#12 Things at Christmas

 

Honour your grandparents, respect your Elders. Their sacrifices for our betterment cannot be measured, however we think it’s time we showed our gratitude in some small way. The MJF Kids at the MJF Charitable Foundation took some time out to thank their families with 65 grandparents being felicitated at the Centre. #12 Things at Christmas

 

Respect lies at the heart of traditional Sri Lankan families. We worship our elders as a sign of respect and appreciation.In a society that is fast forgetting its traditions and roots, it is a refreshing breath of fresh air to have these traits revived from time to time. As such, together with the MJF Kids, we decided to honour our elders in true Sri Lankan culture. Together with betel leaves and a special ceremony, we called on the parents and caretakers of the children to come to the centre and welcomed them the traditional way. Let us not forget those who have made immense sacrifices for our well-being and future.

The Dilmah Engineering Department donated and helped fix mosquito netting, two lamp posts and 4 emergency lamps for the DMO Leprosy hospital on the 23rd of December. This was under our pledge “Do a random act of kindness” as it helped spread the joy of Christmas in a meaningful way for the patients at the hospital. The donations were done based on the requirements of the hospital and our Engineering Team was honoured to be able to help fulfill a necessary requirement. #12ThingsatChristmas

Random acts of kindness are fun, and while we cross off No. 3 of our#12ThingsatChristmas promises ‘Do a random act of kindness’, we think that this is one thing on our Christmas List that we will continue during the year. We had a Tea Party for the children of the Reach orphanage at ourThe t-Lounge by Dilmah on Chatham Street. Dilmah Founder Merrill J. Fernando built our family business around the unique philosophy of making business a matter of human service. This Christmas we decided that we would make our Christmas truly about giving, and so our list of #12thingsatChristmas is meant to share the true spirit of the season with those that may not have a joyful Christmas. Have you begun your list yet?

Together we are stronger and we can make a difference as we have shown through our #12ThingsatChristmas list. This commitment by Dilmah to share the true spirit of Christmas is strengthened by our staff who have taken the initiative to spread the spirit of giving. We are proud of our Tea Department team who provided dinner and donated everyday items to the Differently-abled kids at the Prithipura Infants Home. This comes under our 3rd pledge “Do a random act of kindness” and we are proud our staff is taking such joy in sharing the Christmas spirit with the less privileged. We hope it will be an inspiration to others as there’s joy in giving; let’s give of ourselves to someone less fortunate this Christmas.

There can never be enough kindness, and so we implemented yet another dimension of our third intention ‘Do a random act of kindness.’ Out of the planned 4312 uniforms for 2015 in 25 Schools in the Vellavaley Education Zone in Batticaloa, 1104 fully stitched uniforms were formally handed over to the Thumbargery Kannaki Vidyalaya, Mandoor 40 Vidyalaya and Thikkodai Ganesha Vidyalaya on 4th of December, through the respective Zone Director and School staff. In addition to this, 200 school bags were handed over to children from under-privileged homes in the east who will be entering school next year including those children in Grades 1 and 2. Education is the most powerful tool these children have to escape this poverty, and if we can do anything to help however small, it can carry far beyond our imagination. #12ThingsatChristmas

In line with our special list of #12ThingsatChristmas this year, the HR Team at Dilmah visited the children of ‘Lawris Child Development Centre’ located in Colombo 10, on the 17th of December 2015. They were able to spend time with these less fortunate children and treated them to snacks and sweets, also gifting them water bottles and clothes.
Our list is a reminder that while we busily prepare for the upcoming festivities, we should also always keep in mind those that need our help so that they too may enjoy a truly Merry Christmas.

An unforgettable day and the true Spirit of Christmas is what 33 children from the Madiwela Home and School for Boys, experienced firsthand. A big thank you to Chamara, Pasindu, Gayathri, Dunuri, Sachitha, Nipuni, Gayeshan and Shashini some of whom are differently-abled children, from our Rainbow Centre for hosting and inspiring these less privileged children and helping them experience a truly memorable day. Business is a matter of Human Service is the philosophy we live by at the MJF Charitable Foundation and this is what we did by fulfilling our sixth pledge “Inspire Someone”, and we hope that we have inspired you to help someone in need this season and to spread the feeling of joy! #12ThingsatChristmas

For us conservation is second nature because we recognize that the conservation of the environment is an extension of our founding commitment to human service. This is why “Do something good for nature” is on our #12ThingsatChristmas list. To fulfill our 4th pledge we started to set up an arboretum, a collection of trees, at our DCSARC premises with the belief that every little gesture goes a long way to preserving our natural surroundings, with far reaching benefits.

Our 12 pledges to help the less fortunate does not end with the Season which is why our QA department recently held an awareness program conducted by an agricultural instructor to help the kids at the Peter Weerasekara Children’s Home understand the correct way to plant vegetables, fruits and flowers. This is under our 4th pledge ‘Do something good for nature’ and it helped the children understand how to reap an optimum harvest. Conservation is very close to the heart of the Dilmah family which is why we strongly believe in motivating children to appreciate nature as they are in charge of the future. #12ThingsatChristmas

There is no greater feeling than providing a sick person with friendship and that is just what we did with No. 5 of our #12ThingsatChristmas promise ‘Bless a sick person with friendship’. This time our Engineering team took the initiative to donate Special Chairs that were fabricated for the CP Centre. The fabrications were done according to the advice of Physiotherapists of the Rainbow Centre while the material cost was borne by the engineering staff itself. To see the expressions of joy on the faces of the children is truly the only Christmas gift we need. There’s joy in giving let’s give of ourselves to someone less fortunate this Christmas.#12ThingsatChristmas

Continuing on from our #12ThingsatChristmas list, we ticked off #5 Bless a sick person with friendship on 7th of December. Mobile medical and Eye screening programmes were held through the MJF Saddasarana Elders home in Pitipana for the residents of the home and elderly women living in the vicinity of the home. 152 elderly persons attended the programme with 96 for eye testing and 60 for general health check. Of those who came for the eye testing, 56 were identified for bi-focal glasses and 6 for reading glasses. They will receive their free spectacles in February. A further 26 were found to be needing cataract surgery and they will be taken to the HelpAge Centre in Colombo 6 for their free cataract surgery in January. Those who had their general health check-up were issued with free medical supplies. Through putting our list into action, we are happy that they were able to find relief for their medical issues for a better Christmas this time around!

As another component of our #12thingsatChristmas list, a medical camp was organised for elderly people in the Moratuwa area as a charity project of the MJF Charitable Foundation. It was held at the MJF Centre Moratuwa on 16th December 2015 where 83 participants were screened with eye tests and 74 were consulted by a medical officer after measuring blood pressure and conducting blood tests. It was found that a number of them were in dire need of medical attention and needed eyewear in order to help them see well. Some were identified for cataract surgery for which arrangements will be made. 63 year old Wimala Kosgodage said, ‘They checked my eyesight and said I would require glasses, after which they proceeded to conduct a blood test. Following this, they advised me on how I should stay healthy without illness. This service is highly commendable and I am very grateful’. Join us in giving someone the greatest gift of all this Christmas: Health.

Blessing a sick person is always fulfilling and this time we had the additional pleasure of blessing one of our own under pledge #5 ‘Bless a sick person with friendship’ on our #12ThingsatChristmas list. Rohana Thilakasiri is a Talley Clerk who has been with Dilmah for more than 30 years. He is currently undergoing treatment for suspected cancer and our Production Team conducted a blessing on his behalf at the St. Sebastian Church Dikovita and at his home. The look of joy on his face was proof enough that blessing a sick person goes a long way towards giving them peace of mind.

Inspired by the philosophy of our Founder that Business is a Matter of Human Service, our Dilmah School of Tea Alumni 2015 experienced what lies behind every cup of Dilmah at our own Centre for Empowerment.
As important as it is to understand our tea through each dimension such as #teainspired cuisine and its garden fresh quality, when it comes to Dilmah it is also important to understand what this tea supports beyond the cup. For this reason, the 36th class of the Dilmah SOT were taken to the MJF Charitable Foundation in Moratuwa where they were divided into four groups; each group engaged in activities with the kids such as dancing, playing cricket, cooking a dish at the Culinary Centre and helping them with their Christmas decorations. They also had the chance to interact with the kids from Dunkeld Estate who are children of the estate workers taken care of by our childcare centres as their parents work.
Every business must have its purpose. Ours is to be a blessing on community and environment. #12ThingsatChristmas

The MJF Kids put on a spectacular show at their Annual Concert themes ‘Celebrating Differences’ this year. The show was extra special as they not only performed, but were also responsible for the props and décor required. They were extremely hands-on with the entire project, much to the pride and delight of their teachers. This concert is a reminder to all of us that regardless of where we come from, each of us has value within and a talent that is worth honing. We hope you enjoyed it and thank you to everyone who graced the event with their presence! #12ThingsatChristmas

With our commitment to conservation we used the 7th pledge, Challenge Someone, on our #12ThingsatChristmas list to challenge the children of the Peter Weerasekara Children’s Home to grow and take care of two plants each. This was undertaken by our Quality Assurance Department and we hope it will go a long way towards helping the children understand the importance of conservation as the future of our planet is in their hands.

The Dilmah Food Technology Department recently hosted the kids of the MJF Foundation to a fun day of knowledge and activities. Our 8th pledge on our #12ThingsatChristmas list is to ‘Empower someone with knowledge’ and this is what the FTD department did by organizing a presentation on the wonders of the ‘Nocturnal Sky – the Universal Planetary System’. This was followed by a practical session and a familiarization program where the kids were introduced to the ‘Magic of Chemistry’. The day ended with a tea party.

‘Girl power! Our MJF Foundation Women’s Development Programme helps empower women and enhance quality of life for their families and aims to give women form marginalised communities and those who have children with disabilities a chance to embark on a livelihood on their own and to avoid the vicious cycle of poverty and disability. The ladies of the Women’s Development Programme at the Foundation held a sale of all the things they had created by both baking and sewing, drawing their skills from what they had learnt. The best way to help someone who is less privileged than us is to help them whilst reinforcing the dignity. That is sustainable empowerment. This is our 8th pledge on our Christmas list#12ThingsatChristmas.

Dignity must come from the core of humanitarian aid. We don’t believe in charity, but sustainable empowerment. At our MJF Centre for Dignified and Sustainable Empowerment, we provide support and guidance to women from impoverished communities, some of whose children attend the centre. Here they learn skills such as cooking and sewing which can help them setup their own mode of earning small income so they may be able to support themselves. On the 19th of November, they were privy to a cake demo as part of our #12ThingsatChristmas this year in empowering and educating them for a better future… with dignity.

The Dhiriya Resource Center in Pahalalanda was opened officially on December 20th funded by the MJF Charitable Foundation supported by the MJF education program which has helped change the lives of so many under privileged children. “Empowering someone with knowledge” our 8th pledge is something personal to the Dilmah family as we strongly adhere to the philosophy that Business is a matter of Human Service. The Center has a main hall for education programs, another hall for Vocational Training programs, an IT room and a library. There are further rooms for government offices such as the Grama Niladhari, Samurdhi and Development offices. IT training programs are set to start in January with about 85 children selected for the initial batch. #12ThingsatChristmas

Close to our heart is conservation because we believe it goes a long way to preserving the future of the human race. We want to inspire new generations to appreciate nature, understand their impact on it and how they can help protect nature. It is never too early to instill in children the importance of conservation which is why we organized a special butterfly workshop for school kids at the DCSARC, Moratuwa to motivate these children to be aware of their surroundings as we “Shared the beauty of nature” with them, the 09th pledge on our #12ThingsatChristmas list.

For us Christmas is a time of joy and laughter, filled with seasonal cheer. However, it is not so for everyone, which is why we took time out this season to “Turn someone’s sadness into laughter”, the 10th pledge on our list of #12ThingsatChristmas list. Our Quality Assurance Team organized games and fun activities for the children at the Peter Weerasekara Children’s Home which gave the children hours of pleasure and made them laugh with joy. We know that the overall feeling of happiness it created will stay with us forever.

We came up with our #12ThingsatChristmas list to help spread joy with those less privileged. The Dilmah Quality Assurance Team recently helped ‘Turn someone’s sadness into laughter’, the 10th pledge on our list. The children of the Peter Weerasekara Children’s Home were given individual gifts, based on the actual needs of the children. Gifts included umbrellas, dresses, water bottles, as well as school stationery items. These meaningful presents helped to bring joy into the lives of these kids and filled them with happiness.

To gift food to someone who is hungry is a great privilege and our Quality Assurance Department was able to fulfill our 11th pledge on our list “Feed someone who is hungry”, when they treated the children of the Peter Weerasekara Children’s Home to a traditional Sri Lankan breakfast filled with local mouthwatering delicacies. The children really enjoyed their special breakfast and were full of smiles at the end of the meal which is what our list is all about. #12ThingsatChristmas

Owing to the harsh weather experienced recently with torrential downpours and heavy winds, a member of Moratuwa’s janitorial staff, Sharmalie, attached to the Peace Centre had had part of her house destroyed consequently. Due to her humble background, there was no forseeable way of rebuilding as the cost could not be borne by her family. Additionally, Sharmalie supports her daughter and three grandkids by herself. Upon contacting Pastor Anil, it was discovered that her immediate requirement was cement. In light of this, the MJF Media team made arrangements to purchase and deliver sacks of cement on the 16th of December 2015 as we fulfilled the 12th pledge “Love your neighbour” on our #12ThingsatChristmas list.