A five day Training Programme was held at Caritas Centre in Chilaw under the ‘Expansion of Religious Amity Programme 2019 – Enhanced Youth Participation’ from 28th October to 01st November, 2019. The theme of the training programme was ‘Youth for Ethnic and Religious Harmony through Social Media’ where 58 enthusiastic youth from Chilaw, Colombo and Kurunegala dioceses participated. The conduct and the enthusiasm showed by the youth exceeded the expectations as the programme concluded in a highly successful manner.
First two days were devoted for youth leadership, value of teamwork, gender stereotypes and values in diversity, awareness about discrimination, respect for cultural behaviour, understanding peace, conflict and violence, hate speech and responses and understanding the global issues. Activities performed in between training sessions kept the youth absorbed and bonded to the proceedings.
Rest of the three days were dedicated for photography and social media. Introduction to photography and video including practical exercises, ethics on photography, video editing, handling Facebook and WhatsApp, setting up logos and developing stickers, uploading images and videos, creating blog and YouTube channel were explained by the respective professionals who served as resource personnel. Participants were asked to create their own blog and YouTube, where some of the participants succeeded in their task.
Outdoor activities such as video reporting of a melee between two factions in a village and visiting a Buddhist temple, Hindu temple and mosque were the outstanding creative work of the youth where shooting and reporting were performed by themselves. On the last night of the programme, a cultural evening was held in front of a bonfire where the participants showcased their talents in singing, dancing and acting.
The highly successful training session ended with awarding of certificates by The Bishop of Chilaw, Rt. Rev. Valence Mendis and presenting a dual-purpose pen drive to every participant. The five day programme was organized by the SJ&SP unit of Caritas Sri Lanka-SEDEC in association with the efficient staff of Caritas Chilaw lead by the Director, Rev. Fr. Luke Nelson.
This programme was funded by Caritas Norway/NORAD. Six more Technical Training programmes of this kind will be organized with the participation of other Caritas dioceses in November and December 2019.