SLU periodically publishes a Guide book for school students, designed with a series of lessons on reconciliation and non violent conflict transformation. The guidebooks re implemented in selected schools through the Sri Lanka Unites chapters established in these schools.
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Teachers-in-charge of SLU clubs in schools are inducted to the teachers department where they are traied on how school students could be supported by the school to be peace-builders in their communities.
Show You Care
SHOW (Stop harassment of Women) you care addresses the need to counter sexual harassment of women while addressing women empowerment. SLU engages young girls, boys, women and men to talk about issues around sexual harassment especially in public places through Bus Campaigns.
Typically during these Bus Campaigns, volunteers speak to passengers in buses and raise awareness of the legal implications of anyone being caught in the act of sexual harassment. Volunteers simultaneously let women know of emergence numbers that they could contact in such an instance.
Through this department, young women are also taught self defense.
THINK - Speak Up Campaign
The THINK/Speak Up campaign aims to counter the impact of hate speech on social media and in public discourse. The negative stereotyping of communities, false accusations and misrepresentations of various communities are aimed at brainwashing youth, inciting violence and causing communal strife. Sri Lanka unites takes a stand by exposing false rhetoric and propaganda while urging the youth to “THINK” before they buy into hate speech and negative stereotyping. In addition, the THINK campaign also provides a safe platform for communities to dialogue with people from different communities to dialogue with people from different communities and address immediate concerns head on and not let them snowball into hate across communal lines.
Governance and Law
After a decade of perfecting a model on youth reconciliation, SLU was happy to be given an opportunity to explore core-pillars of youth empowerment such as engaging with governance processers of a country, specifically local government. Sri Lanka Unites introduced youth to conversations of peacebuilding through local government institution. We continue to explore how young people could facilitate this dialogue.
This department was launched as an initiative to create a YouTube space with rich video content to engage youth in conversations on peace and conflict. SLU TV programs include video series on 1. Transitional Justice 2. Youth Engagement with Local government 3. Counter Narratives to Religious Extremism.
SLU Music Department
Why we believe music could heal Music has the capacity to bring the various communities in Sri Lanka together. SLU has ten years of experience with engaging over 3500 student leaders from all 25 districts at our annual conference has proven to be a great pilot for this theory. Young men and women of various backgrounds have had their first positive experience across ethno religious lines , often as a result of the music and arts section at our conference. As we look to engage the broader audience across the nation, we believe initiatives such as BOON, with celebrity musicians and diverse local talent, will attract a new audience that may not usually attend a reconciliation event. Thereby giving us the ability to reach youth who are at a higher risk of engaging in violent extremism. It is also important to note that in developing countries like Sri Lanka , parents mainly emphasize on academia and fashioning a career out of traditional choices like commerce, science, medicine and law. Music and arts are often not options to pursue. We believe an initiative that helps them experience the possibility of a career in the arts will also have a positive impact on society.
Since 2010, theatre was used by SLU to engage young people with social issues that they may be witnessing in their day to day lives. Through Forum Theater, young people are engaged in acting out how a social issue could be countered through active citizen participation and intervention.
Arts and Drawing
Art through drawings and paintings have been a unifying experience for many students. SLU encourages teams of diverse students to express what they have learnt from SLU and their aspirations for Sri Lanka through art.
Relief and Re-building
This department is the primary focal point through which SLU organizes aid distributions during natural disasters. The department is ready for action to collect rations/donations during floods/droughts/landslides etc.
Sports is a universal language through which young people form bonds and friendships. SLU has used sports to catalyze young people of different backgrounds to work together in one team. Students find themselves cheering a fellow student of another ethnic/religious background, and for the first tie in their lives experience the possibilities of victories they could achieve if they worked together.