Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Countdown to the Conference: 10 days - The Local Cohort

           The upcoming Future Leaders Conference will incorporate dozens of Sri Lankan volunteers from across the island and abroad.  The cohort consists of university students and young people aged 19 and older who have learned about SLU through its ever growing network and share its passion.  Since most volunteers have finished secondary school, they monopolize the unique position of being able to relate to the students attending the conference while being mature and knowledgeable enough to fulfill their responsibilities.  Their recent experiences lend them credibility as they encourage their younger counterparts to associate with their peers. 

            These supporters serve as role models for achieving reconciliation in Sri Lanka.  Attending students have the opportunity to observe their older colleagues expending significant time and energy on increasing the well being of those they engage.  In fact, not all volunteers are new to the conference.  Some individuals have signed on as volunteers in every conference to date while others have had previous experience working with other youth organizations abroad.  The students who participate in the conference themselves often have the opportunity to return as assistants in later years to aid in the operation of a conference where they were once guests.  Before every Future Leaders Conference, several mornings are devoted to volunteer training where supporters review their roles for the upcoming event.  Currently, Sri Lanka Unites has one more training session scheduled for this coming Saturday.  As well as being on-site assistants during FLC, local volunteers are indispensable in the preparation for the conference.  Volunteers assist in the school relations department and are involved with organizing specific logistics for the conference.  Many of these young people have become good friends with the department heads and SLU staff members.  Considering their position, these dedicated volunteers can be considered SLU’s vanguard of reconciliation, striving to be an example for generations to come.

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