Press release and images on MJF Alumni 2018 Connecting the past and present of MJF Centre in Peliyagoda from Dilmah
The MJF Kids in Peliyagoda is one of the oldest initiatives of the Foundation and has been running for 13 years. The programme provides less privileged children and youth with educational support as well as skills development support which are required to overcome the challenges faced by them due to poverty and the ensuing social issues. In October, 70 past students were welcomed to join a day-out in Boys Town, Ragama to celebrate their fond connection with the Centre. The committee and volunteers organised a variety of events to keep the event fun and engaging with games, sing-alongs and a talent show echoing their past memories with the Centre.
At least 50% of the students at MJF Centre - Peliyagoda come from the most disadvantaged households. They grow up in a socially vulnerable environment with a greater risk of fragility front to some circumstances such as crime, sexual abuse, family violence, and the use of illicit drugs. While most of their problems are related to poverty, there are restraints which also limit their access to opportunities surrounding them.
Among the alumni in attendance, there were girls and boys from a range of backgrounds, and with diverse accomplishments. Cherishing the years spent at the MJF kids programme, some of the students spoke about how grateful they are for the opportunities such as leadership training and networking skills that came forth for self-development. The speeches on stage resonated the dreams, passions and the pursuit of goals of every alumni present.
Joining the get-together, former administrator of MJF Charitable Foundation, Hiran Fernando said that it was heartening to see the young people he met a decade before, sharing their knowledge and experiences as adults with their friends.
"I joined the MJF Kids programme in 2006. I was in the programme for about 7 years - around 3 years as a student and 4 years as a teacher. This programme made me who I am today - especially the leadership and life skills training given to us was of immense help. - Indunil, President of The Student Committee - MJF Centre, Peliyagoda.
Noorul Fathima from Maligawatte currently works as a Customer Relations Officer. The MJF Kids Programme was a turning point in her life. " It’s been 12 years since I joined the MJF Kids Programme. Today, I am standing on stage, giving away this speech, thanks to the self-confidence I acquired from the MJF Kids Programme."
For Reggie Paul, Programme Co-ordinator at MJF Kids Programme, Peliyagoda working with the kids at the MJF Centre - Peliyagoda has been a challenging yet a self-satisfying one. “The MJF Kids Programme was created as per the needs of the kids living in Peliyagoda and Maligawatte to enable them to face the issues in life. At the Centre, both educational and
We consider MJF Alumni - a source of partnership for the Centre. Their support, contribution and active involvement are essential to promote the Centre to prospective students and their families, encouraging more students to benefit from its programmes and give back to the community. The MJF Alumni event inspired our past students to feel even greater pride in connection to the MJF Centre and provided them with the incentive to make the alumni event a longstanding tradition.
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