|Sunday, 17 July 2005|
Peace Education Camp in August
by Nancy Bolden
The 9th Annual Peace Education Camp will be conducted by Serendib - Sri Lanka, an education foundation based in Sabaragamuwa Province and composed of local government English teachers. This Camp will bring together students and teachers of all ethnic and socio-economic backgrounds from throughout Sri Lanka to participate in a 7-day residential program designed to foster peace and ethnic reconciliation through education.
Working in cooperation with the Ministry of Education, Serendib - Sri Lanka hopes to expand its activities for the first time beyond the borders of Sabaragamuwa to benefit the teachers and students from around the island.
Since 1997, a dedicated group of experienced English teachers in Sabaragamuwa Province have been sacrificing their time and creative energies for the benefit of the students and teachers in Sri Lanka. Serendib - Sri Lanka, also known as the English Camp Foundation, is the founder of a unique residential program which brings Sinhalese, Tamil and Muslim students together in a learning environment of harmony and ethnic reconciliation.
Serendib - Sri Lanka has worked closely in cooperation with the Provincial Department of Education as well as the Ministry of Education to spread this valuable program to other provinces in Sri Lanka as well.
Nearly 4,000 students and 500 teachers have been directly trained by the resource persons in Sabaragamuwa, with an even greater impact in other areas of the country where this program is being replicated at district and provincial levels.
Tucker McCravy, former Peace Corps volunteer and Founder of Serendib - USA, has been returning to Sri Lanka since 1995 to devote his skills to this project and as a M.Ed. graduate in International Educational Policy from Harvard University who has personally trained the current staff of resource persons at Serendib - Sri Lanka. 'There can be no peace without harmony in Sri Lanka', McCravy believes, 'and the most effective way to achieve this is to begin with the younger generation using education as a vehicle for peace'.
McCravy has brought with him a team of volunteers from Harvard University and Washington D.C. to help with the 9th Annual Camp program which will take place in August. Among these volunteers are experts in engineering, videography, public health, education and law. The volunteers are based in Ratnapura and will be donating their services to Serendib - Sri Lanka.
Serendib - Sri Lanka is planning its 9th Annual Peace Education Camp to be held in middle of August 2005. This year marks the first year that Serendib - Sri Lanka will invite teachers and students from throughout the island to join free-of-charge in this unique educational experience.
The Foundation is currently seeking corporate and NGO sponsors to assist with funding this year's initiative.
As Sri Lanka is moving more towards peace and local civil society organisations and corporations are making effective contributions in this regard, Serendib - Sri Lanka would like to offer these communities the chance to be a part of the 9th Annual Peace Education Camp.
In addition to immediate plans for the 9th Peace Camp, the Foundation is currently developing an implementation plan for the Global Learning Centre, an English medium (Year 1 through A/L) school - centered program on strengthening students' skills in English and information technology, and focused on bringing together all the ethnic and socio-economic groups from throughout Sri Lanka.
Serendib - Sri Lanka plans to recruit approximately 25 per cent of international staff for this school, and students from impoverished and tsunami-affected areas will attend the Global Learning Centre free-of-charge as residential pupils. Serendib - Sri Lanka hopes to open the school for Years 1-5 beginning September 2006.
Any individuals, corporations or NGOs interested in sponsorship opportunities for this worthwhile program may contact Serendib at their headquarters in Ratnapura on (045) 2231715 or Tucker McCravy at 077- 6562159.
Alternatively, the website contains all the details of this program, and can be viewed at http:///www.serendib.us.
Produced by Lake House