Hilton supports Dilmah’s ECHS in inspiring next generation of chefs
The Hilton, Colombo supported a visit by the students of the current intakes of the Empower Culinary and Hospitality School (ECHS) which introduced them to all aspects of a hotel and its inner workings.
Community, food, and music: MJF Centre, Moratuwa to host its inaugural Night Market
On 27 March, the MJF (Merrill J. Fernando) Centre Moratuwa will host its inaugural Night Market, a street food fiesta with a cause, where residents of Moratuwa can get together for an evening of food, music, entertainment, and shopping.
Down Syndrome: Early intervention reduces disabilities
The Sunday Observer spoke to Head of Rehabilitation Services, MJF Charitable Foundation, Dr Gopi Kitnasamy who has hands on experience in dealing with Down’s Syndrome patients, especially, children who, he says, can suffer from many mental and physical disabilities, including speech disorders, gait and other associated problems if they are not treated in their early growing stage.
Celebrating youth with Down syndrome: The Down Syndrome Virtual Day
On 22nd March, the Merrill J. Fernando (MJF) Charitable Foundation, in collaboration with Dilmah Tea, will be hosting the online virtual event titled “The Down Syndrome Virtual Day” at 4.30 p.m. via Facebook Live and Zoom.
Three of the women leading change with British Council’s ‘Voices and Choices’
British Council Sri Lanka initiated a grant scheme to build capacity and empower artists, gender activists, and development organisations who want to raise awareness, broker conversation, and address issues relating to gender equality and empowerment. This programme took place under the platform “Voices and Choices”, with eight change agents being seed-funded to implement their proposals. The Sunday Morning Brunch spoke to three of these change agents about their projects, and how they are driving change and fighting for women and girls.
A Kinder Christmas: MJF Charitable Foundation Hosts Annual Gathering
“Celebrating Differences” is an annual gathering hosted by the Merrill J. Fernando (MJF) Charitable Foundation, at which every child feels the true spirit of Christmas. For the past 14 years, every December, children and youths of all abilities and ages, came together on stage to capture hearts with their individual charms.
LSEG SL partners CLF to help young sporting talent
Recently, London Stock Exchange Group Sri Lanka (LSEG SL) made a charitable contribution of LKR 1 million towards the Cricket Live Foundation (CLF) – a collaboration between Dilmah’s Merrill J. Fernando Charitable Foundation and Alex Reese’s Cricket Life Foundation New Zealand.
Dilmah’s CSR wing – the MJF Charitable Foundation has joined hands with Millennium IT, Microsoft, Sarva and World Vision Lanka and have launched disABILITY – an App that is designed to support children with disability and their families by connecting them to expert guidance. This App is the first of its kind globally. It is available in Sinhala, Tamil and English. It offers invaluable teletherapy services for people with Cerebral Palsy (CP).
Designed and coded by Dilmah’s Merrill J. Fernando (MJF) Charitable Foundation and MillenniumIT, “disABILITY” is an app designed to support children with disabilities and their families by connecting them with expert guidance.
Making The Most Of Lockdown: Sri Lanka’s Hospitality Workers Are Prepping For The Future
With its sunny beaches and signature cuisine, Sri Lanka is amongst the world’s top travel destinations. Many Sri Lankans depend on tourism for their livelihood and income, but the hospitality sector has faced its challenges during the past few years.
Dilmah Donates 10,000 Covid Testing Kits To The Ministry Of Health
Colombo, 3rd June 2020 – Dilmah Ceylon Tea Company plc and associated Merrill J. Fernando Charitable Foundation initiated the second phase of its Covid response with the presentation of 10,000 testing kits...
This will be his 10th annual concert which will seek to raise funds to provide support for Cerebral Palsy Centres in Jaffna and Kurunegala affiliated to Dilmah’s National Centre for Cerebral Palsy and other Developmental Disorders.
At MJF foundation, a CSR initiative of the Dilmah Ceylon tea services, students visited the Small Entrepreneur Programme, Rainbow Center, Culinary Institute, Swashakthi Bakery and Women’s Development Programme where they were also served freshly prepared meals by the women.
Festive vibe resonates at Colombo Design Market 2019
A festive vibe resonated across the Colombo Design Market at the Rio Cinema Complex last Sunday. Known as Sri Lanka’s first-ever maker’s market, the Colombo Design Market (CDM) is more than just a market, it is an experience.
The National Centre for Children with Cerebral Palsy and Other Developmental Disorders (NCCCPDD) opened its first extension in the hill capital on 23 May as part of Dilmah’s MJF Charitable Foundation’s efforts to strengthen the response to the needs of people with disabilities in the Central Province of Sri Lanka.
A Visit To National Centre For Children With Cerebral Palsy And Other Developmental Disorders
MAITS’ CEO went to visit one of our long-term partners, the National Centre for Children with Cerebral Palsy and other Developmental Disorders (NCCCPDD), who we have been working with for a number of years,
Philanthropist Dilmah Tea owning family opens humanitarian centre
The patriarch of the world’s first family of tea says their new .4 million centre for “empowerment, inspiration, community development and climate change” is the evolution of 12 years of human service in the impoverished Eastern Province of Sri Lanka.
Unemployed and struggling to make ends meet, for the women of Pahalaanda, the dressmaking course at MJFCF, Diriya Resource Centre has been a transformative journey. Seetha and Nandani are a two such passionate and persistent students setting an example for the rest of the village women who have gained inspiration from their humble yet powerful work.
Dhiriya Awards – Building the base for a better life.
‘Dhiriya’ gives hope to far-fetched goals in life. At Merrill J. Fernando Charitable Foundation – Dhiriya Centre, 250 school children and young, ambitious adults, benefit from academic and vocational training which gives them ‘Dhiriya’ – the encouragement and support to excel in examinations and succeed in life as self-employed, independent individuals.
#PressforProgress - Women's Day Celebrations at Dilmah.
This year’s official theme of International Women’s Day, #PressforProgress, encourages women and men everywhere to take groundbreaking steps towards the progress of women. With a groundswell of momentum, on the 8th of March 2018, The Women’s Development Programme from The MJF Foundation Centre in Moratuwa organized an entertaining and informative program at Dilmah HQ, Peliyagoda to celebrate and advocate for the advancement of women from all walks of life. The theme of the event resonated with the wishes of millions of women across the country who struggle and strive for progress in life.
Crowning the culinary excellence - Empower Culinary & Hospitality School, Class of 2018 graduates.
The third intake of Empower Culinary & Hospitality School graduated on the 31st of March, 2018, after having successfully completed their intensive training course. The students prepared a custom-made menu which was presented the Settlor, Mr Merrill J. Fernando, his sons Malik J. Fernando and Dilhan C. Fernando, ECHS Governor Rohan Fernandopulle, Trustees, staff and friends of the MJF Charitable Foundation. The 3-course menu was a delectable display of their mastery of culinary disciplines, learnt during the programme.
Different forms of theatre—such as indoor stage dramas, street drama and puppet theatre performances—have been a part of Sinhalese culture for centuries. In fact, puppet theatre performances, known as rukada sandarshana in Sinhalese, have been traced back to the days of the Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa kingdoms.
Wearing a colourful dress of yellow and orange with white lace around the neck line, she looked at the passersby with her large expressive eyes. Many who saw her, stopped in their tracks to take a picture of this pretty girl. Children were excited by the mere sight of her and a few intimidated, for she is all of 14 feet tall.
Giant Puppetry is not a new concept around the globe and it is finally making its entry to Sri Lanka taking the art in to a whole new level. MJF Charitable Foundation collaborated with a team of artists to redefine and promote giant puppetry in Sri Lanka not only as an art form but as a viable enterprise to deliver performances and secure clientele from all walks of life.
The NCCCPDD celebrates World Cerebral Palsy Day with an empowering love for life
The children of the National Centre for Cerebral Palsy and Other Development Disorders (NCCCPDD), celebrated World Cerebral Palsy Day on the 6th of October, in harmony with many other events, worldwide.
4th Asia Pacific Choir Games and Grand Prix of Nations - Colombo 2017
The Asia Pacific Choir Games and Grand Prix of Nations is preparing to take over Colombo from Saturday, 21st October to Saturday, 28th October 2017 with over 3,500 international and local participants.
Team Ranaviru Sevana emerges champions of the 6th Dilmah Challenge Trophy National Blind Cricket Tournament Finals
Team Ranaviru Sevana secured a last wicket win over team Shakthi during the nail biting finals of the 6th Dilmah Challenge Trophy National Blind Cricket Tournament held on August 19th at the Wesley College Grounds.
The construction of the MJF Centre for Dignified and Sustainable Empowerment- East is progressing as men, women and children whose wellbeing was compromised due to the ethnic conflict, look forward to the brand new beginning…
Launch of "A field guide to Dragonflies and Damselflies" Book
Pursuing a hopeful aspiration to coalesce scientific knowledge and deeper reflection on nature, Dilmah Conservation will release its latest publication "A field guide to Dragonflies and Damselflies"...
On most days there is an aura of peace at the MJF Centre. Some kids drum, others sing, dance or perform acrobatics. Some kids look a little different as they have Down Syndrome, some Cerebral Palsy or Autism while others are typical and come from poverty stricken communities.
Merrill J. Fernando honoured with FIRST Award for Responsible Capitalism for improving the lives of underprivileged children and deprived communities
The man known as the Teamaker - Dilmah Founder Merrill J. Fernando - was honoured in the United Kingdom with the FIRST Award for Responsible Capitalism 2016, on November 30 at the Royal Automobile Club, London.
Young chefs at Empower Culinary Training Centre on an international culinary adventure
The world class chefs Sean Collins from Accor Hotels, Selvana Chelvanaigum from William Angliss Institute and Volker Marecek from The Langham, Auckland who volunteered to lecture and train the students of the Empower Culinary Training Centre...
A helping hand for those living with Cerebral Palsy and Developmental Disorders
The teenagers on wheelchair, accompanied by their caregivers, lined up at hallway of the National Centre for Cerebral Palsy and Developmental Disorders in Ambagahawatte on the outskirts of Colombo to attend the official opening of the Centre.
Dilmah brings help and hope for more families at Dunkeld Estate
It was a new lease of life for 21 estate families in the upper division of the Dunkeld estate when they received the keys to the brand new housing units built by the Merrill J. Fernando Charitable Foundation.
Illuminating the talents of visually impaired cricketers
The Dilmah Blind Cricket Tournament finals was a true celebration of sportsmanship and teamwork among the visually impaired through the game of cricket. The two evenly matched teams Ranaviru of the Ranaviru Sevena (Home for Injured Soldiers) in Ragama and Shakthi Sports Club from the isolated area of Moneragala met in a nail biting match.
Sir Richard Hadlee shares cricketing tips with underprivileged kids
Kiwi cricket legend Sir Richard Hadlee was on a flying visit to Sri Lanka on Friday, June 17th. He was here in his capacity as Patron of the Cricket Live Foundation. He met with Founder Merrill J. Fernando at the Dilmah head office in Peliyagoda where he was taken through the intricacies of traditional tea making by the Founder.
First round of the Dilmah National Blind Cricket tournament completed successfully
The first round of the Dilmah National Blind Cricket tournament which commenced in April has been completed, with four teams already through to the quarter finals. The final four teams will be selected in matches to be held next week in Colombo.
Dilmah tea in the 'Brands with a Conscience' publication
Dilmah Tea is highlighted as a brand with a conscience in the new publication by the Medinge Group, "Brands with a Conscience" . In 2005 Dilmah was the proud recipient of the prestigious award by the Medinge Group the "2005 Top Brand with a Conscience".
Asirimath Iskole the "School of Inspiration"; a gift to the village of Koul Ara
The Asirimath Iskole, the â€œSchool of Inspirationâ€ in the rural area of Koul Ara, was declared open on Saturday, March 26th, 2016, by Settlor of the MJF Charitable Foundation (MJFCF), Merrill. J. Fernando.
Sri Lanka National Blind Cricket team ready for Pakistan cricket tournament
The Sri Lanka National Blind Cricket team is currently preparing for a Pakistan tour, in which they will be playing three T-20 and three one day matches from April 3rd to 10th. The team received their official uniforms sponsored by Dilmah today.
To encourage the active participation of the fathers of the MJF Kids, the MJF Charitable Foundation organized a Father's Day cricket tournament held on Tuesday, 22nd of March. The event was facilitated by the Social Alliance for Love and Trust (SALT) the youth group that successfully conducted the Teen Camp at the Foundation in February.
Join the fun at the World Down Syndrome Day celebrations at the MJFCF Moratuwa
Come join the MJF Centre in Moratuwa when they celebrate World Down Syndrome Day, on Saturday 19th March. The day promises to be an interesting one for all with a number of events including a variety of activities organized to celebrate these special individuals.
"Pledging for Parity!" was the theme of International Women's Day 2016, and the MJF Centre Moratuwa held a special four day program in keeping with this theme. Empowering women with dignity was the purpose of the MJF Women's Development Program (WDP) which on a daily basis enables women to uplift their skills and talents and to reach their fullest potential.
The Moratuwa MJF Kids Talent Show held on the 27th of March 2016, was an enchanting and inspiring evening as the kids showcased their aesthetic talents to the audience, alongside students from the Rainbow Centre for special needs.
Enabling the Ex-Abled Through a Celebration of Ability and the Means for Steady Livelihoods
October 2015, Colombo : The AIDEX (Aid to the Ex-Abled) Annual Sports Festival, sponsored by Dilmah and the MJF Charitable Foundation (MJFCF), was held recently in its consecutive 19th year at Wesley College Grounds in Colombo.
“I never thought this dream a possibility, but I worked hard and achieved it somehow,” says a smiling Akbo Manula Jayawardana, after placing first in both the 200m and 100m running events at the Special Olympics World Games 2015 held in Los Angeles this year.
The MJF Charitable Foundation (MJFCF) has commenced yet another initiative aimed at providing children from underprivileged and disadvantaged backgrounds with the possibility of empowerment through education.
I couldn’t have afforded this house. My kids are happy because they feel secure
As of 30th March 2015, all 49 families who were living in temporary accommodation on Dunkeld estate have completed receiving their allotment of permanent housing built by the Merrill J. Fernando Charitable Foundation (MJF CF) since Dilmah acquired full ownership of the property.
“I cannot express what it feels to hold the keys to our own home”
“I cannot express what it feels to hold the keys to our own home,” said Jasmine Radhakrishnan (27), born and bred on Dunkeld Estate. “This new house is a dream come true and we can now plan for a better future with our children.”
“Today, I am the most fortunate man in the world,” says Blind Federation Treasurer
Over 600,000 people in Sri Lanka are visually impaired, while 200,000 persons are estimated to be blind. Of the foremost challenges blind people face in education, the lack of books in Braille is critical, whilst the difficulty in accessing them and comparatively high cost of purchase are drawbacks.
School uniforms gifted to children in former war-affected areas
Over 4,500 school children from 28 schools in the Batticaloa West Education zone in Vavunativu DS Division received a set of school uniforms from the MJF Charitable Foundation at the Munaikadu Tamil MV school.
Life through Cricket'- a joint initiative between the MJF Charitable Foundation (MJFCF) and Cricket Live Foundation (CLF), New Zealand held a cricket coaching program in Moratuwa (03 Nov.) for 24 underprivileged children and their coaches.
Harshini Kumari Pathiraja, studying for the Advance Level in the Commerce stream, came all the way from Kurunegala to take part in 2014's AIDEX (Aid to the Ex-Abled) Sports Festival that was held in Colombo.
116 students graduate from the Curtiss Centre for Design
It was day of celebration and commemoration that saw the 4th batch of students from the Curtiss Centre for Design graduate at a special Certificates Awarding Ceremony held at the MJF Centre in Moratuwa on 28 June 2014.
‘Life through Cricket’ – a collaborative programme between the MJF Charitable Foundation and Cricket Live New Zealand has completed the first three months with the opening of the refurbished outdoor practice nets at the De Zoysa stadium at Moratuwa on 7 March 2014.
The Rainbow Centre marks two years of humane service and care for the deserving
The Rainbow Centre at the MJF Kids Centre in Moratuwa celebrates two years of service this February. The centre provides a holistic development programme for students with special needs whose age ranges from as little as eight months to 35 years of age.
Thirty four (34) persons were given the opportunity to rebuild their lives with dignity through the ‘Reform & Integrate’ initiative of the MJF Charitable Foundation during a ceremony held at the Colombo Welikada Prison on March 2.
MJF Kids celebrate their differences on World Down Syndrome Day
MJF Kids and their parents joined the Settlor of the MJF Charitable Foundation Merrill J. Fernando and the extended Dilmah family to celebrate their differences on World Down Syndrome Day at the MJF Centre Moratuwa on 16th March 2013.
Empowering Women – Achieving a Double Century on International Women’s Day
The MJF Charitable Foundation celebrated the 100th Anniversary of International Women’s Day in a unique manner this year by awarding livelihood support to 100 war affected women in the North of Sri Lanka.
In 2007, Dharmadasa and Sumanawathie, his wife, were the proud but exploited owners of a small, mud walled ‘factory’ in which they produced pappadam, the crispy accompaniment to rice & curry that is popular in Sri Lanka.
The remote and beautiful province of Moneragala is Sri Lanka’s poorest. In 2007 the MJF Foundation initiated its ‘Local Heroes’ initiative which was designed to build on the success of the Small Entrepreneur Programme...
The MJF Charitable Foundation, that has aimed to uplift the lives of underprivileged children through initiatives that provide them the tools to shape their future, has been actively involved in the caring and educational instruction of plantation children.