03 February 2009
(Sanjeeva De Silva)(Sanjeeva De Silva)(Sanjeeva De Silva)Colombo, Sri Lanka:
On 10 December 2008, a group of artists from Theatre Y performed for the very first time in Sri Lanka as part of the International Volunteer Day celebrations organized by the United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme in Sri Lanka.
Theatre Y is a theatre school based in India that focuses on training theatre and related skills. Themed 'Expressions – The Rhythm of Life', the event was held at the Lionel Wendt theatre.
UNV Programme and Communication Assistant Vaani Kulasegaram said: "We're looking at a brighter future for volunteers in Sri Lanka and we hope to send across a very positive message about the concept of volunteerism. It's all about the future."
UNV Sri Lanka Programme Officer Sarah Gleave told newspapers that some feel that volunteerism is becoming less important due to factors such as globalisation, but UNV sees it becoming increasingly important in this day and age.
"People are looking for ways to be more connected with their communities," she remarked. "Now there are things like online volunteering through social networking etc., and various youth groups are being formed."
"In Sri Lanka volunteerism is embedded to the system," she continued. "Last week I was in a small village in Ratnapura where the community had received funds to construct a foot bridge. They had collected funds, devoted their time and labour and constructed a very good bridge voluntarily for evacuation purposes during a flood or landslide," said Ms. Gleave.
In addition to the performance by Theatre Y, a music video on Volunteers in Action produced by YA TV in cooperation with USAID and UNV Sri Lanka will be screened at the event, and percussionist and choreographer Ravibandu Vidyapathy and dancers from the Budawatta Dancing Academy lit up the stage.
And for the grand finale, the organizers put on a "collaborative journey by Ravibandu Vidyapathi and Theatre Y, to celebrate a convergence."See more photos by clicking here
- see also the newspaper reports (download as PDF)