Day 1 – Global Unites Summit
Today marked the beginning of the inaugural Global Unites Summit at MIMT in Thulhiriya, Sri Lanka. While the majority of people had already arrived, the summit wasn’t to begin until 5pm. Many delegates and Executive Committee members went to the Millennium Elephant Foundation for a visit in the morning.
While at MIMT, Interns and Executive Committee members were busy putting together the last minute touches for the smooth commencement of the summit.
The summit was kicked off with Kanji, from Kenya, leading the group with singing and dancing at the opening ceremony. Dishon and Ayesh from Sri Lanka Unites, who facilitated the event and passionately articulated their experiences with Sri Lanka Unites. The audience were inspired and encouraged by their stories and the work that Sri Lanka Unites does. Sri Lanka Unites was the inspiration which contributed to the inception of Congo Unites, and now Global Unites.
The lighting of the traditional oil lamp which symbolizes hope and light out of darkness marked the ceremonial beginning of the event. Delegates and representatives from various countries and departments lit the oil lamp.
Prashan, the Founder and President of Global Unites delivered the welcome address to the gathering, extending warm welcome. He spoke about how encouraged and inspired the Executive Committee and he were, when reading all the delegates applications. Prashan said “we are from countries of bad governance, corruption and conflict. But are we going to let that overcome us, or are we going to be change makers?” With 34 delegates from 18 different countries, the room was filled with incredible change makers from all over the world, and we all knew our answers.
The ceremony ended with delegates being invited onto stage, country by country, people were invited up. The rest of the audience were invited up for a group photo. The ceremony was closed, smiles were seen all around.
Throughout the week delegates will be assigned to two groups, a regional team for breakfast, and a fellowship team over dinner. The idea behind these two teams is to provide the delegates with an opportunity to form strong friendships with other peace builders through sharing a meal. After the ceremony, dinner was served and the delegates meet with their fellowship teams for the first time.
After a successful first day of the summit, everyone is looking forward to seeing what tomorrow brings.The best is yet to come.
By Jasmine Pilbrow