MJF Kids and their parents joined the Settlor of the MJF Charitable Foundation Merrill J. Fernando and the extended Dilmah family to celebrate their differences on World Down Syndrome Day at the MJF Centre Moratuwa on 16th March 2013. The event was an extra special day for kids attending the Cerebral Palsy and Rainbow Centres, also located at the MJF Centre Moratuwa. For some kids, the carnival like atmosphere was a first time experience. The MJF Kids were joined by other special children from the neighbourhood who were welcomed into the Dilmah family by everyone present. The idea behind organising a day to celebrate these special children stemmed from the success of the Celebrating Differences Christmas extravagansa held last December. The day showcased that people with special needs are capable of living normal lives and being happy, just like us, when given a chance. This was the reason why Merrill J. Fernando's MJF Charitable Foundation organised this event where children with special needs could mingle and enjoy the life often taken for granted by other children.
The MJF Kids programme was initially set up as part of the efforts to improve the living standards and overall wellbeing of children from mariginalised communities living in and around Dilmah factories in the Colombo District. What started in 2006 has now spread to MJF Centres across the country in Siyambalanduwa, Monaragala, Pallansena, Point Pedro, Peliyagoda, Maligawatta and Moratuwa. The MJF Kids programme initially commenced with mainstream children who were given educational support, development and nurturing of their aesthetic abilities, character building and an overall approach to support them overcome the poverty and depravity of their surroundings. In 2011, the MJF Kids programme was further developed to include children with special needs, who often lack support and care through the available welfare systems in the country.