The 9th UNI Apro-JPGU Kanto Scholarship Award ceremony was recently held in Colombo, Sri Lanka. Madam S M Mohamed, the Secretary of Ministry of Post & Muslim Religious Affairs was the Guest-of-Honor of the event, and Mr. Rohana Abeyaranthne, Additional Secretary of the Presidential Secretariat, graced the ceremony as a special invited guest. Bro. Masaru Nishifuji led an 8 person delegation from the Japan Postal Group Union (JPGU) Kanto Region, which was supported by Sis Kanako Osaki, UNI Apro’s Director of Postal & Logistics. The event was planned and organised by the Youth Committee of the UNI Sri Lanka Affiliates Council (UNI SLAC).
Bro. Jayasri Priyalal, representing UNI Apro at the Award Ceremony, and also as the Chairman of the UNI Apro-JPGU Kanto Scholarship Board, gave special thanks in his welcome speech to JPGU Kanto for their unstinting and continuous support for the programme. This year’s award marks the 20th year of the bi-annual scheme since it was first incepted as a modest helping hand to help children of Postal employees in Sri Lanka to achieve their scholastic ambitions. He proudly shared that the programme has expanded from supporting ten recipients per batch to the current fifteen scholarships. It has over the years nurtured young leaders who are now working as engineers, medical doctors and innovative professionals such as designers and speech therapist. And in line with UNI Apro’s focus on preparing for the future of work, the scholarship board has changed the selection process to better identify potential recipients who not only exhibit academic excellence but also exhibit the necessary qualities, identified by the World Economic Forum to meet the challenges of the 4th Industrial Revolution, such as complex problem solving, critical thinking, creativity, and coordinating with others.
UNI Apro Regional Secretary, Christopher Ng, expressed his delight on the success of the scholarship scheme which started with the birth of UNI in 2000. Creating a positive image about trade unions in the minds of young, was one of the objectives of the UNI Apro/JPGU scholarship scheme, expanding the scope of trade union services as responsible social partners to uplift talented students in Sri Lanka. Over the years the scholarship scheme helped to develop talent to contribute to the social progress with the generous support from union members. Christopher said it is heartening to see some of the scholarship recipients are aspiring beyond the traditional career choices such as to work for NASA which is an encouraging development in the light of the 4th Industrial Revolution.