Their Royal Highnesses The Earl and Countess of Wessex visited the School for the Deaf and Blind in Ratmalana recently as part of their visit to Sri Lanka to take part in the celebration of Sri Lanka’s 70 th anniversary of Independence.
According to a statement issued by the British High Commission The Earl and Countess met students from the School, as well as children from the Rehabilitation Centre for the Communication Impaired (RCCI) and differently-abled girls from the Sri Lanka Girl
Guides Association (SLGGA), all of whom are participants in The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award scheme.
Their Royal Highnesses were shown around the school by The Duke of Edinburgh Award’s Regional Director for Asia Pacific, Miss Sue Walker, with the Principal of the School for the Blind Mr. Desmond Perera, National Director for the National Youth Award Division Mr. Tissa Samarasinghe, and the Emerging Leader of the Asia Pacific Region for The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award Ms. Tharindra Arumapperuma.
They also met the President of the Sri Lanka Girl Guides Association, Professor Anoja Fernando. On their tour of the school, Their Royal Highnesses spoke with the children, and were able to admire the arts and crafts they had produced using the skills they learned as part of The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award programme. The Earl and Countess were presented with the Sri Lanka Girl Guides Association Friendship Badge and Centenary Badge respectively. The Countess joined the Girl Guides in preparing Sri Lankan coconut
rotis, while The Earl took part in a painting session with students. Afterwards, Their Royal Highnesses watched performances by some of the children, which included a medley of songs, a traditional drumming display and a dance performance.
The event showcased how The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award helps differently-abled young people transform their lives to contribute fully in society.
Following the performances, Emerging Leader of the Asia Pacific Region for The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award, Tharindra Arumapperuma thanked Their Royal Highnesses for their visit to the school.
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