Under the project titled, “Replacing the Experience of Integral Human Development – Civic Dialogue and Cross – Community Activities” funded by Caritas Korea, CBO leaders from 4 Dioceses namely, Anuradhapura, Badulla, Mannar and Vanni gathered in Colombo recently to discuss ways and means as to how they would form CBOs into district level federations. It is expected such a move would strengthen their collaborative efforts in gaining access to the government facilities and receiving more attention of the authorities to their local needs and issues.

The first day workshop held on 10th of September 2019 in the Sinhala medium was facilitated by Mr. Samantha S Pathirathna, Chairman, Passasia. During the interactive sessions, he emphasized the need to move away from the need based approach to the rights based approach where CBOs act with the dignity, understanding their rights and responsibilities as citizens of this country, especially in finding solutions to their issues. He discussed the economic and political backwardness and lack of knowledge among the general public and urged the CBO leaders to exploit well-proven methodologies and tools in winning their rights and communicating their local issues to the attention of the government.

During the second day, the sessions in Tamil medium dealt the same contents as above and it was facilitated by a seasoned development expert from Caritas Jaffna – HUDEC, Mr. Joseph Bala. He too focused the attention of the participants on the importance of coming together forming a federation.

At the end of the sessions, both the groups came up with an action plan to be implemented in their CBOs and at federation level.