Hemas Oman

Top fabric manufacturer Teejay Lanka PLC and leading business conglomerate Hemas Holdings have joined forces to launch a groundbreaking initiative to promote menstrual hygiene awareness and provide essential resources to underserved communities in rural Sri Lanka.

A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed by the two corporate giants outlines a collaboration that will see Hemas Holdings supplying sanitary napkins to female students above 12 years in a minimum of six schools identified by Teejay for one year. The programme will be facilitated by the FEMS H.E.R. Foundation with Teejay. An abbreviation of its principal pillars of Help, Empower and Rise, the H.E.R. Foundation was set up by FEMS to create an even bigger impact and attract more like-minded organisations and people to join its initiative to end period poverty and promote awareness in Sri Lanka. Hemas has also undertaken to conduct educational sessions for students, imparting knowledge on proper menstrual hygiene practices, the correct usage of sanitary napkins, and appropriate methods for disposing of used sanitary napkins under this programme.

Teejay Lanka’s role will encompass creating a conducive environment for female hygiene awareness programmes in selected rural schools, sharing the necessary project-related information and student counts with Hemas before project commencement, and securing space for Hemas in girls' washrooms at selected schools to educate students on menstrual hygiene, sanitary napkin usage, and disposal methods. The MoU wassigned by Teejay Lanka Group CEO Mr Pubudu De Silva, and the Managing Director – Hemas Consumer Brands Ms Sabrina Esufally.

The project was prompted by recent research findings that the monthly average usage of sanitary napkins among women was 27.6% in 2022. Data specific to the Sabaragamuwa Province revealed an even lower average monthly usage of sanitary napkins, standing at just 20.8%.

These statistics underscore a critical issue, that a significant number of school girls in Sri Lanka are compelled to miss school for an average of three to four days each month due to limited access to sanitary products, which has a profound impact on their educational journey.

Teejay Lanka’s Senior General Manager – Marketing, Corporate Communications & CSR Ms Samadhi Weerakoon said the Company recognises the critical need for heightened awareness and education on menstrual hygiene, particularly within the educational landscape of rural communities and schools. “It has come to our attention that a significant portion of children lack essential knowledge about maintaining proper hygiene during menstruation, remain unaware of the potential health risks associated with inadequate hygiene practices during this time, and face limited access to resources that could significantly improve their convenience and wellbeing,” she said.

Speaking on behalf of Hemas Holdings, the Marketing Director of Hemas FMCG Mr Shiyan Jayaweera added: “We are happy to support Teejay Lanka on this initiative, which aims to equip children with the knowledge and skills necessary to navigate the challenges associated with menstruation. As a producer of quality sanitary products for menstrual health, Hemas is in a position to help improve access to the essential resources needed, such as sanitary napkins and pads.”

Established in 1948, Hemas started with a simple intent: to help families live healthfully. This core belief has informed the Group’s growth for over 70 years. Today, as a leading public quoted company with over 4,500 employees, Hemas bring healthful living to life through a portfolio of world-class products and services in the Consumer, Healthcare and Mobility sectors.

Sri Lanka’s first multinational textile manufacturer, Teejay Lanka was the first textile manufacturer in Sri Lanka to receive membership of the US Cotton Trust Protocol, and is a public quoted company with 40 per cent public ownership. The company is backed by Sri Lanka’s largest apparel exporter Brandix Lanka which has a 33 per cent stake. Pacific Textiles of Hong Kong, whose key shareholder is the Tokyo Stock Exchange listed Toray Industries Inc., owns 27 per cent of Teejay Lanka.

Teejay Lanka has numerous community commitments under the banner of 'Thirasara Mehewara' – the Company’s CSR portfolio. The projects are multifaceted, with a particular focus on improving hygiene and sanitation facilities in schools in need, with special emphasis on the Sabaragamuwa Province.