Mobilization for Co-existence
Gethmi Adikari
31 January 2020

“Not money but spend your time with and for others” – Mr. Senthuraja (V-awards winner)

(This article is based on an interview conducted with Mr. Shanmugam Senthurajah. Being a V-awards winner, Mr. Senthuraja focuses on the mobilization and coordination of volunteerism in Sri Lanka through every way he can and especially through NGOs.)

Sri Lanka being a multi-cultural country with several ethnicities residing in the same geographical boundary, the need for mobilization is essential. Whereas the majority and the minority co-existence is imperative. Certainly, this was a barrier during the civil war in Sri Lanka, but at present these problems are out of sight even though the language and creating a supportive environment still prevails a barrier.

Volunteerism can also be used as a peace component and also certain projects have been initiated and carried out related to this. Exchange programs for all the communities have given a space for them to mix up and get to know each other quite well. Even though the responses have been positive, the dependence on funds has made these projects slow -paced to some extent. Since many unemployed youth being a part of the whole agenda, face certain problems such as; costs for transportation when volunteering.

Certain solutions can be proposed to counter these problems. Firstly, the involvement of social media in order to spread awareness and to inform the society, which will in turn increase the contribution. The improvement of Tamil language literacy among the Sinhalese and vice versa by developing qualified teaching of the languages in order to make the right environment for volunteerism is also stressed upon.

Mr. Senthurajah’s contribution to Co-ordination and Mobilization of Volunteers for co-existence is quite imperative to peace-building process in the island. It is also crucial to volunteerism in all parts of the country as well as towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals in Sri Lanka. It is also necessary to ensure the co-ordination in peace-building, achieving future goals and supporting humanitarian efforts in the country.

Gethmi Adikari
31 January 2020
Gethmi Adikari studied in Musaeus College and is currently following a diploma in international relations. Her passion towards linguistics and further exploration of foreign relations has made her join the Unlocked Contributor Team.


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