Sri Lanka: Religious Youth Service Project
by Edgar T. Tanate, FFWPY Sri Lanka
After undergoing a long traumatic period of civil unrest that claimed thousands of lives, Sri Lanka experienced a decade of peace and rapid development; however, the recent terrorist bombing on Easter Sunday, 12 April 2019, has shattered the very foundation of peace and harmony that prevailed in this island nation. What we badly need today is the sustained efforts to strengthen the peace process and unify the youth cutting across region, religion, language and gender for a better tomorrow.
Over two decades, RYS Sri Lanka has been actively promoting sustainable initiatives to nurture and nourish a culture of peace in the fertile minds of our young generation. This year’s project is a bold step in this direction.
RYS Sri Lanka conducted a service project on 21-27 August 2019 in Andiyapuliyankulam & Sooduventhapulavu, a war-affected hamlet in Vavuniya district, about 260 Km away from Colombo. This village with 3500 people belonging to 500 families is entirely dependent on agriculture. Project participants took part in a classic RYS experiential leadership program, including leadership exercises, lectures and interactions, interreligious sharing, sightseeing and community service. Dr. Edgar Tanate & Mrs. Faziday Razak, master trainers with decades of experience, served as the educational directors of the project.
RYS built 2 much-needed water wells for two villages. For the villagers who go through numerous hardships to fetch their daily drinking water 8 km. from their village, this initiative is a huge help. The villagers are so grateful and happy that this unprecedented project took place in their hamlet.
A total of 56 youth leaders from 9 nation attended and participated the said project of Religious Youth Service of Sri Lanka.
This RYS Project is organized by UPF Sri Lanka led by its Secretary General, Dr. Chula Senarathne and Ms. Dinesha Liyanasuriya. This project was made possible through the support of Dr. Chung Sik Yong, Hon. Ek Nath Dhakal, and Rev. Santosh Paudel who represented the Founders, Rev. Sun Myung Moon and Dr. Hak Ja Han.