NDB Bank continues effort to combat child abuse
National Development Bank has initiated a series of programs to
reduce child abuse over the years by educating children and parents.
Ms. Sandya K. Wijerathnemenike, Child Rights Probation Officer (Mahara
Divisional Secretariat) speaking at an awareness programme.
Being the most vulnerable segment of any society, Children are the
most susceptible to abuse. Incidents of child abuse are repeatedly
highlighted in the global media as a very serious growing concern.
Children are our future, and child abuse brings about complex
sociological and psychological problems that devastate their lives and
family. Despite its very grave and serious nature, child abuse remains
taboo for forums in many countries and society, notwithstanding the
increasing evidence of its occurrence in these very societies.
Incidents of abuse leave deep and damaging impressions in a child's
mind. Research shows that child abuse causes adverse health and mental
impact on children and their families; these negative effects could even
last a lifetime. Children suffer most when they are subjected to
physical and mental cruelty; it could even cause retardation and serious
impairment of their development into adulthood. For example, an abused
child may even refuse to attend school and suffer from separation
anxiety disorders. Child abuse even increases the likelihood of
substance abuse, (e.g. ingestion of drugs), aggressive and risky
behaviour, delinquency and depression.
It could also cause personality and post-traumatic disorders, which
may, when such children grow to be adults, lead to the abuse of their
own children and/or spouse.
Prevention is the best method to reduce child abuse, and to improve
the safety and lives of children and their families. Parents and
guardians are often incapable of detecting signs of abuse and the
dangers it poses to their child. Inaction would only mean years of pain
and heartbreak for young children who are unable to get out of this bad
Having identified this acute need, NDB Bank through its CSR
initiative, the Prevention of Child Abuse Trust, together with the
Department of Probation and Child Care has initiated a series of
programs to reduce child abuse over the years by educating children and
The Trust is headed by a group of independent trustees, which include
Eran Wickramaratne, CEO of NDB Bank, and the Commissioner of the
Probation and Child Care Services Department, Sarath Abeygunawardena,
who serves as ex-officio trustees.
During the course of the past few years, the Trust has conducted
several Child Abuse prevention and awareness programs in various parts
of the island for parents, school principals, teachers and even
students. This program is being continued this year, and over 600
parents have participated so far.
They were instructed about various forms of abuse and the
constituents of child maltreatment.
The parents are given advise on what steps could be taken to prevent
abuse, and how to identify any such incidents.
The Program also encourages parents and educates them on how to build
stronger relationship with their children in order to ensure open
communication and build trust.
Real life case studies are presented to participants to create a
deeper understanding of the issues involved and the serious long-term
physical and psychological impacts of child abuse.
The Prevention of Child Abuse Trust aims at building awareness about
child abuse as well as to provide aid and inspire hope in the lives of
those who have been affected by child abuse.
While aspiring to operate at the highest ethical standards and
following socially and environmentally responsible business practices,
NDB Bank has over the years, committed itself to several social