The 2nd batch of students complete their course at the Curtiss Graphics Design Centre
It was a day of joy and celebration when the 2nd the batch of students from the Curtiss Graphics Design Centre received their certificates on completion of the 4-month course. The ceremony took place on the 7th July at the MJF Foundation Centre in Moratuwa.
12 students who successfully completed the Curtiss Design Course and 26 students who completed the MS Office Course were awarded certificates by two special guests who were present at the event – Dilhan Fernando and Doug Zeiff. The students were commended for their hard work and achievements over a period of 4 months. Special cash prizes were awarded to Kasun Malaka Sandaruwan, who achieved the highest marks from the batch and to Subhani Udeshika for overall performance. Subhani, who wears a fitted-limb because of a congenital physical disability, works as an Assistant Teacher at the Rainbow Centre in Moratuwa, where children suffering from autism, Down syndrome and cerebral palsy are treated and cared for, giving them a chance of a better life.
The guests were welcomed by Tharuka, a Grade 9 student of the MJF Kids, with a charming speech and the audience was entertained by the MJF Kids, students and staff of the Rainbow Centre. It was a stimulating experience, where popular Sinhala songs as well as the national anthem were performed in sign language, under the tutelage of Dinesh Fernando.
Some students, jubilant and hopeful took this opportunity to thank Merrill J Fernando and Dilhan Fernando for helping them through the MJF Charitable Foundation. “I consider myself fortunate to have received this education from the MJF Foundation. At the MJF Centre we learnt much more than just Information Technology. We learnt the skills we need to go out there and face the world with confidence,” said Samith Fernando, one of the students, his face breaking in to a joyful smile.
“MJF took me by the hand and is leading me towards a successful future,” said another student, hopes of a brighter future lighting up his eyes. They did not forget to express their grateful thanks to their instructress, Disna Pannilawithane, whose tireless effort reached fruition on that day.
Staying true to the Dilmah’s philosophy of business as a matter of human service, the Curtiss Graphics Design Centre was established in 2011, as a part of the MJF Centre in Moratuwa, with the support of Daron Curtiss of New Zealand, a longtime friend of the Dilmah family. It offers free training of computer graphic designing as well as MS Office computer skills to talented, underprivileged youth.
These skills they acquire at the Centre provide them the much needed opportunity to find a way of economic advancement. It also exposes them to a different way of living, through various interactions, which goes beyond mere computer or design training, and the self-confidence they gain helps them breakaway from the vicious cycle of poverty and crime that is prevalent especially among the underprivileged urban youth. Most of all, it teaches them to believe in themselves and the power of dreaming big.