The 22 cyclists who participated in the ‘Around the Pearl’ (ATP) initiative were recently received by family, friends and supporters at the MJF Centre in Katubedda, Moratuwa, where they celebrated the successful completion of their journey around Sri Lanka. After cycling for ten days to raise funds for the Cerebral Palsy Lanka Foundation, the ‘Around the Pearl’ team members completed the final phase of their journey from Chilaw to Colombo. Other cycling enthusiasts participated by joining the cyclists for the final phase of their journey. At the centre, the ATP team also conducted its final paediatric wheelchair donation camp, and handed over 61 wheelchairs to children suffering from cerebral palsy.
The ‘Around the Pearl’ initiative by ‘Wheels for Wheels’ was a 1400 km bicycle tour around Sri Lanka which was conducted by 22 business professionals, to raise funds for the Cerebral Palsy Lanka Foundation which provides support and care for children with cerebral palsy (CP). The team members participating in the initiative included: Ajith Fernando, Yasas Hewage, Jehan Bastian, Suren Abeysuriya, Dushmantha Jayasinghe, Anudatta Dias, Gihan Hemachandra, Ravi Weerapperuma, Sarinda Unamboowe, Charlene Thuring, Sonalee Abeyawardene, Charlotte Crowe, Ilhan Riffsy, Jayanga Nanayakkara, Milanka Induruwage, Rohana Dissanayake, Roshan Wijeyrathne, Sanjiva Jayasuriya, Shehan Cooray, Tejala Weerapperuma, J. de Fonseka (Fonny) and Peter Bluck.
The ‘Around the Pearl’ team travelled around the entire island from Colombo to Weligama, Kataragama, Arugam Bay, Passikudah, Nilaveli, Kilinochchi, Point Pedro, Jaffna, Mannar, Puttalam, Mulaituv, Chalai and many more destinations. At different stops, the team conducted cerebral palsy awareness sessions and wheelchair donation camps, with a total of 758 wheelchairs being handed out across the country.
Last year, the ATP team raised funds for 1000 wheelchairs which provided children suffering from cerebral palsy with greater freedom and mobility. This year all proceeds will go to aid the work of the Cerebral Palsy Lanka Foundation (CPLF). CPLF works with children and families who are affected by cerebral palsy across Sri Lanka, and provides them and their parents with the support and guidance they need to live a wholesome and fulfilling life.
Cerebral palsy is the term for a group of non-progressive disorders of movement and posture caused by abnormalities or damage to the motor control centres of the brain. CP is a significant health concern in Sri Lanka and is highly stigmatized across the island. As a result of the disorder, many children have problems with muscle tone, balance and motor skills, and live a difficult and restricted life. Additionally, many parents don’t know how to care for a child with cerebral palsy, or they don’t have adequate funds to ensure that their child thrives. Throughout Sri Lanka, many children suffering from CP are not integrated into society, and they live a challenging and isolated life. The number of children with cerebral palsy is as high as 8-10 per 1000 births in Sri Lanka while it is as low as 6 per 1000 births in the developed world. Cerebral palsy is one of the most common childhood disabilities and there are an estimated 40,000 people with cerebral palsy in Sri Lanka and 17 million people suffering from the disorder around the world.
The ‘Around the Pearl’ initiative by ‘Wheels for Wheels’ was conducted in partnership with the Cerebral Palsy Lanka Foundation (CPLF). Other sponsors and partners of the initiative included Linea Aqua (MAS Holdings), Jetwing, Land Rover, CAL, Spinner, WrooM, Gekko Trekko, Aquafresh, Leo Burnett, Bolgoda 360, E FM and Wijeya Newspapers.
To support the ‘Around the Pearl’ initiative and help children suffering from cerebral palsy, please visit www.aroundthepearl.lk and make a donation. Kindly call Lilanthi Dharmanandan on 011 2317702or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.