Humane conquests | Daily News

Humane conquests

Bishop’s College, Colombo
Prefects Guild 2020 – 2021
Prefects Guild 2020 – 2021

Humanity is itself a miracle says Head Girl Bishop’s College, Colombo, Ulindu Fernando. Perfect Prefects features Fernando who speaks of the importance of remembering what it means to be humane.

We are ushering in corrupt leaders into a world of overpopulation, pollution and crime. Our hell is their paradise. Leaders who publicly support deforestation, cutting down trees that give us the very air we breathe, plunder the treasuries of their countries, driving their own people into hopelessness and disease. These are the leaders we are laying the red carpet for. However, Fernando points out that we need to believe that there is great good and we need to be the good the world needs right now.

“The wreckage and carnage around us makes it hard for us to believe that there is anything pure and good in this world. But what is purer than a speck of a life-giving planet in a vast universe inhabited by complex creatures who are capable of love? The slim chance of a multitude of atoms binding together to form such a being is mind-blowing. Humanity is a rare miracle. I often wonder how beautiful this world would be if we try to access our ‘roots’ of what it means to be humane. We need to start believing that there is good in this world and be the good the world needs right now,” explains Fernando.

Today many talk about changing the world. But words alone are not enough. It takes action and sacrifice to realize results. She pointed out that she firmly believes in climate change and our responsibility towards the environment.

“Recently a young inventors team from our school which I was a part of, represented Sri Lanka in the Young Environmentalists Challenge (organized by RIC and Deakin University Australia), and emerged champions for creating a new invention- an air filter for three-wheeler emissions. With environmental sustainability and protection being one of my passions, I hope to be actively involved in this matter along with my teammates. I want to make a lasting difference not only in statistical data, but also in terms of educating, inspiring and empowering others,” pointed out Fernando.

Indeed, the stigma associated with Mental Health Issues has caused much suffering. Keeping that part of your life secret and being unable to share with others what you are going through is the worst part. Since this a taboo topic, there is much misunderstanding. In a perfect society where its members are more understanding and empathetic, someone could openly discuss their mental problems.

“I believe in equality of all kinds, whether it be gender, racial or religion. But I am passionate about mental health issues, especially those faced by the younger generation. Due to the prejudice associated with mental health issues, mental health is still a ‘taboo’ topic. People should be able to talk freely about this topic. I hope to advocate for this issue. I am also passionate about traumatic brain injury and recovery, with my own brother still experiencing it. It is very personal to me.”

Choir Installation Service of Principal Chemali Herat
Head Girl Ulindu Fernando

Having discussed some really emotive subjects, she did not fail to point out the little things we can do to make a difference in the world. Unfortunately, in this world we have forgotten how important little things are.

“I think a good place we can start with is by being kind and understanding towards each other. It requires no money or extra effort, just being happy for one another and always being positive regardless of the circumstances. Helping someone with their homework, smiling or saying ‘Good Morning’ to someone can make a huge difference. A small ‘thank you’ cannot change the world, but it can change someone’s day. That day can really change someone’s life,” added Fernando.

She stated that when it comes to inspiration there have been many people and incidents that have changed her life. Anything deemed small and unimportant might be inspiring to her.

“I find it beautiful when people do little authentic things that make them passionate and happy. It could be creating a piece of art, talking for hours about a personal interest or even showing affection to a pet. With all the chaos in the world, I am heartened by how humans are capable of such goodness and purity after all and how we are weirdly connected in this universe. This is the way I can appreciate the simpler things in life.”

The Bishopian school motto is a Latin phrase- ‘Non Sibi Sed Omnibus’, which means ‘Not for self but for all.’ This portrays the importance of humility and selflessness.

This motto is what they live by and it has taught the girls to respect one another and be empathetic towards each other.

“Our school is beautiful because of its diversity with students belonging to four different religions and our motto has always brought us together teaching us that our strength lies in our differences. Charity and community service is an important part of being a Bishopian. This has been so since our very beginning with the Missionaries in 1875. Our motto along with the teachings of Christ have produced independent, balanced and responsible women. Our modern identity is a blend of the culture and traditions of our school and country,” stated Fernando.

She can never forget what her school has done for her. With gratitude in her heart she said that all her teachers have left a lasting impact on her by what they have taught her- life lessons beyond textbooks. Bishop’s College is her second home. Her alma mater has given her the best of both worlds- Academic and non-academic activities. Because of the multicultural background she is impartial and unbiased.

“I am thankful to my God and his unlimited grace and blessings. My former and current principals, Bibile, Gunatilleke, and now Herath, have been a wonderful source of inspiration to me. Because I have a diverse group of friends, I have found my identity and it has allowed me to be authentic. I have always maintained a friendly rapport with the staff and students. I cannot forget my parents. They continue to be my main support system. I must also thank Dhiluckshini Canagasabey and my two deputies, Melissa Dawson and Kiyara Fernando. I have an amazing Prefects Guild who are all responsible and trustworthy. These individuals truly embody the Bishopian spirit. Without them I would not have succeeded,” said Fernando.

Fernando concluded with a small message to everyone, especially students.

“These two years have been hard for all of us in many ways. It is hard to live with uncertainty, fear and the constant need to adapt. It is okay to feel the pressure and to feel tired of it all. It is not right to romanticize the struggle. It is important to get help when you need to, such as speaking to a loved one, relaxing and tuning into your feelings. But still remember that the hardest of battles are given to the strongest of soldiers. This is something I tell myself when the going gets tough. You are not alone. We are in this together and we will get through it.”

Annual Prize Giving for 2019 Highest O/L results
Bishop’s College choir
Student Christian Movement Committee 2019