Stories of Kindness from the People's Market
We collected stories of kindness at the last edition of the People's Market in Sri Lanka, an event supported and organised by the MJF Foundation, in an ongoing effort to support local communities and entrepreneurs.
The MJF People's Market in Moratuwa was a special event that happened on Saturday 2nd of December in the Moratuwa area. Without a drop of rain, the market welcomed everyone with a warm atmosphere. This isn't just a place to shop; it's where people come together to share and celebrate kindness and sustainability. Vendors from all over proudly showed off their eco-friendly and organic products.
At this edition, the market buzzed with over 1,600 visitors and 105 vendors. There were hot meals, handmade soaps, clothing, wood crafts, and even a fun zone for kids. Fresh fruits, vegetables, and organic honey were also on display, brought in from Colombo and beyond. Plus, visitors enjoyed Christmas carols sung by local choirs.
This market is more than just a place to buy gifts; it's a celebration of community spirit. It's like a carnival of kindness and support. Join us in exploring the Stories of Kindness told by the people at this unique Market.
About the MJF Charitable Foundation
Established in 2003 by Merrill J. Fernando, the MJF Charitable Foundation is a non-profit organization based in Sri Lanka that advocates for organic growth and sustainable practices. It promotes rights and dignity to create a sustainable environment and brings together diverse populations, including individuals with autism and Down syndrome. In 2021, the first People's Market launched during the Covid-19 epidemic. It encouraged small companies impacted by the pandemic as well as self-employed workers who were having difficulty as a result of the pandemic's financial effects. Moratuwa and Weligama (in the southern part of Sri Lanka) are home to another MJF Center, there are three markets held all year long.
Dilmah tea supports the empowering initiatives of the MJF Charitable Foundation, creating a meaningful journey from teacup to transformative community impact.
Each cup of Dilmah Tea contributes to the MJF Charitable Foundation and initiatives like the People's Market, this vibrant event driven by a passion for community and culture. The diverse crowd, which included both interested tourists and excited locals, fully embraced the festive mood.
The foundation especially seeks to enable people with disabilities to actively participate in Sri Lankan society and the economy. People with disabilities can raise their voices in an environmentally responsible way through the Foundation. The organization converts obstacles into environmentally beneficial projects as part of its mission to assist small vendors and disabled people in Sri Lanka on their road toward sustainability. It not only tells a tale through activities that are sustainable and ethical, but it also offers a story about rising heroes. The foundation sees the values of each person's eco-friendly lifestyle as helping to create a more sustainable, happy, and peaceful Sri Lanka.
From Start to Star: The Journey of Small Vendors
These are inspiring stories of small vendors who are effecting big changes, with a little help from the foundation. They've gone from unnoticed to unforgettable, showing what you can do with hard work, support, and teamwork. Every stall at the People's Market has its own special success story to tell.
Nishanthika's Organic Fruits: A Story of Growth
At the lively market, a stand of colorful organic fruits caught my eye. Behind them was Mrs. Hewawickramathunga Nishanthika Dilrukshi, a farmer from Monaragala with a story to tell. She's a woman thriving in the tough world of farming, a field often filled with men. Her farm's story is deeply tied to her family's history with the land.
Nishanthika told me with bright eyes, "Farming is my joy. It's about honoring the strong women in villages like mine. It's more than just growing food; it's about sticking to our roots and breaking barriers."
Her venture, Malmee Products, is her way of caring for the planet and leading other women farmers toward a greener future. "These organic fruits represent our joint efforts, our community, and our commitment to nature", she explained.
At the People's Market, Nishanthika finds joy in sharing her organic harvest and the spirit of her community. Her stand is more than just a place to sell fruit; it's a connection to the world of organic goodness and a step towards a sustainable tomorrow.
Want to learn more about Malmee Products or get in touch with Nishanthika? You can email her at [email protected] or call her at +940716408120.
Indika’s Kithul Sweets: Sweet Success Against the Odds
At the market, there was Indika the owner of Singha Lanka products, his stall filled with the sweet smells of Kithul Treacle and a spread of treats made from Kithul jaggery. His friendly smile invited us into a world rich with Sri Lankan tradition.
Indika's life is woven with Kithul, a cultural gem passed down through generations. "Kithul is in my heart," he said, "it's our heritage." He showed us how he makes his treacle and sweets from the Kithul sap, a process as delicate as a butterfly sipping nectar.
Creating these sweets isn't easy. It takes skill and hard work. Indika remembers the challenges and how the MJF Charitable Foundation helped him find his way. "They gave me the boost I needed," he said with gratitude. With the foundation's support, he's grown his business and blended tradition with a modern touch.
Indika's story isn't just about making sweets; it's about community, Sri Lankan pride, and the taste of success with a little help from his friends at the foundation. He encourages other small vendors to join in and grow together.
As we left, we thanked Indika for sharing his story and his delicious sweets. We wished him well and hoped his journey would inspire others.
If you want to taste Indika's Kithul creations or chat with him, reach out at [email protected] or call +94 0776685515.
Malmee's Journey with the MJF Foundation
At the MJF People's Market, organic treats are a hit, especially for kids who love snacks like chips. We met one vendor, H.M. Upul Indika Jayasena Bandara from Badalkubura, whose organic banana and cassava chips have been a big success, thanks to a helping hand from the Dilmah MJF Charitable Foundation.
The Foundation didn't just help Upul find a market for his snacks; they helped him build his very own production space. Now, his place is filled with the aroma of organic snacks and the energy of his six-person team, creating tasty food for everyone to enjoy.
Upul's specialties? Banana chips and milk toffee made with fresh milk from local farms. He's proud of the flavors he's created, all thanks to his dedication to organic farming. And he's got more to offer: cassava chips, Kurakkan flour, bee honey, and Kithul jaggery, all organic and all thanks to the support of the MJF Foundation.
For Upul, the Market isn't just a place to sell food; it's a stepping stone to success. He's thankful for how the market has lifted up small vendors like him. With every snack sold, his story of hard work and success is shared.
Mr. H.M. Upul Indika Jayasena Bandara (Badalkubura) Malmee Products Email: [email protected] Phone: +940764530407
V Creations: MJF Woman's Sustainable Success.
Mrs. Vireshini, owner of the V Creations, greeted customers at the busy MJF Market with a charming smile. Along with the stylish and top-notch variety of handicrafts, she is a busy seller. She shared a bit of her life story with us while observing the demands of her customers who value her ecologically friendly handicrafts.
At the Market, Mrs. Vireshini, a strong woman in the MJF Woman Development Program, displayed her handmade creations that are sustainable. She started a creative enterprise, making items that are environmentally friendly for her son's schooling, despite financial difficulties. She found a suitable place in the market, which also made the initial issue of finding purchasers easier. The time turned into a haven where Vireshini's financial struggles turned into satisfaction and she loved working with grateful clients. She conveyed her sincere gratitude for the MJF Charitable Foundation's support.
"As a loving wife and mother, I go through life with grace without worry. My business prospers because of those with vision at the MJF Charitable Foundation, who have promised my family a better life. I'm inviting more vendors on this adventure that will change lives."
Mrs. Vireshini can be contacted by phone at +94 0713612225 or by email at [email protected] by anyone interested in getting in touch.
Unveiling Superheroes: MJF People's Market
The MJF People's Market highlights the remarkable and individual journeys of people who were born with Down syndrome and autism, challenging norms of society and transforming initial failures into inspiring stories of dedication. Busting myths and promoting the unrealized potential in every person, these people make a big effort in their nation and offer joy to their families.
There you can see the amazing accomplishments of these amazing people as you stroll through this market. Get ready for compassion to fill your heart and inspiration-filled tears bubbling up in your eyes. This is more than just a market, it is evidence that every life overcomes obstacles and becomes a human and hopeful superhero.
Harmonizing Dreams: Journey of Mr. Laxman Perera.
At the MJF People's Market, we witnessed a woodworking project featuring disabled boys with Down syndrome and autism. They showcased their talents, obedience, and desire to learn. We'll speak with Mr. Laxman Perera to learn more.
“Before six months I started my wood crafting journey with these lovely boys, as a former SLBC engineer, I took on the challenge of training five boys with Down Syndrome and Autism. With the support of coordinators Rehana and Melanie and the Dilmah MJF Charitable Foundation, this endeavor has become a heartening success.”
Graduates from our carpentry institute, Sandaruwan, and Nandika, train boys in woodworking machinery, encouraging a sense of smoothness and wonder in their products. They have received numerous shop orders, and the profits will be shared among these amazing boys. Their goal is to create more than a thousand designs with the help of the MJF Charitable Foundation and their parents. Mr. Laxman opened up to us. "During my busy schedule of music career, I'm proud to dedicate myself to shaping the lives and dreams of these incredible students through wood crafting."
Permanent Future Lab
Nomishka takes a leading role at the Permanent Future Lab in the thriving MJF People's Market, inspiring the active community to achieve academic and technological excellence. Nomishka has been an instructor since 2021, passionately inspiring young brains to discover the limitless potential of technology and mold their destiny.
He expresses his sincere enthusiasm while acknowledging the difficulties of advancing technology in restricted circumstances, " I love working here because I'm pleased to be a guide for individuals seeking new approaches to technology".
Nomishka appreciates the contributions of technological devices from the Netherlands and the community, which include many modern and innovative devices such as virtual reality, robotics, and microbit technologies. Their current project involves building a Bluetooth-controlled robot using block coding.
"The MJF Foundation offers a unique opportunity for students to enhance their abilities and expertise in the field, I have a focus on expanding Permanent Future Lab's reach throughout Sri Lanka because the lab is a movement, not just an institute "
A Sensory Feast: MJF People's Market
Amidst the bustling marketplace, a symphony of tradition and festivity unfolds. Vendors, with deft hands and warm smiles, craft the essence of Sri Lankan celebrations right before your eyes. The air is thick with the tantalizing aroma of Kawum, Naram Kewum, and an array of other delectable traditional sweets, inviting every passerby into a world of culinary delight.
As you navigate through the lively scene, the vivid colors of the sweets tantalize your vision, each piece a work of art, vibrant and enticing. The sizzle of ingredients meeting the pan, the rhythmic chopping of fruits, and the laughter of families enjoying these delicacies create a melody of joy.
People from all walks of life unite at the MJF People's Market, which is a sensory feast and carnival where they share the warmth of the season and inhale the aromas of ripe mangoes, jackfruit, watermelon, pineapple, and banana. And many more organic fruits and vegetables.
Steeping Goodness: Dilmah Tea's Sustainable Symphony
In the lush landscapes of Sri Lanka where the heartbeat of nature sets the rhythm for life, Dilmah Tea emerges as a harmonious blend of quality, sustainability, and human kindness. Cultivated with meticulous care, these tea leaves embrace the essence of organic farming and thrive in an environment free from harmful chemicals.
As the tea leaves unfurl in the sun's warm embrace, a story of commitment to sustainability, empowerment, and inclusion unfolds. Dilmah is more than a tea; It is a vessel that carries the dreams and achievements of resilient individuals and communities, steered by the compassionate hand of the MJF Charitable Foundation.
When you enjoy the rich, aromatic notes of Dilmah tea, know that you are not just enjoying a cup of tea. With every purchase of Dilmah products, you immerse yourself in a narrative of heart-touching humanity. MJF Foundation's commitment to sustainability, empowerment, and inclusion is not just talk; It is a tangible reality. Whether you're enjoying a cup of Dilmah tea or exploring their offerings, you have become a part of a journey to uplift hard-working individuals and disabled communities. Your experience becomes a reflection of the spirit of humanity intertwined with the benevolent essence of Dilmah's ethics.
The MJF People's Market invites us to join in the celebration of a brighter, more inclusive future. Through compassion, sustainability, and innovation, this market is a beacon of hope, a place where vendors and customers both find happiness. As we continue to sip our Dilmah tea, let us remember that we are not just consumers; we are contributors to a narrative of positive change. In the heart of Sri Lanka, the MJF People's Market unfolds as more than an event; it's a celebration of compassion, sustainability, and innovation.