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2011 YOUTH FOR PEACE WORKSHOP 2011 “YOUth in interfaith cooperation: ending poverty affecting children”

8-12 December 2011- Colombo, Sri Lanka

Daily Programme
DAY 1: Thursday, December 8th, 2011
MORNING The Workshop started with an opening plenary with a traditional Sri Lankan welcoming parade, drums, and candle lighting by Sarvodaya and GNRC South Asia Secretariat, the hosting organization at Sarvodaya Headquarter. A warmly welcoming message from Dr. Vinya Ariyaratne, the General Secretary of Sarvodaya Shramdana Movement was expressed to all participants, facilitator team, supporting volunteers, interpreters, organizing team, and Sarvodaya staff. Ms. Agneta Ucko, Director of Arigatou International at Geneva Office also welcomed and expressed appreciation to all participants and to the host organization. Mr Suchith Abeyewickreme, Project Manager of GNRC South Asia, addressed further welcome words to all attendants. After the formal opening, the participants moved to the training venue Vishwanigethan. The first session started with names games to start getting to know each other, led by Ms Daniela Di Mauro. Shortly after that, Ms Laura Lopez Bech invited participants to consider their expectations (or “hopes”) and/or most bothering “fear” previously sent to the facilitators; each participant selected one and explained to the rest of the group their own meaning. . All expectations were posted on the drawing map of the learning kiosks, inspired by the Learning to Live Together manual and its learning process. Participants were briefed about the workshop agenda and its flow before beginning the first thematic on poverty.

saw. . and experienced during the day. AFTERNOON: During the afternoon session. The second thematic session. They later presented their analysis of the causes (root) and the manifestation or effects (branches. Participants were split into smaller groups to share their personal experiences and different perspectives on conflict and violence in their communities. Vinya captured the key learning points and showed the real examples of the conflict and violence in Sri Lanka. The evening session was devoted to the showcase of videos prepared by participants on their celebrations of the World Day of Prayer and Action for Children (DPAC). leaves. they started exploring two of the sub-themes on poverty that will be addressed at the upcoming GNRC Fourth Forum: (1) the Unequal Distribution of Resources.Dr. Vinu Aram. Dr. Prior to the workshop participants had been asked to reflect on their own understanding of poverty and during that session they had the opportunity to share their views and experiences on this issue. and the key role young people played in preparing and implementing the Day. 2|Page . it was followed by a discussion and reflections on the topic. Basic statistics were shown to easily perceive the real situation faced in the different countries represented. “Children. . participants further deepened their understanding of how “Unequal Distribution of Resources” affects children and leads to impoverishment of their lives. and (2) Children. Videos showed how the Global Network of Religions for Children around the world had brought together different religious leaders and communities to pray and take action for children’s wellbeing. and participation. especially on how it is affecting children in their own country. and fruits) of it. pointing out Sarvodaya’s community development programmes implemented as a contribution to improve the situation in the country. GNRC National Coordinator for India and Director of Shanti Ashram. had supported participants establishing their ground understanding of the issue during “Let Start Exploring Poverty Affecting Children” session. Violence. felt. development. and War” brought more practical experience of the issue through a conflict-mapping activity using the tree of conflict. some others read poems they had written on the topic. Some participants showed drawings they had brought from home. protection. Vinu firstly introduced the core concepts of the rights of the child: survival. . After this overview. Before dinner participants took some time to reflect and write down on their learning log what they heard. Violence and War.

The youth found it insightful to the presentations and had the opportunity to engage into a dialogue with the panelists. reconstruction. Director of Sarvodaya Shramadana Movement. and reconciliation in Sri Lanka. Mr. Then the group spent five minutes in silent for personal reflection. Participants also visited 'Sarvodaya Suwasetha Sewa'. 2011 MORNING: The program of the second day began with some participants sharing their Hindu and Muslim traditions with the group through a traditional Indian Hindu chanting and an explanation of the key pillars of Islam. and Mr. structure. sentences and actions invited the youth to a deeper reflection on the three thematic areas of the workshop. Gayathri Lokuge. AFTERNOON: The afternoon started with a Silent Journey. a nutrition center for abandoned and malnourished babies and kids. community development programs and project activities on resettlement. The youth enjoyed their time playing with the babies and young kids for a while before visiting the Vocational Center for Young Woman. The morning ended with a Panel Discussion entitled “Youth Action for Eradication of Child Poverty” held at Sarvodaya Women's Movement conference room Panelists included Ms. participants rotated through three “stations” where specific objects. . which was welcomed by Mrs. Divided into 3 groups. 3|Page .DAY 2: Friday. Susan Razzaz. Chamindha Rajakaruna. the participants gathered in a circle and shared their personal meaningful experiences and insight. Senior Country Economist at the World Bank. Participants were introduced to today's morning agenda: getting to know the work of Sarvodaya and other development organizations to address poverty affecting children in Sri Lanka. researcher at the Centre for Poverty Analysis (CEPA). Sanjeewa Polgahagedara . Suchith Abeyewickreme brought the young participants to visit Sarvodaya Headquarters Office and introduced its over 50 years organizational development. from the micro-finance program at Sarvodaya Economic Enterprise Development Service (SEEDS). On their learning experience so far. Mr. December 9th. Once completed all round. Ms. Neetha Ariyaratne. the Honorable General Secretary of Sarvodaya Suwasetha Society.

three Jewish participants prepared for Sabbath as of traditional Jewish Friday meal and welcomed other participants to join the ceremony. After dinner. It was a great opportunity for the group to contribute with labour to improve children's lives at Hiyare East Village around Galle city. to develop mutual understanding. Groups of three had been arranged as a simulated little cafe to deepen their own beliefs. and to learn from one another how common goals for ending poverty and fulfilling children rights can unite us all. Key questions were asked to the participants: “What does it mean for you to work with people of different religions and cultures? What is your experience? What are the advantages? What are the challenges?” After conversations in small groups. During free time. Participants were then introduced to the 3 tasks of community services that they could voluntarily contribute 4|Page . 2011 On the International Human Rights Day. After encouraging dialogue. Soon after they all arrived. Sarvodaya local staff members and their families. and performances. DAY 3: Saturday. Dr. participants shared their reflections in plenary.After getting grounded from self-reflection. the youth leaders further considered the interfaith dimension of poverty alleviation through discussions at the Interfaith Cafe. This informal evening began with Sri Lankan traditional dances and was followed by each country's cultural presentation. in the southwest of Sri Lanka. one of Sarvodaya’s key development programmes. the participants received bouquets of fresh flowers welcomed by the young field trip to offer “Shramadana” or Gifting of Labour. It was a highly entertaining cultural interaction among all workshop participants. to express and address their personal concerns. participants spent some time writing on their personal learning log. Hans Ucko led the discussion. District Coordinator of Sarvodaya in Galle gave a welcome speech and offered the traditional Ceylon tea and snacks. Added values of interfaith cooperation and challenges we face in our daily work were also addressed. traditional food sharing. all participants walked to the Sarvodaya Headquarter for the Cultural Family Gathering to celebrate the cultural diversity in the group and learn from others’ traditions. Upali Hemachandra. After arriving at the village. the group of participants made a one. To close the Café Dr Vinu Aram and Dr Hans Ucko shared their passion about the topic and their inspiring experiences on how they started working in the field of interfaith. Mr. December 10th.

2011 MORNING: The fourth day of the workshop started with good spirits by sharing of religious traditions by the Christian and Buddhist participants. violence. (3) Children. These issues were used as key elements to encourage participants’ reflections during the afternoon session about youth initiatives to make a change. Common issues identified included: violence against children. When reporting back in through the whole morning: 1) paving the ramp leading to the school 2) painting the building. the morning session started with the question: “What does governance mean to you?” Throughout the morning. and war. arbitrary policy making. Christian participants gathered and presented their prayers. To wrap-up. (4) visit to Sarvodaya Headquarter and interactive panel with speakers. (2) unequal distribution of resources. and (5) field trip. and governments.” Then participants were divided into four subgroups to share their understanding of what poor governance means/is characterized by… and how it affects child's right in their country. After the task completion. education. Then the youth participants had a moment of reflection on what they had learned in the past three days by considering and sharing their different level of discovery from each key sessions: (1) let's start exploring poverty affecting children. DAY 4: Sunday. Later everyone was introduced to breathing meditation. and brief story of the Lord Buddha by the group of Buddhist participants. opportunities to voice children’s needs and participate in decision-making. participants felt good with their work and satisfied with the results they had achieved. facilitators captured in a diagram the different levels at which action is needed to address the issue: individual. The day culminated with a nice time together exploring Galle city and its beaches. December 11th. community. Gathas. This was followed by a well-deserved traditional lunch with the villagers and a lovely performance offered by the village's young children. the youth continued exploring another important dimension of poverty affecting children: “Poor Governance. each group presented the outcomes of their discussions. After sharing their reflections. Participants were encouraged to reflect upon their role as individuals and as members of 5|Page . and 3) repairing the windows nets of the School. institutions/organizations. bad management and lack of resources.

raising the question on “how we can canalize energy to make the change?”. Questions and personal views from other participants were brought up and shared along the to contribute to overcoming poor governance damages. (3) Education: Lack of Support and Structure.” The young leaders were divided into smaller groups of discussion according to the key issues raised in the previous session: (1) Violence against the Girl Child. each group actively presented their concrete project ideas on specific topics they discussed. Later after refreshment from the break. participants played an energizer game: “I have a dream”. (2) Child Begging. The importance of “awareness” (being aware of what is happening around us) was also highlighted as a key condition to bring about positive change. All participants were excited to share thoughts and insights. The connection between leadership and role modeling was established to show the impact of our actions in ourselves and in our communities. and (4) Child Participation: having a voice in decision making. Emphasis was put on everyone’s leadership role in all areas of life. Participants chose the topic that they wanted to work on and worked in small groups to identify concrete actions they could take to address this topic. participants started brainstorming on concrete actions in “The Incubator: YOUth's Initiatives to Make a Change. 6|Page . AFTERNOON: After lunch. Following a recap on the learning path done so far.

Bosnia-Herzegovina. Following a presentation on the key concepts and values embedded in the learning approach and methodology o the manual. while serving as a source of inspiration and encouragement for the rest of participants to start using the Manual. Some expectations that had not yet been reached were also expressed and discussed how they will be taken care of. India and Sri Lanka. This served also as an example of the methodology proposed in the manual and the type of activities suggested. December 12th. Arigatou/ GNRC channel on YouTube also contains inspirational videos and music related to children’s rights and social issues. The sharing was a good sign of the commitment youth have to implementing the Learning to Live Together in their communities. Ms. including participants coming from Argentina. an internal online learning resource platform was also presented as a useful databank of resources to support GNRC youth work. Campus. Belgium.DAY 5: Monday. Ms. 7|Page . and is available to everyone. Laura Lopez-Bech encouraged participants to continue the sharing of experiences and information through GNRC Youth Facebook group and the GNRC Youth website. Copies of the manual were distributed to the participants To wrap up the learning journey participants shared their key personal learning and reflections from all sessions in the workshop. participants engaged in a discussion-based activity: “What I Stand For?” Participants were asked to deeply consider some statements related to poverty and beliefs. Appreciation and thank message from a participant was expressed in a poem before the facilitator team gave a big round of applause to thank all members of the team– the reporters. The morning session started with an introduction to the “Learning to Live Together” Manual. Some of them shared their meaningful messages reflected from the item. On this last day of the Workshop. and chose their stand on the same based on their level of agreement. 2011 MORNING: There are many tremendous ways to assemble our thoughts and minds in silence or sharing. Agneta Ucko brought various items around the venue and asked participants to take a few minutes of silence to decide which they would like to concentrate on. instead of a silence walk. The session closed with the sharing of experiences by some of the participants who are already using the Manual in their local contexts. Jordan.

supporting team. Dr. including: Dr. The learning journey was about to start. appreciation or any thoughts as they wished. Youth for Peace 2011 program in Sri Lanka came to an end with a farewell dinner at a hotel in Colombo city. Chairman Board of Director of Sarvodaya Legal Services Movement. Carrying a full bag of experiences.” There were several highly well-respected and experienced speakers in the field of anti-trafficking development in the region.again. and intense feelings. insight. Sunitha Krishnan. Sunil Cooray.. new ideas and questions. the group of participants attended a side-event organized by Sarvodaya Legal Services Movement on the occasion of “United Nations Human Rights Day Celebrations 2011” at Sri Lanka Foundation Institute Auditorium in Colombo. logistic support team and host organization. the Founder and President of Sarvodaya Movement. At Ariyaratne. AFTERNOON: Afterwards in the evening. now in their own realities. gratitude. Later everyone gathered in a big circle for a Closing of the workshop by sharing their personal last words of goodbye. a Co-Founder and Chief Functionary of Prawala in India. participants took off back home.. translators. Documented by Kornnatt Surapat (Jay) January 2012 8|Page . and Dr. Highlights of the events were the 20th Kanchna Abhayapala annual human rights memorial lecture and the high level consultation in “Building a Community Network to Protect Women and Children from Violence: What you and I can do.