Brain Awareness Day was held at the Gamini National School in Nuwara Eliya, Sri Lanka on January 12th 2016.
Nuwara Eliya is a charming town (called Little England) with a population of 27,000 at an altitude of 1800 metres. The town is located amongst the beautiful Ceylon tea plantations.
Ann Kato and her husband, Gabor, organized Brain Awareness Day along with Professor Ranil de Silva from the University of Sri Jayewardenepura (Colombo). Professor de Silva was joined by eight people of his PhD students to assist in the event.
Some 222 students (grades 9 to 11) from 4 different schools in the region along with 53 healthcare workers participated throughout the day. Ann and Gabor Kato gave two introductory lectures on the brain and its functioning followed by a lecture on the importance food and exercise to keep the brain young and healthy.
Students entering the auditorium
The afternoon was devoted to brain games, quizzes and also "hands-on" demonstrations about the brain. The students loved the games, films and quizzes and they often roared with laughter during these sessions.
We are grateful to Dr. Ana Rodriguez of the Portuguese Neuroscience Society for suggesting these activities.
Gabor's presentation with Nalaka translating
Each child was asked to make a drawing of a brain or a neuron. A prize was given for the best drawing by a boy and a girl. We were very impressed by the artistic skill of the students as well as to the attention they paid throughout the day.
Best drawing award
Ranil de Silva's group
The inauguration ceremony began with the lighting of the butter lamp (a Buddhist tradition), three lectures by local clinicians followed by a rice and curry lunch offered by the Lion's Club of Nuwara Eliya. Other supported was provided by the Director of Health Services and Zonal Director of Education, local banks and Caran d'Ache (Switzerland) that offered pens and pencils to the students.
The day was closed with the awarding of a prize for the two best drawings. It was very difficult to choose as so many were of high quality. Each participant received a formal certificate of their participation in Brain Awareness Day.