The Sri Lanka Unites Dream Team 5 headed to Kandy on the 15th of September immediately after their visit to Kegalle on the previous day. The hill city was a huge opportunity to spread the message of reconciliation with the inspiration of youth from our very strong chapter for Sri Lanka Unites, Trinity College. The support given to us by Trinity College over the years towards our cause has been very generous and encouraging. As every year the school produces young leaders to inspire through leadership, this year there are two exceptional individuals being part of the Dream Team 5. To recognize and honour the long standing relationship with the school the Principal, Mr. Colin Rathnayake was invited to be the chief guest at the Future Leaders’ Conference held this year in St.Thomas Guruthalawa in Badulla District.
“Trinity is a school which emphasizes on religious and ethnic unity. We will always be one. Even if we die, we will be one.”
-Mr. Colin Rathnayake
The workshop hosted six other schools in the region along with students of Trinity, which gave the team immense exposure to reach out to spread the message. The workshop was based on value based leadership which was brought about through group activities, talks and forum theatre. During the activities, the students had to take leadership in critical situations and work as a group towards a common motive to be successful at the end.
At first breaking the ice was a challenge as the students weren’t familiar with each-others’ present, as they naturally found it awkward to stand next to or hold hands with a student of another ethnicity or another school, but at the end of the workshop the results were remarkable as they were making easy conversation with each other.
The drama - forum theatre created an amazing response in the audience, as students kept running onto stage to change the outcome through interventions even before the conclusion of the first run through. The situation we showcased had a Muslim girl being oppressed in a university by a Sinhalese individuals surrounded by many onlookers. Mainly the insults were made for the way she looked and the overall muslim identity. The moment when the deal was sealed was when two Muslim girls (one girl wearing a niqaab) chose to defend the victim in a scene of the play. This gave everybody the signal that the message had come across, and that reconciliation will not be ignored by the youth in times of conflict.