Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Countdown to the Conference: 9 days - Champions of Change

            Last year, Sri Lanka Unites launch an initiative entitled “Champions of Change.”  In addition to the community projects outlined in the post-conference guidebook, interested students were given the opportunity to partner with another school from a different section of the nation to achieve a mutual interest.  For instance, St. Peter’s College in Colombo has partnered with a school in Jaffna and recently concluded a basketball tournament in their school to raise funds for their project.

            This program combines prominent elements of Sri Lanka Unite’s philosophy.  Despite being independently valuable, reconciliation is also a stepping stone to engineering a prosperous future.  This initiative also seeks to strengthen Sri Lanka’s civil society and to urge citizens to take personal responsibility for the maintenance of their homeland.  Furthermore, Champions of Change allows for grassroots change to occur by pooling the efforts of multiple schools.  The benefits of reconciliation are made abundantly clear as projects that otherwise would have been too ambitious in scope are now attainable.  Schools with greater resources can address needs of areas that possess fewer means to accomplish their goals.  As these students work together, they are liable to discover more shared interests and can thus continue the relationship and the process repeats itself on a larger scale.  Champions of Change is an excellent example of the reconciliation in action as all districts can partner with each other to construct an improved Sri Lanka.

            A Champions of Change mentoring weekend will occur in December of this year for interested students that are active in their school SLU chapters.  Clubs that partner with other schools for exceptional community projects will also receive recognition and a well-deserved award at the upcoming Future Leaders Conference Award Ceremony.

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