Plantation Human Development Trust celebrates 30 years

Plantation Human Development Trust (PHDT) is a tripartite organization that was established and incorporated on September 18, 1992 to facilitate the improvement of the livelihoods of the plantation community through social welfare programs.

The three parties are the government, the regional plantation companies and some of the main unions in the plantation sector. The government is represented by the Ministries of Plantations, Finance, Health and the Ministry of State for Housing and Community Empowerment. The PHDT, as the main provider of services to the plantation worker community, has also expanded its services through various specialized sectors to improve and provide these services in a more professional manner.

PHDT’s vision was to be the leading human development organization recognized for excellence, providing sustainable development programs to continuously improve the quality of life on plantations. Believing that employees are their most valuable asset by striving to develop capacity and productivity at all levels, they always strive to conduct their business in a responsible and ethically sustainable manner by adopting best practices and processes that ensure long-term economic, social and environmental sustainability benefits.

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Over the past 30 years, the PHDT has been an iconic facilitating agency and has a reputation for strength, stability, integrity and resilience. The PHDT serves the country’s most disadvantaged sector, the plantation community, by maintaining the highest standards of governance and transparency, innovating with the latest digital technologies, and investing in sustainable programs and projects.

Over the past 30 years, their commitment to implement hardware and software programs maintaining its sustainability despite many challenges and obstacles to ensure the upliftment of the plantation community, they have continued steadfastly to maintain the confidence that the workers have granted them even in the past two years with the Covid19 pandemic.

The PHDT has acted strategically and systematically to expand its operations by streamlining and implementing a series of effective projects that meet the needs and demands of the plantation community by providing the estate’s workforce with greater opportunities and adequate tools to assiduously build their dreams.

The PHDT has always kept in mind that the plantation community has pursued a series of successful projects over these 30 years. Over the years, the PHDT has identified and responded to the needs of the plantation community.

PHDT has been recognized for its financial transparency, accountability, good governance and best accounting practices by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Sri Lanka and the South Asian Federation of Accountants.

The PHDT has a talented team that is unique and unlike any other capital within the organization that plays a more complicated role in supplying and serving the plantation community. They provide a wide range of services to the plantation worker community with improvements to housing and infrastructure, water and sanitation, health and childcare, social mobilization and communautary development.

The PHDT, as the main provider of services to the plantation worker community, has also expanded its services through various other specialized sectors to improve and provide these services in a more professional manner.

Health programs

The PHDT in its project activities mainly focusing on improving the infrastructure facilities of the working community. Since forming PHDT, he has reached out to workers and their families through numerous health programs, to prevent disease, promote health and healthy living.

Some of these programs are: maternal care, child development, child protection, early childhood development and care activities, health education, nutrition awareness and cooking demonstrations, empowerment of women, training programs for estate health staff, sensitization on specific activities for estate managers, some of their main activities organized and carried out by their health division to increase the contribution to the productivity and sustainability of the industry.

The regional plantation societies provide wholehearted support to plantation workers that host cooperative societies in terms of capacity building and resource mobilization. In addition to providing loans for various other projects. The Water Supply and Sanitation Project (WASSIP) is the latest project financed by the World Bank.

This project focused on the plantation sector in many areas. So far, WASSIP has spent more rupees. 835 million to provide drinking water to nearly 5,000 households and approximately 250,000 beneficiaries.

Their World Bank-funded ECD project, implemented under the Ministry of Women and Children and Social Empowerment, was launched in 2016 with a total investment of $10 million. As part of this program, children were safely placed in modest child development centers under the direction of a child development worker. These centers have been provided with a play area with furniture and play equipment, spending nearly US$8.29 million on children for their recreational activities.

Community kitchens

The PHDT has reached the second half of the third round of vaccination against Covid 19 covering almost 97% of the real estate community. Through the regional PHDT staff, they organized vaccination awareness programs to educate the plantation community.

To overcome malnutrition in the plantation sector, with the collaboration of Palm Foundation, they launched 10 community kitchens.

Several other measures are underway to further improve and strengthen the EWHCS units in the country, including the automation of their financial records for greater discipline and accountability. EWHCS has become a leading community organization in the country and many units are located at RPCS Estates.

We believe it is a laudable achievement for an organization to reach its 30th anniversary in its journey as a plantation industry pioneer and dedicated corporate citizen, PHDT commemorates this day with humility. Their journey has always been difficult, but inspiring. today, the PHDT is strongly positioned, financially and in terms of expertise, experience and other resources, to fuel economic development.

The Plantations Human Development Trust (PHDT) understood the urgent need and secured approval from the Planters Association and the Ministry of Industry to enter into discussions with the Sri Lanka Social Security Board to launch the scheme. voluntary retirement scheme for plantation employees. recognition by all who are interested in the survival and sustainable growth of this major foreign exchange earner. May the PHDT maintain its services to Planters with greater commitment and motivate all Planters to turn to professionalism in the service of the plantation sector and the country.

Let us look to the future with the inspiring strength and vigor of the past and rise up to meet the needs of working people.

We congratulate the General Manager Lal Perera, his efficient assistant, the staff and also all those who have contributed over the past 30 years for their achievements in the service of the betterment of the plantation sector and its community.

The author is the General Secretary of the Ceylon Planters’ Society

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