Active Citizens is a social leadership training programme that promotes intercultural dialogue and community-led social development. Through the programme, we bring together people with different cultures, beliefs and perspectives to learn from and share with each other. Working with our partners around the globe, we train participants in the skills and knowledge needed to affect social change in their communities. Active Citizens connects thousands of like-minded people around the world who collectively want to make a fairer and more inclusive society. British Council Active Citizens program was a 5 day workshop which was conducted in collaboration with the International Youth Alliance for Peace.
The Sri Lankan government and other humanitarian organizations have been actively and diligently working towards peace and reconciliation post the deadly war that has been tormenting the nation for three decades. The main objective was educating and bringing awareness to people from the grass root level, building strong multi-ethnic bonds, human rights awareness, freedom of speech and various other related areas that initiate and promote peace, reconciliation and human rights.
Addressing the challenge at hand has become the most important need of the hour, and the active participation of the youth is deemed vital in succeeding in this endeavor. Although this initiative has been commendably kicked off and a great deal of participation from the youth can be observed, yet unfortunately, it is a rare sight to see youth from rural areas taking part. It is mostly the youth from the urban areas that show interest in supporting these endeavors initiated by the respected organizations.
In respect to support this initiative that is hoped to bring positive changes amongst us and the society, IYAP (International Youth Alliance for Peace) supported by The British Council Sri Lanka conducted an Active Citizen workshop in the Kandy district for a period of 5 days. This Active Citizens five day residential workshop was held from 20 to 25 of March 2017 in Kundasale. There were more than 30 participants representing Sinhala, Tamil and Muslim communities from all over the country. The program develops Active Citizens who are potential change agents in their community. Through this workshop young people acquire a wide range of skills in leadership, communication, advocacy, citizenship, social responsibility, volunteering, fundraising, partnerships, and network building skills which contribute to community-led social development through Social Action Project delivery.