Sunday, July 26, 2009

FLC Countdown: 12 Days, Updates

With the onset of the volunteers’ arrival, a large part of the meeting was devoted to expounding their job description. The volunteers for the Future Leaders Conference will fill a supporting role in uniting the students. All students coming to the conference are divided into small groups of 7 students each with 2 assisting volunteers. Each group will be a heterogeneous mix of different ethnic groups hailing from various districts around Sri Lanka. Naturally, the attendees will be uncomfortable in this unfamiliar setting and will want to remain with the people from their districts. The job of the volunteer is to help these students outside of their comfort zone and to engage them in conversation with one another, transcending created and artificial barriers formed from years of mistrust. The similarities between people from all parts of the country will be realized as their local stereotypes are broken down.

Some volunteers are attending for more specific reasons. The American team of artists from Orlando will be promoting a sizable 8 ft. x 32 ft. canvas that will be used towards the end of the retreat. Students, encouraged by the volunteers, will have the opportunity to paint their own impressions of what reconciliation is. Other volunteers will be coming for website support and other specific tasks to cover every feature of the event.

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