An online training programme to improve the Non Violent Communication (NVC) skills of the Local Inter Religious Committee (LIRC) members was held for Rakwana LIRC members under NPC’s Collective Engagement for Religious Freedom (CERF) project to familiarize LIRC members with basic concepts and tools of NVC to enhance their effective engagement in reconciliation work.
Anojitha Sivaskaran, who works as a project officer at NPC, was one of the winners of the prestigious Diana Award for 2021 that honours young people for their social action or humanitarian work. The award commemorates the life of Britain’s Princess Diana who dedicated her time to improve the lives of others. Congratulating Anojitha on her achievement, NPC’s Executive Director Dr. Jehan Perera said that he was glad that NPC had provided a platform for her success. He said that Anojitha had shown herself as a good team player and contributed to the NPC’s outreach along with other committed staff members in difficult circumstances.
Colombo District Inter Religious Committee (DIRC) is holding a series of online meetings to educate the public and create awareness on issues facing the country under NPC’s project Plural Action for Conflict Transformation (PACT). Various experts are delivering lectures and facilitating discussions and debates that encourage community engagement meetings. Three meetings have been held so far with about 60 participants for each.
Thirty participants attended two online training sessions held under NPC’s Preventing Violent Extremism (PVE) project from the districts of Kandy, Kurunegala, Mannar, Vavuniya, Batticaloa and Ampara where the project is being implemented jointly with Helvitas Sri Lanka and funded by the EU.
Four online discussions were conducted Trincomalee, Kilinochchi, Mullaitivu and Vavuniya under NPC’s Social Cohesion and Reconciliation (SCORE) activity with the participation of Co-Existence Society (CES) members, District Inter Religious Committee (DIRC) members and Local Inter Religious Committee (LIRC) members.
An online training programme on facilitation skills development was held under NPC’s Collective Engagement for Religious Freedom (CERF) project for 61 representatives of 12 regional partners. An online poll identified facilitation as the primary requirement for training as it would benefit them as community level change agents.
An online workshop on countering hate speech for youth in Polonnaruwa was conducted by NPC’s Technical Assistance to Justice Institutions in Sri Lanka project. Project coordinator Nirosha Anthony spoke on the social background of hate speech and the objectives of the workshop. She explained that hate speech is often used in society to create an enemy of the other while consolidating one’s own group. Modern technology and social media made this task easier and more harmful.
With the rising Covid-19 cases and the government imposing travel restrictions to control the pandemic, NPC has halted field activities and has shifted events online via Zoom. The Plural Action for Conflict Transformation (PACT) project organized six project orientation meetings via Zoom in Polonnaruwa, Galle, Matara, Kandy, Puttalam and Kegalle.
In order to engage communities with the reconciliation process in the country, NPC carried out assessments to determine the needs of the communities that the Social Cohesion and
Reconciliation (SCORE) activity has already worked with. Coexistence Society (CES) members, District Inter Religious Committee (DIRC) members and Local Inter Religious Committee (LIRC) members are assisting SCORE at the grassroots level.