Challenging Stereotypes: Youth Potential in Rural Sri Lanka

by Tamil Manjari
18-Jul-2017

Sri Lanka: 1 in 4 people are youth.

 

This means that there are 4.7 million young people between the ages of 15–29 years living in Sri Lanka.

As agents of change, young girls and boys have the ability to create lasting social change in their communities.

This is the story of Dilkia 21 year old girl challenging stereotypes with her perseverance and community leadership.

Life in rural Sri Lanka

Dilki lives in a remote village in the town of Neluwa, located in the Southern District of Galle. Like most other rural areas, there is a lack of access to quality infrastructure and services here.

For most of her life, the only point of access to the next town was by crossing a makeshift bridge. This ‘bridge’ was one most would never dare to cross; an assimilation of cylindrical tree barks strung together horizontally.

To Dilki and the rest of her communitythis was a normal commute. Often taken several times a day.

A tragic past

13 years ago when Dilki was just nine years old, she lost her father. Attempting to make his way across the bridge to visit her mother and newborn baby in hospital, her father plunged to his death.

 

The makeshift bridge still exists as a grim reminder of the past

In the years that passed nothing was done about the unstable bridgelargely due to lack of funds and resources. Although Dilki was forced to move on, she held on closely to the memory of the fatal accident that took the life of her father.

Inspiring Community Leadership

Things turned around in 2016 when Dilki and her friends submitted a proposal for a local competition: ‘Youth Got Talent’.

The proposal outlined plans to construct a safe and secure bridge that would replace the existing structure.

A few days later they were informed that their proposal was selected.

But there was a small issuethe seed money was minimal and would not be enough to complete the project.

 

“I was told that a girl can’t make a difference. But I accepted the challenge anyway”Dilki

Initially disheartened, Dilki soon realized this roadblock was not going to stop her. She began campaigning with her friends, local politicians and government officials to mobilize funding for the project.

As president of the ‘Silver Stars’ Youth Club, Dilki turned to crowd funding, within and outside the club and community.

There was an overwhelming response. The locals of the area were all too familiar with the dangers of the bridge and wanted to finally bring justice to Dilki’s father.

Whether it was serving tea for those working on construction, investing resources or providing manual labourthe entire community came together to help make her dream, a reality.

 

 “We hope our story inspires others and makes them more confident to achieve their goals”Young community leader, Neluwa.

Three months after the first stone was laid, the bridge was completed.

 

An enabling environment

Youth officer at the National Youth Services Council, Mr. Deepala, reiterated the importance of young community leaders like Dilki.

He explains that Dilki’s story has inspired other young change makers in the country, and also added that a strong community culture is central to facilitating change.

“We are proud to see young people take the lead in our community. After all, they are the future”Mr. Deepalal.

Fulfilling youth potential

With such a large youth population, it is imperative that comprehensive youth policies are implemented at both National and Provincial-levels in the country. The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) in Sri Lanka, through its Youth Policy Programme works with Provincial Councils to bring together multi-stakeholders and convene the formulation of youth-specific policies.

At UNFPA, we work to ensure that young leaders like Dilki realize their true potential and have an enabling environment that will allow them to pursue their goals.

 

This is further echoed in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)part of a wider 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development that promises to ‘leave no one behind’. And the more recent UN Security Council Resolution 2250that recognizes (for the first time) that young people play an important and positive role in the maintenance and promotion of peace.

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2017

0 votes
Helping estate people to have posatal services
The problem
Making post boxes for each estate house in a place where everyone can reach. So the estate people can go there and check their mailbox for mails..
The solution
Making post boxes for each estate house in a place where everyone can reach. So the estate people can go there and check their mailbox for mails..
Budget

100000

by Thilina Chathurika
0 votes
Vaccinating stray dogs instead of killing them
The problem
So make this problem stop the government has taken steps to kill these stray dogs..I don't know whether it is right or not..but my opinion is that they too have an equal right to live just like us..what I am suggesting is vaccinating these dogs with the help of municipal council so that they can live..
The solution
So make this problem stop the government has taken steps to kill these stray dogs..I don't know whether it is right or not..but my opinion is that they too have an equal right to live just like us..what I am suggesting is vaccinating these dogs with the help of municipal council so that they can live..
Budget

150000

by Shehanmune
1 votes
We the People
The problem
I would like to start a network that connects goverment and people which is more comprehensive and accessible. It works as a platform to review gazetted bills and create a dialogue. The information will be given to the respective authorities as well. Giving civic education and increasing participation will be main the goals. Resource persons will be needed in developing the program.An online website and social media will be used.
The solution
I would like to start a network that connects goverment and people which is more comprehensive and accessible. It works as a platform to review gazetted bills and create a dialogue. The information will be given to the respective authorities as well. Giving civic education and increasing participation will be main the goals. Resource persons will be needed in developing the program.An online website and social media will be used.
Budget

200000

by Kalna Wickramasinghe
1 votes
சூழல் மாசடைவு
The problem
கண்காணிப்பாளர்களை வைத்தல் கழிவுப் பொருட்களை மீளுற்பத்தி செய்தல் நகர்ப்புறங்களில் இட வசதி குறைவு காரணமாக கிராமப் புறங்களி; கழிவுப் பொருட்களைத் தவிர்த்து அதற்கான நடவடிக்கைகளை மேற்கொள்ளல். நோய்களைத் தடுத்தல் (டெங்கு, வைரசு)
The solution
கண்காணிப்பாளர்களை வைத்தல் கழிவுப் பொருட்களை மீளுற்பத்தி செய்தல் நகர்ப்புறங்களில் இட வசதி குறைவு காரணமாக கிராமப் புறங்களி; கழிவுப் பொருட்களைத் தவிர்த்து அதற்கான நடவடிக்கைகளை மேற்கொள்ளல். நோய்களைத் தடுத்தல் (டெங்கு, வைரசு)
Budget

150000

by Muhammad Faslan Horombawa
0 votes
இளம் பெண்களின் நிலை
The problem
1 வேலைக்குப் போகத் தூண்டப்படல் வேண்டும் 2 பெண்களுக்கு சகல துறைகளிலும் விழிப்புணர்வு ஊட்டும் நிகழ்வுகள், பயிற்சிகள் வழங்கப்படுவதன் மூலம் சிறந்த சமுதாயம் ஒன்றை கட்டியெழுப்ப முடியும்
The solution
1 வேலைக்குப் போகத் தூண்டப்படல் வேண்டும் 2 பெண்களுக்கு சகல துறைகளிலும் விழிப்புணர்வு ஊட்டும் நிகழ்வுகள், பயிற்சிகள் வழங்கப்படுவதன் மூலம் சிறந்த சமுதாயம் ஒன்றை கட்டியெழுப்ப முடியும்
Budget

125000

by mohamed faslan
1 votes
විද්‍යාඥයකු වීමේ ගමන් මගක ඇරඹුම
The problem
මතුගම ප්‍රා.ලේ. කොට්ඨාසයේ පාසල්වල නවයොවුන් ළමයින්ට නව නිපැයුමක් යනු කුමක්ද, අලුත් අදහසක් ගොඩනගා ගන්නේ කෙසේද යන කරුණු හඳුන්වා දෙන්න ඉදිරිපත් කිරීමක් කරනු ලැබේ. ඒ සඳහා අප විසින් සම්මාන දිනාගෙන තිබෙන නිර්මාන හා ඒ සඳහා පසුබිම් වුණ අත්දැකීම් කියා දෙනු ලැබේ. (අපේ නව නිපැයුම්: පේටන්ට් හිමි ස්වයං ශක්ති විදුලි උත්පාදන යන්ත්‍රය, ඩෙංගු මදුරුවන් මර්දනය සඳහා විසඳුම්, රෙදි නොපිච්චෙන විදුලි ඉස්තිරික්කය, ලියකියවිලි ආරක්ෂා කර ගත හැකි කඩදාසි නොපිච්චෙන තීන්ත, ව්‍යාජ මුදල් හඳුනාගත හැකි මුදල් පසුම්බිය, දුරස්ථ පාලක ජංගම ආලෝක සංඥා පුවරුව වැනි) එමගින් තෝරා ගන්නා නව නිපැයුම් අදහස් ඇති නව යොවුන් ළමයින් 25කට ඔවුන්ගේ නව නිපැයුම් අදහස් වර්ධනය කර ගන්නට, නිපැයුම් සැලසුම් කර ගන්නට, ඒවා නිෂ්පාදනය කරන්නට, අත්හදා බලන්නට, වැඩිදියුණු කරන්නට, තරගවලට ඉදිරිපත් කරන්නට, ජාත්‍යන්තර තලය දක්වා යන්නට, බුද්ධිමය දේපල හිමිකම් ලබා ගන්නට ආදියට උදව් කරනු ලැබේ. සමාජයට වැඩදායී ප්‍රායෝගික නව නිපැයුම් කිරීම සඳහා workshop සහ තාක්ෂණික පහසුකම් සහ උපදෙස් ලබා දෙනු ලැබේ.
The solution
මතුගම ප්‍රා.ලේ. කොට්ඨාසයේ පාසල්වල නවයොවුන් ළමයින්ට නව නිපැයුමක් යනු කුමක්ද, අලුත් අදහසක් ගොඩනගා ගන්නේ කෙසේද යන කරුණු හඳුන්වා දෙන්න ඉදිරිපත් කිරීමක් කරනු ලැබේ. ඒ සඳහා අප විසින් සම්මාන දිනාගෙන තිබෙන නිර්මාන හා ඒ සඳහා පසුබිම් වුණ අත්දැකීම් කියා දෙනු ලැබේ. (අපේ නව නිපැයුම්: පේටන්ට් හිමි ස්වයං ශක්ති විදුලි උත්පාදන යන්ත්‍රය, ඩෙංගු මදුරුවන් මර්දනය සඳහා විසඳුම්, රෙදි නොපිච්චෙන විදුලි ඉස්තිරික්කය, ලියකියවිලි ආරක්ෂා කර ගත හැකි කඩදාසි නොපිච්චෙන තීන්ත, ව්‍යාජ මුදල් හඳුනාගත හැකි මුදල් පසුම්බිය, දුරස්ථ පාලක ජංගම ආලෝක සංඥා පුවරුව වැනි) එමගින් තෝරා ගන්නා නව නිපැයුම් අදහස් ඇති නව යොවුන් ළමයින් 25කට ඔවුන්ගේ නව නිපැයුම් අදහස් වර්ධනය කර ගන්නට, නිපැයුම් සැලසුම් කර ගන්නට, ඒවා නිෂ්පාදනය කරන්නට, අත්හදා බලන්නට, වැඩිදියුණු කරන්නට, තරගවලට ඉදිරිපත් කරන්නට, ජාත්‍යන්තර තලය දක්වා යන්නට, බුද්ධිමය දේපල හිමිකම් ලබා ගන්නට ආදියට උදව් කරනු ලැබේ. සමාජයට වැඩදායී ප්‍රායෝගික නව නිපැයුම් කිරීම සඳහා workshop සහ තාක්ෂණික පහසුකම් සහ උපදෙස් ලබා දෙනු ලැබේ.
Budget

110000

by Sandali