Centre for peacebuilding and reconciliation,
By the end of 2009 Dishani had trained 195 young leaders, known as ‘Young Visionaries’, to overcome ethnic divides in their communities. Since then these young people have organised their own village activites. They have reached hundreds of youth and religious leaders to challenge the prejudice and mistrust that they have grown up with. These activities, ranging from community clear-ups, environmental conservation to cultural festivals, bring groups who have a history of communal violence together to work collectively.
Before I went to the workshop I only thought of other communities as a source of conflict, there was no understanding between us. The workshop made me change my attitude, I feel a sense of ‘unity’ and a responsibility to pass this on to my community. - Vivekanadhan, a Young Visionary from a Tamil community
The activities of these Young Visionaries challenge the existing social system – Sinhalese villages inviting neighbouring Tamil and Muslim people to come to their New Year celebrations, Young Tamil and Islamic men and women helping to clean up a Buddhist temple, all three communities coming together to learn about conserving their beaches. They are simple activities that have been unthinkable for nearly three decades and that offer a vision of a united future for Sri Lanka.
It costs just £38 for a Young Visionary to attend a workshop, to learn more skills that they can pass on to their communities. Donate today and you can help these young people be the change in their communities.