Crossing Boundaries – Sri Lanka Youth Programme making an impact

Climb to Rumassala Kanda in Galle
Interaction of youth with religious leaders and civil society organization leaders
Respect for religious harmony and sharing values
Youth at camp fire - song & dance

The final year of the SLCDF – HELVETAS Swiss Intercooperation Programme “Crossing Boundaries – Youth Groups in Sri Lanka” has had been very active with youth from all three districts getting to meet each other more often and participating in group activities in the three districts, sometimes even including the youth participants of past years. The districts chosen for this three year programme are Galle, Batticaloa and Kilinochchi.

Experience Sharing Programme in Galle district was held from 23rd to 27th August, 2018, in Thalgampala, Yakkalamulla. Out of the 16 youth per district participating in this programme, half of the youth were selected to participate from Kilinochchi and Batticaloa for this programme. Eight youth from Kilinochchi (5 Male & 3 Female) and 8 youth from Batticaloa (4 Male & 4 Female) together with the coordinator and a steering committee member from each district participated. They were welcomed by the host district of Galle and all 16 youth (8 Male & 8 Female) together with their respective organizations, Steering Committee Members, Galle District Consortium. Officials from the donor agency HELVETAS visited Galle to observe the effects of this joint programme.

The activities during the four days comprised of family get-togethers, sports events, environment programmes, home visits, a fire camp, preparation of traditional sweetmeats, cultural programme and visiting places of interest i.e. Galle Fortress. A five day programme schedule was shared with all districts and the youth were very excited to participate.

The well planned programme schedule kept space for the youth to interact with religious leaders which the youth from all three districts have found very effective. Also, the self-help (Shramadana) carried out by all the youth groups in collaboration with Lions Club in Mental Hospital in Unawatuna Galle helped clean the hospital premises.

The five day programme saw the integration of all youth beyond borders. SLCDF is hopeful with the final months of this programme that the youth will take the peace and reconciliation process forward.