Crossing Boundaries – Galle District Youth hosting Youth from Kilinochchi & Batticaloa Districts

Welcoming participants and guests to the programme
Leaders in front with the colleagues welcoming the visitors
Blessings - Saraswathi dance by children from Galle
Wellwishers at the Inauguration Ceremony
Traditional dance by Kilinochchi youth 1
Youth pledge to promote Peace & Reconciliation process
Group Photo of the Final Youth Exchange Programme
Artwork of Galle Youth for exhibit
Host family sharing accommodation
Observing Natural Resource Conservation and Peace Pagoda at Rumassala
Youth Group at the Galle Fort

The final Youth Exchange programme of the “Crossing Boundaries – Youth Groups in Sri Lanka” project has been planned for from 15th to 17th November, 2016. By the evening of 14th November, eighteen youth and 4 representatives of the Steering Committees and parents of youth from Kilinochchi and Batticaloa districts had already arrived in the project location in the Yakkalamulla Divisional Secretariat Division in Galle District.

At the inauguration on 15th November the guests were warmly welcomed by the Galle District Consortium Executive Committee & Steering Committee members, representatives of Prajashakthi Sanwardene Padanama Yakkalamulla and other community members together with the sixteen Sinhala youth and the coordinator in Galle. There were also invitees from other youth clubs of Galle, youth from Tamil and Muslim community and Government and NGO representatives. They were all received with the Sinhalese custom by offering of a sheaf of betel leaves and Kandyan dancing to drumbeat that figured prominently.

The day’s programme started with lighting of the traditional oil lamp by the representatives from all 3 districts, Yakkalamulla Divisional Secretariat and Pradesheeya Sabha, Galle District Consortium and SLCDF. After religious observances a group of children graced the occasion with Saraswathi Pooja dance.

The youth participants of all 3 districts shared their experiences in each location of the youth exchange programme. A traditional dance was performed by the female youth of Kilinochchi and an item facilitated by Batticaloa coordinator youth pledged to intervene in reconciliation process. The programme ended serving tea with traditional local sweetmeats. The whole group thereafter proceeded to Rumassala, famous for its natural environment conservation and after a field lunch they visited Galle Fort and Shiva kovil.

All youth were up that night as with a host family they enjoyed making kondakevum (oilcakes), the famous traditional local sweetmeat in Sri Lanka. The activities of this youth exchange programme for the next two days would cover shramadhana (self-help) at schools, a visit to a teafactory, sports activities, a cultural show and a campfire.

The conducting of this youth exchange programmae has been made possible through the project “Crossing Boundaries -Youth Groups in Sri Lanka” funded by Helvetas Swiss Intercooperation Sri Lanka.