The Words of the Gehring Family

RYS to Build a Community Center in a Sri Lankan Village

John Gehring
November 14, 2011
Religious Youth Service -- Sri Lanka

Colombo, Sri Lanka -- RYS-Sri Lanka is organizing a service-learning project in Divulagamana – a war-affected village in the Pollonnaruwa district about 300 km from Colombo. The village with 1,748 people from 439 families is dependent on agriculture. Scheduled for December 16 to 22, the project will accommodate 40 volunteers (5 international participants, 10 participants from North; East, 15 participants from other parts of the country, 5 participants from the area of the project, and 5 staff members) from diverse cultures and religions.

RYS is planning to build a much-needed community center for the villagers. This building will be useful for them to hold meetings, self-help programs, family functions,funeral services, cultural activities and social celebrations. The outcome of the proposed project will have a positive impact in enhancing socio-cultural interactions among the inhabitants. The villagers are eagerly looking forward to be part of this unprecedented event in their hamlet.

Participants will take part in a classic RYS experiential leadership program, including leadership exercises, lectures and interactions, inter-religious sharing, sightseeing, and contributing through community service. Dr. Robert S. Kittel, a master trainer with decades of experience in sharing a universal vision of values, will serve as the educational director of the project.

RYS-Sri Lanka 2011 is working in cooperation with the Presidential Task Force on North and East Development; Tharunyata Hetak Youth Organization; the Ministry of Social Services and Social Welfare headed by Hon. Minister Felix Perera; Hon. Roshan Ranasinghe, MP for Plonnaruwa district; Mr. H. Mayadunne, District Secretary of Pollonnaruwa; and many other social service organizations.

As this eventful year comes to an end, we invite you to become a part of the beginning of a new progressive and prosperous year with this tiny village community. Let us serve each other and share our resources with the lesser privileged among us.

Sri Lanka is one of the most active participant countries in Religious Youth Service. Since 2000, RYS-Sri Lanka organized regional projects annually, reaching out to people from all walks of life, even when the country was passing through the turbulent time of civil war that ended in 2009. For a chronicle of RYS programs in Sri Lanka, click here.

For more information, including fees, contact Dinesha Liyanasuriya, Secretary General of RYS-Sri Lanka. 

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