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UNDP's Twinning Schools Programme unearthed talents,drew the stars

UNDP's Twinning Schools Programme unearthed talents,drew the stars

2013 May 12

by Zacki Jabbar

Badulla: The UNDP’s Twinning Schools Programme (TSP), held at the Uva Wellassa University premises recently, brought out the multi-faceted talents of children in various fields including art, music, dance and sport.

Over 200 students from 21 schools in the Northern, North Central and Eastern Provinces, selected by their respective schools , enlivened the campus while learning, sharing and building bridges of friendship over a four-day period which concluded on April 21,when they boarded the ‘Peace Train’ from Badulla and sang and danced all the way to Kandy.

The experts were there as well. Arjuna Ranatunga, Bathiya and Santhush, Mohammed Amanulla, Prashadi Ranasinghe, Tharjini Sivalingam, Chandraguptah Thenuwara, Anasuya Subasinghe and Kumarine Silva were some of those who made the journey to Badulla, to impart their knowledge skills to the young ones at the third and final event of the TSP initiative aimed at improving interaction, understanding and co-existence between young people from different backgrounds and regions in Sri Lanka.

The UNDP’s Country Director Razina Bilgrami, while thanking the Australian Agency for International Development for their generous support to make the event possible, said its achievements could be best measured by the views expressed by officials from some of the beneficiary participating districts.

"Officials from the Zonal Education Departments of Vavuniya and Pollonaruwa and the Principal of a school from Jaffna, shared reflections of what transformation they had seen in the participating students. Children, particularly those from the most vulnerable communities, now demonstrated better leadership qualities, more effective time management, better understanding of cultural dynamics and now adopted a forward-looking approach. As a result of the peer mediation training, they were helping resolve disputes amongst fellow students,which in turn assisted their parents."

Razina said it was very heartening for development agencies like UNDP to hear first hand from the beneficiaries themselves, as bringing about a positive transformation in peoples lives was their core mandate. 

The UNDP wanted to provide a space for young people to meet through the schools twinning programme, interact with, learn about and share stories with people from a different parts of the country, ethnicity, religion, language and background, so that they could use their knowledge, talents and skills to carve out a brighter future, not only for themselves, but also for their families and communities. "To know that the objective has been accomplished gave us immense satisfaction," she said.

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