Volunteer Program of Young Lasallians in the District of Colombo « La Salle – PARC
Pacific Asia Regional Conference

Volunteer Program of Young Lasallians in the District of Colombo

  • A brief account of the volunteer program of the young Lasallians

    INTRODUCTION

  • La Sallian Youth Movement of Sri Lanka organized an exposure program of 10 days (19/09/2011-29/09/2011) to Mannar for the volunteers of the schools and other institutions managed by the De La Salle Brothers.

    5 youngsters joined in this exposure program. All of them joined wholeheartedly as it was soon after their college final examination.

    This is the first ever exposure of the young Lasallians of Sri Lanka


    Written reflection of the young Lasallian volunteers of their experience

    As the country is looking forward for a so called CHANGE in addressing the issue of the land and its governance, we need to focus on the root causes and the violent methods used to achieve the end of the thirty long years of war. This year reminds us the second anniversary of victory and defeat of war among the people in our country. Yes! some were jubilant as they won and for the freedom of movement without so called fear, but even now there are people who are sad and angry as they lost all they owned, their loved ones and above all they even feel that they are stripped off their identity and dignity. There is another group who are baffled, confused and unconcerned. But the reality is that WE are wounded and still need healing.

    For most of us this was not the first visit to these areas after the recent war. We have experienced the suffering and the agony of our brothers and sisters .This exposure revealed to us some more areas to ponder as citizens in this wounded land.


    In the La Sallian Children’s Home we were able to listen to some pathetic stories of war. The little children over there, have experienced violent deaths and many casualties of their beloved parents, other family members and loved ones. They saw it all with their own eyes. How long will these memories linger in their minds? These traumatized children are suffering silently. Is it not going to be a serious issue in the healing of a nation if we neglect these inner wounds? On the other hand this exposure raised so many questions in our minds after listening to the first hand informants of war other than what was telecasted in the State Media.

     

    There were many striking moments in this exposure.

     

    • One day when we asked the boys of the La Sallian Children’s Home (there live boys who have lost their parents during the ethnic war) what they wanted us to bring when we come back to visit them again. Immediately a boy got up. With a strong but innocent voice he told “munu kilo pasam ” [which means '3 kilos of love']yes, it’s really a natural feeling, a feeling which came from the bottom of his heart recalling all what he lost during this tragic war.
    • The second point was the amount of work De Lasalle Brothers do untiringly for the betterment of their people.
    • The third point was the well prepared entertainment program conducted by the children of the Sunday School. They sang and danced together. Even with the minimum facilities their performances were superb. If they had all the facilities we have, then?
    •  Last but not least are the smiling faces in the midst of displacement and their surviving in utter poverty. This really touched us. They played cricket with us, they sat together and enjoyed with us. They had suffered a lot under Sinhalese governance but the children forgot it all to be with us like their own family members in spite of our inability in communicating with them.
    • Most of us don’t know the truth of what happened and what is happening in these areas. Till we visited the area we were in darkness. All what we hear and see are what the government media present to us under their tight censorship. Most of those who exchange views about the North and East and talk highly about development projects over there have not even gone to these areas.

    Our only wish is May the southerners go over there not on pleasure tours but just to listen to their own brothers and sisters, especially to the stories of innocent children who were severely affected by war and tsunami with an open mind.

    Let this type of exposures provide a sacred space for young La Sallian voices to be heard in the process of national reconciliation and true peace.