The letter “J” in Sri Lanka was created on June 6, 2018, by 500 children from the local Dunkeld and Carfax Schools. The production took place on the lush rolling tea fields adjacent to the Casterleigh Reservoir. Despite rainy weather, the skies gave way for a beautiful and mystical piece of art.
To say that luck was on the side of this production would be such a big understatement. The rainy season kept plummeting down heavy rains in the weeks leading up to the production, which left some questions as to whether the helicopter that had been chartered would be able to fly in such stormy conditions. As luck would have it, as the production began to take off, the stormy skies soon cleared out revealing a bright, shining ray of light that brightened up the mood and the helicopter take-off was given the all-clear.
With the help of the amazing Dilmah Tea and Merrill J Fernando Charitable Foundation staff, the kids were ready formed into the most beautiful human J ever made set in the lush, rolling hills of the famed Sri Lankan tea fields. Filip ran to the helicopter and was soon going about capturing the magic that could only be recreated in the mystical yet vibrant surroundings of the Sri Lankan Hill country.
Following the capture of the letter, all 500 kids from the Dunkeld and Carfax School headed to the Dunkeld Estate where they were greeted with an amazing welcome speech by Dilmah, followed by a calming and engaging breathing and moving exercise led by wonderful Fia. The kids then giggled through the Macarena as taught by one of Dilmah’s professional in-house dancers, they had their faces painted, photos taken, and danced through the empowerment event. Filip’s speech encouraged them to become change-makers and use their power as young children to begin engaging with the world from a more compassionate and kind place. This was solidified as Marcus sang the recently-finished ABC Charity song which affirms the kid’s ability to become change makers and moves to them to affirm that they are the next generation that is coming together as one nation. After a short intermission for lunch, the grand finale was a giant puppet and clown show put on by Merrill J. Fernando’s at-risk-youth whom got the kids moving and grooving through their entire performance, a true joy for all those involved.
The event was a huge success and the kids walked away with the ABC Charity slogan of “KIND IS THE NEW COOL” and a strong sense of empowerment!