Special Education Project – Enhancing education of plantation school children
The MJF Charitable Foundation is currently supporting Ordinary Level students in 22 schools in the Talawakelle Educational Zone with additional classes and model examinations to enable them to face the Ordinary Level examinations. Already, the results are evident as the Talawakelle Zone has been identified as most successful Educational Zone in the Nuwara Eliya District. This initiative was introduced subsequent to a request made by the in- service coordinator in the Nuwara Eliya Education Zone.
The initiative began with model examinations for 950 Ordinary Level students way back in May, 2010 and two batches of students have already completed the Ordinary Level examination. Dilmah Partner, Noramix Group of Norway was instrumental in funding the costs of the test papers at the beginning. Each month model examination papers for English, Mathematics and Science are distributed among the recipient schools in Talawakelle. The feedback from students show that these model examinations have helped them and motivated them to sit for the final examination in December with confidence. The papers are set based on the current school curriculum and simulate the final exams. The model examinations also give teachers the ability to evaluate the progress of the students and point out strengths and weakness monthly.
The Dhiriya Centre
The Dhiriya Centre in Siyambalanduwa provides free vocational training classes in computer and dress making for youth and revision classes in key subjects for students sitting for their GCE Ordinary Level Examinations. Situated in Monaragala, officially the least developed among Sri Lanka’s administrate districts; a majority of the recipients are poor and would not have been able to afford training if not for the MJFCF initiative. The Dhiriya Centre is a source of hope for youth as it gives them an opportunity to enhance and receive skills which would help them become gainfully employed. The Dhiriya Centre was established with support from Dilmah Distributer in Poland, Gourmet Foods.
Hilton Colombo – Charity Tea pot programme
In May 2009 Dilmah together with Hilton Colombo launched an innovative charity tea pot programme to raise funds for a school in a rural village in Sri Lanka. The villagers were trapped in poorly paid menial labour at the local sugarcane plantation. The MJF Charitable Foundation adopted the isolated and deprived village of Koulara, with the objective to empower them in a more sustainable and rewarding livelihood. All proceeds from the sale of these teapots were channelled towards the construction of a pre-school for the children of Koulara.
Mary Taylor – Owner Operator Food Matters Tours
When the 2004 tsunami struck Mary was committed to lending a helping hand to those who had lost their livelihoods in the destruction. Mary has taken the fishing community in Welipatanwila, on the Southern Coast of Sri Lanka under her wing and has raised funds to provide them an ice plant thereby eliminating the need for them to travel long distances to secure the stocks of the ice, and a three wheel motorized vehicle for them to transport the fish and ice. The ice plant is aptly named ‘Kiwi House’ and would result in the enormous change of fortunes for an entire village.