As part of Phase II AMDA Peace Building Program, since 2011, AMDA International has been conducting “Peace and Unity through Sport, Religion and Art” in Sri Lanka. This has been the 5th
successful program held and further the program was held in the township of Kilinochchi, which was one of the most affected area in the north of Sri Lanka, during the conflicts that ended in 2009.
As usual AMDA teamed up with AMDA Sri Lanka and the Sri Lankan Arm Forces of Kilinochchi district to conducted the event from August 22rd
, 2015. Following the aim of this program that is to foster religious and cultural understanding among different ethnicities through religious, cultural and sports program, Sinhala and Islam students from Badulla and Trincomalle came to Kilinochchi with their Tamil counterparts for the first time. Two Japanese students and a teacher from AMDA High School club also came to participate in the program.
Around 75 students from different ethnic background came together along with teachers and stayed at the premises of Vivekanadar School in Kilinochchi for 3 days and participated in various events. Students from Kilinochchi School warmly welcomed the visitors on their arrival and made them feel home.
The program consisted of three parts, namely religion, sports and cultural exchange. Following the opening ceremony on the first day, all participants made a visit to a Buddhist, Hindu, Islam, and Christian places of worship to see and learn about each other’s faiths. Head of each places of worship gave a brief talk on peace and unity and the importance of understanding and respect for each other`s faith and customs.
The second and third parts were sports and culture program. Students had the rare opportunity to play night Volleyball matches in a professional Volleyball court that was owned and run by the Sri Lankan army mainly for international events. The army officers stated the program with some training session, training matches and finally some games with mixed teams of students from various backgrounds. The Japanese students also enjoyed participating in the event. In the evening, students enjoyed dinner in front of huge campfire in the open. Following dinner students also performed drama, songs and dance and exchanged their cultural experience.
On the last and third day students visited the local garment factory before returning to their hometown. During this program, after interacting and understanding each other through different activities, students from different backgrounds became friends beyond their ethnic or religious difference.
Additionally, AMDA also conducted a free medical clinic and an eye camp in collaboration with Panadura Lions Club. Consultation was provided for general health problems and in total of about 200 patients was treated at the clinic. Further another around 40 patients received reading glasses after an eye screening by an eye surgeon. As always, AMDA`s long time partner, St. John Ambulance was also there to provide logistics support throughout the program. Local Police Chief also participated to give his full support for such program and he kidnly requested to continue such program especially in Kilinochchi.