Monday, February 7, 2011

Reflections on her FLC experience by a Canadian-Lankan SLU supporter

Sheyami Jayawardena, a young SLU supporter based in Toronto, Canada, and a participant at the last Future Leaders' Conference for Reconciliation (FLC Season 2), has written about her experience to a Lankan-Canadian website. Here are some extracts from her article.....

"The conference is not just a gathering of students for 5 days. It is a life changing event. You almost have to be the 17 year old boy from Jaffna who has classmates from IDP camps, and after having attended this conference has plans to serve them. You could be the girl from Colombo who has travelled to help her brothers and sisters in other districts after being inspired by the first conference. You could be the Tamil boy who admits he had grown up to hate Sinhalese and Muslims, and explains how the conference has helped him understand and respect other cultures. You could be the student from Polonnaruwa who was inspired by a speech from the first Sri Lankan blind rower, and now believes he can overcome the challenges in his life. You could be the Sinhalese Buddhist boy from Kegalle who decided to fast with his Muslim friends as the conference ran through the holy season of Ramadan"

"Through SLUs integration of meaningful activities, and moreover through their unabiding belief that they CAN make change, I can confidently say that not one of those students left the conference without their lives having been changed in some sort of meaningful way. The conference provided a haven for dialogue and reconciliation, an opportunity to bridge the gaps and create friendships that no other organization, to this day, has been able to provide the youth of our country."
"Sri Lanka Unites has a clearly outlined vision and mission statement, booklets on conferences, and post-conference media material. All of this helps to give us an idea of what these students achieve and continue to achieve. However, I realized how much more it can mean to anyone who is there in person. The enthusiasm and the desire to create change is contagious. If you happen to be in the country at the time of the conference please do visit and see for yourself."

To read the full article visit -

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