrastructure development projects. BDS, which annually supports over 60,000 families across districts, currently operates in eight Districts spread over twenty-seven Divisional Secretariat Divisions in the rural areas and over 69 estates in Nuwara-Eliya and Kegalle districts.

The sister organisations of BDS includes, Berendina Microfinance Institute (Gte) Ltd, Berendina Employment Centre and Berendina Micro Investments Company Limited (BMIC). BMI, a not-for-profit company is a leading poverty alleviation agency providing microfinance and Enterprise Development Services while BEC operates with an objective of finding suitable and productive employment opportunities for youth in rural and the plantation areas.

The group works with a vision of creating an empowered, equitable society where poverty does not exist.

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Berendina supports scholarship students in East

05th August 2017: The Arayampathy branch of Berendina Micro Investments Company Ltd. (BMIC) recently organized a free seminar for Grade Five students who are preparing to sit for their Grade Five scholarship examination this month. The program was held on the 05th of August 2017 at the Kokkadicholai Ramakrishna Maha Vidyalam with the approval of the Education Department in the area.

This scholarship seminar conducted by two renowned teachers was participated by 103 selected bright students from the Paddipalai Zone and consisted of pupils chosen from nine schools in the Manmunai South West division.
At the seminar, the participating students were provided with study materials required to prepare themselves for the forthcoming national examination. This timely program which was highly commended by students, teachers and parents alike for its academic value, proved to be a grand success.



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Berendina to crown ‘Best Entrepreneurs’

04th August 2017: Berendina Microfinance Institute (Gte) Ltd (BMI) and Berendina Micro Investments Company (BMIC) has announced that its seventh edition of the awards programme to recognize outstanding entrepreneurship is slated to be held in October 2017. The competition organized by BMI and BMIC, which work towards eradicating poverty by facilitating access to finance and enterprise development services for those under the poverty line, is held once every alternate year. 

Titled 'Best Entrepreneur Awards 2017', the contest will be conducted for national and regional level under five awarding categories namely Best Small Entrepreneurs, Best Micro Entrepreneur, Best Upcoming Entrepreneur, Best Entrepreneur for Agriculture and Best Entrepreneur for Animal Husbandry.

The BMI branch locations gaining eligibility for the contest will be four branches in Kegalle region, five branches in Anuradhapura region, four branches in Nuwara-Eliya region, four branches in Trincomalee region and four branches from the Batticaloa region. 

Speaking about the upcoming event, BMIC Director and General Manager, Charith Fernando said branch-level Micro Finance Officers (MFOs) would be responsible to support and guide applicants and submit applications from their village and estate clusters while the Branch Managers & Enterprise Development Officers would be responsible to choose applicants.

“At both the Regional level as well as the National level, the selected applications from branches will be assessed by external independent evaluators,” Fernando added.

At National BMI & BMIC Level, selected applications from all regions will be considered for national level selection. At the national level, one entrepreneur for each category will be selected as a winner leading to 5 winners being recognized at national level as best entrepreneurs.

The Best Entrepreneur Awards which was last held in the year 2015, recognised 170 entrepreneurs from 17 branches in 6 districts. In the year 2016 alone, BMI has trained a total of over 30,000 entrepreneurs of whom a majority were women. The purpose of these training programs are to empower participants with the necessary skills and knowledge to start and continue a business activity with an objective of improving their living standards through the generation of a steady flow of income. 


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BMI motivates rural entrepreneurs

30th July 2017: The Thambalagamam branch of Berendina Microfinance Institute (Gte) Ltd. recently organized a mega motivational training programme on ‘Effective entrepreneurship development’. The event, held on Sunday, 30th July 2017 at the Thambalagamam - Aadhi Koneshwara Mahavidyalayam from 9 am to 4.30 pm, attracted a participation of 167 clients.

The training programme which was attended by a majority of women was conducted by the Senior Lecturer at Jaffna University, Dr. Ramasamy Pushpakaanthan.

The objective of the programme was to empower and enhance the knowledge and skill sets of the participants on effective Entrepreneurship Development. The program was also aimed at motivating to transform their mindset towards entrepreneurship-oriented development and to educate them of the ways and means to achieve their goals.

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Berendina Akkaraipattu marks First Year Anniversary

29th July 2017: The Akkaraipattu branch of Berendina Micro Investments Company Ltd (BMIC) successfully celebrated its first-year Anniversary on 29th July 2017. To commemorate the day, the staff at the branch engaged in a benevolent activity by donating 21 pairs of shoes for school children with special needs at Ramakrishna Mission Maha Vidyalaya, Akkaraipattu.

The staff of the branch also spent time with the children during the event graced by Asia / Pacific Regional Director of Whole Planet Foundation, Claire Kelly as the Special Guest. Berendina’s Operations Manager, Miss. Y.Rajany and Area Manager- Batticaloa, Mr. A.Ajith Sri  were also present at the event organised to mark the Anniversary.

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OBT program for BMI employees

July 21, 2017: Berendina Microfinance Institute (Gte) Ltd. recently afforded opportunity to 30 of its employees to participate in a two-day outbound training program conducted by the Wayamba Outbound Training (OBT) Center.

The OBT programs, held on July 21 and 22, 2017 at the Nikawaratiya, Wannigama Training Center, was attended by employees from Thirappane, Ipalogama and Bulathkohupitiya branches.

The objectives of the program were to motivate participants, inculcate leadership attitudes, personality development and train the art of working effectively together to achieve specified tasks. 

This event was coordinated by Outbound Training Adviser Mr. Sampath Sri Ekanayake at the Wayamba Training Center. 

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Berendina donates over Rs.1mn for flood victims in Matara District

19th July 2017: Berendina Development Services (Gte) Ltd. recently pledged over Rupees one million worth financial assistance to victims affected by floods during May this year, in the Matara, Akuressa Divisional Secretariat Division recently. Under the financial assistance totaling Rs. 1,027,000 scheduled to be disbursed in three instalments, the first instalment amounting to Rs. 882,000 was disbursed to 50 families in the area at an event held on the 19th of July, 2017. 

The beneficiaries who received assistance were those who engaged in self-employment as their core livelihood in Akuressa but unfortunately had fell victim to the natural calamity while the consideration of the value of assistance provided were proportionate to the extent of destruction caused by the floods. 

Prior to providing assistance, a special motivational workshop on rebuilding the business and business development was held with the participation of senior consultants. 

The event was attended by Divisional Secretary of Akuressa, Mr. O. V Chandana Thilakarathna, General Manager of Berendina Development Services, Mr. Dayantha Fernando, Assistant Director (Planning) at the Akuressa Divisional Secretariat - Mr. D.R Wanniarachchi, Senior Manager of Berendina Employment Center, Mr. Jayatissa Manamperi and Development Officers in Akuressa Divisional Secretariat.

Berendina is planning to release the second and third installments during the next few weeks after completing a joint beneficiary follow-up visits conducted by the Economic Development Officials of the Akuressa Divisional Secretariat and the Berendina Development Services (Gte) Ltd.


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Berendina recognizes academic achievements of vulnerable youth

23rd of June 2017: Berendina Employment Centre (BEC) in collaboration with World Vision (WV) recently conducted the certificate awarding ceremony to recognize 41 students who completed the Professional Skills Development Program in Batticaloa.

The Awards ceremony was held on Friday 23rd of June 2017 at PHPF training center in Kiran in the Batticaloa district.

The ceremony was conducted with the patronage of General Manager of BEC - Mr. Hemantha Harischandra and District Manager of BEC in Batticaloa - Mr. Thinesh. Other dignitaries who graced the occasion included a Volunteer teacher from Germany - Ms. Tofias Anne, Founder of People Helping People Foundation – Mr. Francis, Sunrise Hotel Pasikudah Jetwing’s Front Office Manager - Mr. Sathees, Training & Development Executive at Sunrise Hotel –Mr. Suranga, Youth service officers in the Kiran division and parents and other invitees.

The Professional Skills Development Program, a three-month full time Diploma course in English, Life skills and ICT was inaugurated on 14th March 2017 in the Batticaloa District. The program implemented by People Helping People Foundation was targeted at the youth between ages of 17 – 25 who had qualified in their O/Ls and or completed A/Ls.

Out of the 41 students who completed the programme, 19 have been selected by companies for jobs through BEC-organized job fairs, 15 students have been directed by 2 institutions for their higher education and 07 students have expressed interest to join an internship at Jetwing Hotel’s management programme.

The objective of the program is to develop professional skills including effective communication skills (spoken and written) and presentation skills of the participating youth. The goal is to produce self-confident individuals who would master inter-personal skills, team management skills, and leadership skills. It will also assist them in developing broad career plans, evaluate employment market, identify the organizations to gain better placements and match the job requirements with their skills.

BEC and WV were the funding collaborators of the program which was conducted at Kiran in Batticaloa. The total course for the programme was Rs. 820, 000.00 in which WV contributed 25% of the total course fees and BEC bearing the balance sum.

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