|Friday, 16 May 2003|
"Challenging the Challenges" a National Conference for the young people of the YMCA was organised by the National Council of the YMCAs of Sri Lanka on 22-25 of April at Manresa Retreat House in Batticaloa.
The Conference brought about 60 young people from the YMCAs in Sri Lanka, including 8 international participants from Norway, Kenya, Senegal and the Republic of South Africa.
The Conference provided a platform for the YMCA Youth to express their views on the YMCA National Youth Policy and its implementation at the member YMCAs to come out with strategic directions which was presented at the Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the Council that followed the Conference on April 25 and 26 at Sarvodaya Centre at Saththurukkondan.
A paper on "Youth Issues in Sri Lanka in reference to YMCA" was presented by Ms. Ingvild H. Mydske of Norway at the AGM Convention, who is being involved in Youth work in Sri Lanka YMCA since last September.
She suggested that the YMCA in Sri Lanka has to revise its strategy and focus on building capacity of the young people to have access to information, skill training and above all that YMCA should pioneer to provide a space for them to be treated as equal persons in the society especially in the decision making.
Thus, the YMCA has a vital role to play in the development of the young people in conformity to the contemporary trends. States a press release of the National Council in YMCA.
Rev. Fr. Sritharan Sylvester, Director EHED, presented a keynote address on "The impact of war on Young people and the situation after the MoU" at the opening ceremony.
"The peace process today should be focused on building confidence among people" said Fr. Sritharan. He stressed the importance of "love" which only can bring froth peace, more than any agreement or accord.
A panel discussion was followed after the keynote presentation. Cultural presentation was significant in bringing out the Batticaloa flavour to a vast number of youth who gathered from various parts of the Country and the World during the opening ceremony.
The Conference consisted of presentations, discussions, exposure and spiritual components for the youth to cater to their development in Body, Mind and Spirit for which the YMCA has been at the service of Young People for more than 150 years throughout the world and of which 125 years in Sri Lanka.
M. P. Christy Antony, Chairperson of the Youth Committee and Felician Thayalaraj Francis, Asst. Executive Secretary of the National Council of the YMCAs of Sri Lanka were responsible for organizing the event.
Produced by Lake House