The Sri Lanka Unites movement brings together young people, aged 12 to 30, from different ethnic and religious groups to rise up, to give them a voice and to unify their efforts to strengthen the peace-building process in Sri Lanka.
Emerging out of decades of great adversity, and a culture of suspicion and divisiveness, the end of the war finally marks a window of opportunity to rebuild one nation. Sri Lanka Unites aims to correct the wrongs of the previous generations and promote a culture of hope and reconciliation. It takes a multi-pronged approach to empower young people and give leadership to inter-community reconciliation initiatives in their localities.
Activities of SLU:
- Annual Future Leaders' Conference for Hope and Reconciliation
- School tours and leadership and reconciliation seminars in every district
- Mentoring weekends and in depth training on reconciliation , community development and leadership for student leaders
- Reconciliation Centers: youth led centers for development, education and reconciliation
- adopting and rebuilding schools in rural Sri Lanka
- rebuilding and contributing liberaries in former war zones
- Sri Lanka Unites academic syllabus and work book
- Sri Lanka Unites Dance troop, Fusion music band, drama team
- Sri Lanka Unites Cricket team
- The Stop harassment of Women Public transport (Bus) Campaign
- The Think Poster campaign promoting ethnic and religious harmony
Sri Lanka Unites motivates young leaders in schools across the country to understand the need for reconciliation in post-war Sri Lanka, and empower them to undertake and give leadership to inter-community reconciliation initiatives in their localities. They believe that reconciliation comes not from the cosiness of a capital, but from the grassroots of a nation.
To listen to the voices of Sri Lanka's young people and to read about their experienes with Sri Lanka Unites, visit SLU's Blog.
Prashan De Visser, President of Sri Lanka Unites, provides news of his organisation's recent activity:
The work of Sri Lanka Unites continues to grow. We have now reached over 19.000 members. Our reconciliation center in Mullaitivu (North) and Matara (South) are now attended by over 250 students. Our flagship event the Future Leaders’ Conference for Hope and Reconciliation just completed its fifth consecutive season. Over 2000 student leaders representing every district, ethnicity, religion and caste have attended these conferences. The conference has now been hosted in Central Province, Northern Province and Southern Province. Next year in our sixth season the Eastern Province will host the conference. We are also privileged to have seven SLU diaspora chapters.
The interest in our approach has grown beyond Sri Lanka. We have had guests from the DRC, South Africa, the US, India, Zimbabwe, the UK, Belgium and Kenya. We are honoured to announce that youth leaders from the DRC have invited SLU to help establish a Congo Unites youth movement. They will be hosting their first nationwide youth conference for reconciliation from the 21025 July 2014. Ten team leaders from Sri Lanka will spend 20 days in Congo working alongside, training and learning from key leaders in Congo. Recently Sri Lanka Unites was honoured to have the British Prime Minister visit with the current national director and student leaders. He affirmed the work of Sri Lanka Unites and encouraged the movement to grow from strength to strength.