“Every day create your history. Every page you turn, you’re writing your legacy. Every hero dreams of chivalry. Every child should sing together in harmony.” – Michael Jackson, History

Back to School in Sri Lanka, 2015

School packs provided to 235 children in Sri Lanka via MJL’s Back to School campaign.

From early August to early November 2015, MJL ran a fundraising appeal in order to provide disadvantaged rural school children in Sri Lanka with back-to-school packs through collaboration with the Sri Lankan charity, Foundation of Goodness.

Sri Lanka’s free education system has led to the country’s literacy rate being well above average, at 98%, yet the poorest children from rural areas are greatly in need of essential items such as books, bags, pencils and other necessary stationery and equipment, in order to maximise their potential. Without such items these children cannot make essential notes during class, they fail at mathematics due to a lack of basic instruments and they may eventually drop out of school altogether, having been unable to realise their full potential. Thus, the cycle of poverty, hardship and frustration continues.

Thankfully there is now hope for these children due to many generous hearts across the globe. As we began our appeal in early August 2015, we aimed to raise enough money to fund 100 school packs (priced at £20 each). When we completed our campaign three months later, we were under the impression that we had raised enough to fund the aimed-for target of 174 school packs. However favourable exchange rates meant that we eventually funded an incredible 235 school packs! This brought the total number of school packs distributed by the Foundation of Goodness 2015 Essential School Supplies Programme to 3,236.

To add some extra sparkle to these schoolbags, our artist designed postcards and bookmarks to accompany every bag, each with a beautiful piece of artwork on one side and inspirational quotes by Michael Jackson on the other. In addition Cindy, a loving and generous supporter of ours from New York, handmade 200 keyrings in time for the distribution, each with their own decorated pouch.

The school packs funded by MJL were distributed at the FoG Monaragala Children’s Goodness Club in the Uva Province and the Gouravilla Primary Tamil Maha Vidyalayam in the Central Province.

In the words of Swanthri Jayawardena at the FoG: “With the incredible help of Michael Jackson’s Legacy, we have been able to make a large group of poor but talented young children very happy! These young lives will now have the necessary support to stay in school, do well in their studies and escape their current poverty stricken life. Thank you for giving them hope for the future and an opportunity to excel! Your kind generosity has made a real difference in shaping a better future!” The difference made for these children can be clearly seen from their beaming smiles in these pictures.

We would like to take this opportunity to express our sincerest gratitude to all of the donors who contributed to this fundraising campaign, and all those at the FoG who helped to deliver the final result of this project to the children, in particular Kushil Gunasekara, Fazana Ibrahim, Amaarah Kellapatha, Swanthri Jayawardena and Anusha Perera who were all such a joy to work with on this project. We are sure this will not be the last time we work with the FoG to help those in need in Sri Lanka and enrich humanity. And of course thank you to Michael Jackson who continues to inspire us with his incredible humanitarian spirit.

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