A Peace Camp

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Nine BBites are just back from spending time with about 100 teenagers from 8 districts in Sri Lanka as part of the “Kids in Touch” Peace Camp held in Wariyapola from 8 to 10th of December 2007. The project is a joint initiative of Sarvodaya and the British Council and aims to facilitate communication and foster mutual understanding between young people from the ages of 14 to 19 across Sri Lanka.

The camp follows from a series of leadership and teambuilding workshops facilitated by Beyond Borders during the last couple of months in the participant’s home districts. The theme for the camp – peace – has been chosen collectively by the district youth groups from which the participants come from. The participants hailed from Anuradhapura, Nuwara Eliya, Kandy, Hambantota, Monaragala, Gampaha, Ratnapura and Trincomallee. They represented all religious, ethnic and linguistic identities of the country.

The 3 day camp had a combination of sessions on issues related with peace – identity, stereotypes, conflict transformation, critical thinking, social activism with lighter components like evening cricket (and rugby, football, volleyball) , Baila-sessions, paintings ended with a cultural night with performances from Every District. The youth also had a chance to share their learning and their visions for a better, peaceful and more prosperous Sri Lanka.

We found the experience challenging as well as rewarding, never before have had been in a training capacity for this age bracket, which despite the official 14-18 figures had people even younger. The idea of this sort of exercise is to get young people to think about stuff (some of which they already know) in more detail and go deep into things they hear quite often but don’t bother with after. Sustaining these efforts will be largely up to them, although we’d help in whatever way we can.

We’d be blogging more about the experience in the time to come. Pics can be found on our flickr.

BBites Anu, Deane, Guru, Mithila, Muwahhid, Nooranie, Ramzi, Sachith and Sheetal went in as facilitators for the camp. Beyond Borders is a youth-led voluntary organization working for change, if you like what we are doing, Join us.

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Posted on 12/13/2007, in Events-Activities-Announcements, Peace-Conflict-Governance, Sri Lanka and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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