“Lives would come to an end, but the deeds of those lives will always live and remind the future of their mission.” – Himaanthri Surendran
Day by day, we are getting closer to our goal. Back in 2015, 193 countries promised that they would achieve the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) by the year 2030. Remembering our commitment, it is always the duty of every responsible citizen of the world to act on the road to accomplish our targets, regardless of where we are from and who we are. Having carried this huge and promising obligation to achieve the 17 SDGs within the next 8 years, the SDG Global Week was held in Sri Lanka from the 16th of September 2022 to the 25th of September 2022. We, the G17 University Ambassadors joined the members of the Rotaract Club of Kandy and stepped out to cover stories of personalities who have dedicated themselves to accomplishing the goals by the year 2030.
Sri Lanka, being an idyllic island, has over 35000 villages in which the majority of the residents are underprivileged people. Understanding how imperative it is to support these disadvantaged communities and to learn about the actions that could be taken to aid the needy, the G17 team had an interview with the Group Director of Capital Maharaja Organization (Pvt) Ltd and Founder of Gammada, Mr. Chevan Daniel, and the Director General (CEO) of Plantation Human Development Trust, Mr. Lal Perera. These meetings were indeed insightful. We were taken through the despairing state that these communities are in and how the Plantation Human Development Trust and Gammada V-Force are supporting the community to be independent, healthy, and happy. These amazing and remarkable gentlemen portrayed to us how important we youngsters are in bringing the change that we wish to see in the world.
More often than not, Women are incorrectly depicted as irrational and vulnerable beings. By walking through the Global Week Opinion Leaders, we understood how influential a woman can be and thereby how important it is to keep fighting for Gender Equality. We had two amazing interviews with Ms. Visaka Dharmadasa, Founder and Chairperson of the Association of War Affected Women and Parents of Servicemen Missing in Action, and from Social, Women's rights, and Youth Activist and Politician, Hon. Dr. Harini Amarasuriya, Member of Parliament. These two amazing ladies who have and are immensely contributing towards peace, justice, education, and empowerment enlightened us as to how powerful we youngsters can and should be to build a world where no one is excluded.
G17 University Ambassadors Consortium is all about youth and their relentless contribution towards a sustainably developed world. So, on our journey of capturing stories, we were able to enjoy the story of a youngster, Ms. Praveeni Senanayake, Co-founder of Cambiumh Youth Empowerment Organization. According to the motto of this organization “Inspire - Envision – Enact”, she and her team are inspiring hundreds of youngsters to develop themselves and their community.
The whole journey was not done for the sake of capturing stories but to appreciate the remarkable effort put in by fellow Sri Lankans to help move towards a sustainable tomorrow, and encourage the youngsters to act responsibly. We are, afterall, the future of this world.
National Lead for Opinion Leaders - 2022