Welcome Dance by Kilinochchi Participants
Welcome Speech by Kilinochchi Field Coordinator
Youth Interaction -
The project “Crossing Boundaries -Youth Groups in Sri Lanka” with funding assistance from Helvetas Swiss Intercooperation Sri Lanka, is aimed at building capacities of 48 youth in selected three districts of Galle, Kilinochchi and Batticaloa from South, North and East to intervene as youth animators in peace and reconciliation process of the three main communities, Sinhalese, Tamils and Muslims in the country.
Youth Exchange programme is one of the main activities of this project and the first programme was held in Kilinochchi from 20th to 24th of October 2016. Eighteen youths from Batticaloa and Galle districts with some parents and Steering Committee members travelled to Kandawalai Divisional Secretary’s’ Division.
The host group of eighteen, including 16 youth participants along with Steering Committee and other community members warmly welcomed Sinhala and Muslim participants and the representatives. The programme ran for 3 days. The three ethnic youth, steering committee members and parents interacted well with the staff of the host organization- Organization for Integrated Sustainable Development (OISD) and Kandawalai DS Office on their learnings through this programme.
The visiting groups observed Tamil traditional customs and visited historical places and absorbed some knowledge and understanding on the Tamil culture. Through shramadhana (self-help) conducted at Tharmapuram Elders Home and several other public places, the participant youth got the opportunity to relate with the community of Kandawalai. The cultural programme with the participation of youth of the 4 Grama Niladhari Divisions in Kandawalai provided a message to the community on the importance of peace. The visit to the weaving mills gave the youth an understanding on cottage industries still functioning, producing handloom sarees and bags, even after the thirty year civil war in the North.
The 24 youth got a memorable opportunity by staying with the host families, helping them in day to day domestic activities, interacting with family members and developing mutual understanding among them. SLCDF is truly glad by the success of the first phase of youth exchange programme and looking forward to the second phase to be held in Batticaloa in the first week of November, 2016.