Mother Sri Lanka: Inspiring positive thinking and change

The question is simple. Do you want to be an agent of decay or an architect of change?Perhaps Bob Dylan said the above words best over the strumming of a guitar and the strains of a harmonica when he said that times are a-changing.

As a country we stand at crossroads. It's impossible to go back in time and rewrite a new beginning. Lamenting about what could have, should have and would have happened is futile. But what we, as a movement and as an entire country, can do is mould the story and write our own ending.

"Everyone agrees that change is a must. But where does it begin?" queries Janaki Kuruppu from the Mother Sri Lanka Programme. "The change has to begin with you. In most countries, which went through a long drawn war, the people got together and became a catalyst for change, instead of sitting around waiting for it to happen."

Mother Sri Lanka is a combined effort of the public, non-governmental and the private sectors in the country and merges its many strengths together. It is a citizen movement to inspire positive thinking and positive change among Sri Lankans and is targeted at Sri Lankans both in and out of the country.

"Something has to start somewhere," explained Janaki. "The objective was to make Sri Lankans think more positively about their country. And to not just think, but to actually act on it".

One of the first phases of the project began this year at grass root level, and started with a school programme which was conducted around the country. The programme was launched first in the Southern Province, as a competition to debate and begin a dialogue about how children, in their capacity, can give back to the country. The competition began in February 2009 and was conducted on a district and provincial level. The final phase of the project is an island wide finale.

Mother Sri Lanka Clubs were also set up in schools. The clubs were asked to carry out simple, but effective initiatives such as conducting a project in their area to make a change and make that area a better place.

Another immediate activity under the Mother Sri Lanka initiative was the programme to identify ordinary people doing extraordinary things - to recognize those who make a difference and take honour and pride in such people.

An additional project now underway is the initiative to encourage Sri Lankans with any expertise or experience in areas of professional activity, to assist and give of their time. The Sri Lankan Diaspora is also invited to partake in this initiative to help to pave the way for change and tap into the enormous potential the country possesses.

People can register through the Mother Sri Lanka website, and the foundation will help facilitate and link prospective volunteers who wish to get involved.

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