Thursday, July 28, 2011

Countdown to the Conference: 14 days - The Holistic Approach

Students express reconciliation via art

            Though the Future Leaders Conference will primarily target its efforts on reaching the youth of the island, the other attendees will not go unnoticed.  Sri Lanka Unites does not believe in missing opportunities, and it has developed a smaller teacher’s conference to be held alongside the main events.  While the younger generation holds the future, the teachers are responsible for shaping the minds that will take over positions of leadership.  Past conferences have hosted talks created with teachers in mind, but this August marks the first time that a complete schedule has been devised for educators as well as pupils.  In addition to the teacher’s conference, other events are being designed that address the local and international volunteers.  Specifically, several sessions have been designed to encourage international volunteers to become involved in positive change they wish to see in their own country.

            The third season of the Future Leaders Conference will be the most expansive and holistic event that Sri Lanka Unites has ever prepared.  As in previous renditions, the conference includes notable Sri Lankan and foreign speakers, sports figures, sports, workshops, and small groups.  The addition of the volunteer and teachers conferences is another means for SLU to expand reconciliation across the island.  SLU does not wish to abandon the older generations that remember the earlier days of the civil war, especially since those individuals are likely to be the most affected by the conflict.  In fact, the work of Sri Lanka Unites extends far beyond conference related activities.  SLU has routinely sent aid to IDP (Internally Displaced Persons) camps and adopted schools to fund education for needy students.  To achieve national reconciliation, all available channels must be used as such opportunities are too expensive to forego. 

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