Tuesday, 08 October 2019 13:44

Young Leaders Counter Hate Speech

A workshop for 53 youth leaders involving games and discussions under NPC’s project Crossing Boundaries - Youth Groups in Sri Lanka, funded by Helvetas Sri Lanka, was held in Trincomalee.

The project is being implemented from July to December 2019 in Matara and Trincomalee with the support of NPC’s district partner, Community Development Centre. The objective is to foster social cohesion through empowering youth and creating unity between different generations, religious and ethnic groups in Matara and Trincomalee.

Several topics were discussed including leadership skills, marginalised communities, conflict sensitivity, the current political context and the role of youth activists. Young leaders have been provided with skills and knowledge to identify problems that youth face in their respective communities and to lead small scale youth projects to address the issues.

Helvetas Sri Lanka also partnered with NPC to conduct a six day youth leadership training for 91 young leaders from the Trincomalee, Batticaloa, Kilinochchi, Matara and Galle districts in Thulhiriya. The topics discussed included democracy, pluralism, advocacy, youth activism, leadership, women in politics and sensible use of social media for positive change.

Youth activists have been provided skills and knowledge to engage in society and government through e-activism and by providing a digital platform for the projection of youth voices and for countering disinformation and hate speech.

“We need this knowledge and experience to serve society. I was able to gain new experiences such as identifying leadership qualities and how to work with people from different parts of the country. Because of the training, I will be able to contribute to improving society as a young person,” said a female participant from Galle.

“Through this workshop I was able to build up the confidence to take decisions in different situations and for different issues. I identified leadership qualities hidden in me. That was most important thing for me,” said a female participant from Matara.