Rise Up Sri Lanka 4.0

May 30, 2024 | Community Service | 0 comments

Sri Lanka, amidst its lush landscapes and rich cultural heritage, this island nation once divided by conflict, is now emerging as a beacon of hope and solidarity. Various ethnic groups are collaboratively forging a path towards enduring unity, exemplifying the power of the human spirit and cooperation. Central to this transformative journey is “Rise Up Sri Lanka,” an ongoing project led by the Community Service Avenue of the Rotaract Club of the University of Sri Jayewardenepura.

“Rise Up Sri Lanka” was launched in 2020-21 and has since gained momentum, continuing into 2023-24 as “Rise Up Sri Lanka 4.0.” The project’s core objective is to foster an environment celebrating Sri Lanka’s ethnic diversity. It aims to inspire individuals to cultivate respect and support for one another, forgetting social and ethnic differences. Aligned with Rotary’s Peacebuilding and Conflict Prevention focus areas and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (Quality Education, Reduced Inequalities, and Peace, Justice, and Strong Institutions), the project aspires to create a harmonious and equitable society.

Despite the current economic crisis, the community service avenue of RACUSJ remains dedicated to making a positive societal impact. Recognizing the crucial role of promoting peace and unity, the project focuses on raising awareness about the importance of harmony among ethnic groups, particularly during challenging times.

The first phase of “Rise Up Sri Lanka 4.0” involved publishing an engaging e-magazine featuring creative works by school children and undergraduates. This initiative provided a platform for young talents to showcase their artwork, poetry, essays, stories, and photography centered around fostering unity among ethnic groups. By amplifying youth voices, the project celebrated their creativity and unique perspectives, promoting dialogue and understanding about the significance of unity in Sri Lanka’s diverse society.

On April 28, 2024, a counseling session was organized at Methsevana State House Of Detention, a juvenile detention center in Sri Lanka. Led by Rev. K. Vineetha Thero of the Department of Pali & Buddhist Studies at the University of Sri Jayewardenepura and this session provided psychological support and counseling services to inmates, promoting peace and unity among different religious groups while enhancing their mental well-being. This effort fostered ethnic peace and addressed inmates’ mental health needs, creating a supportive environment and instilling hope and resilience. 

The third phase, “Unity in Diversity: Promoting Donations through Faith,” was a social media campaign highlighting the shared values of generosity and compassion in Buddhism, Catholicism, Islam, and Hinduism. By focusing on donating to those in need, the campaign featured teachings from religious scriptures, community leader discussions, and visually appealing graphics. The campaign successfully increased awareness, encouraged community participation, and fostered a sense of unity and mutual respect among different ethnic and religious groups. (Link for the post series: https://cutt.ly/teueJPOB)

On May 30, 2024, inspired by the “Unity in Diversity” campaign, the “Food for Hope” initiative was launched. This outreach effort involved distributing food packets to needy and homeless individuals throughout the country. By providing immediate relief and raising awareness about food security, the initiative fostered community solidarity. Volunteers organized and distributed nutritious meals, engaging with recipients to understand their needs, significantly raising awareness and receiving positive feedback from both recipients and the community. 

The final phase, “Celebrating Sri Lankan Tamil and Hindu Culture,” is a social media campaign highlighting the unique aspects of Tamil and Hindu culture in Sri Lanka. Through engaging articles, the campaign promotes peace, unity, and pride within the community while fostering understanding and appreciation among the broader population. By showcasing vibrant traditions, festivals, cuisine, and historical significance, this phase instills a sense of belonging and cultural identity, contributing to social cohesion and the nation’s cultural tapestry. 

“Rise Up Sri Lanka 4.0” embodies a comprehensive approach to promoting unity and peace in Sri Lanka. Through its various phases, the project addresses immediate needs and challenges while fostering a long-term commitment to harmony and understanding. By celebrating diversity, promoting education, and encouraging individual responsibility, “Rise Up Sri Lanka” paves the way for a future where all ethnic groups in Sri Lanka can coexist peacefully and prosper together.

Written by: Rtr. Mahima Yasas

Graphic design by: Rtr. Mahima Yasas

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