As we mentioned in our last post, on the 14th April along with our AGM we will be attending a workshop facilitated by Voices for Reconciliation. As a charity supporting projects in Sri Lanka, it is vital that we discuss the issues and needs on the ground so that we can ensure that our support goes where it is needed the most. Here follows a message from Voices for Reconciliation, with some more information about the workshop. We do hope to see you on Saturday 14th April. Please come and join the discussion!
What role can young people play in shaping Sri Lanka’s post-war future?
Voices for Reconciliation is an independent, multi-ethnic, multi-religious group of young British Sri Lankans who share a spirit of cooperation and open communication. We work to encourage peace-building within both Sri Lanka and the Sri Lankan Diaspora in the UK. We understand reconciliation to be a healing process leading to mutual acceptance between previously conflicting groups, built on a foundation of equality, understanding and openness.
We strongly believe in the importance of cross-community dialogue in bringing together the different ethnic groups of the Sri Lankan Diaspora in the UK. By organising discussion workshops, we hope to dispel prejudices and promote understanding, by raising awareness of the multiple opinions, hopes and grievances that individuals hold.
We are delighted to have the opportunity to start a discussion with Gecko Sri Lanka. Through its fundraising activities, Gecko Sri Lanka has made vital contributions to Sri Lanka; this includes supporting post-tsunami recovery, orphanages, and medical facilities (amongst many other projects) and, more recently, post-war redevelopment schemes. It has achieved this by bringing together a diverse body of Sri Lankans (and ‘honorary’ Sri Lankans) from different backgrounds and with connections to different parts of the country, enabling the charity to reach an equally diverse range of communities within Sri Lanka.
In the current climate, with Sri Lanka once again in the public spotlight, many questions remain about the country’s post-war future. We invite you to share your ideas and opinions on what this future should look like, and how we can help realize these ambitions together. As students and young professionals, we all possess education and skills that can be constructively employed to make a real difference in Sri Lanka. And as individuals with a strong connection to Sri Lanka, we can offer cultural knowledge and insights that can be extremely valuable in understanding the complexities that surround the country’s post-war recovery.
Whether you are British Sri Lankan, Sri Lankan or non-Sri Lankan, VFR encourages you to attend this event if you are a young person interested in issues of peace-supporting development and reconciliation in post-conflict Sri Lanka. The workshop will consist of a series of interactive exercises aimed at encouraging debate and discussion. Although no subject is off-limits, VFR always asks participants to speak and behave in a respectful and open-minded way. This session will be informal and interactive and we hope the discussion will be lively and thought-provoking. Please do come along and share your ideas with us!
Date: Saturday 14th April 2012
Venue: Haldane Seminar Room, Wilkins Building, UCL, Gower Street, London, WC1 E6BT
RSVPs: Please RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org by Saturday 7th April to be guaranteed a place.