The Sunday Leader

Unity Mission Trust – Building Young Leaders And Strengthening Sri Lanka!

Unity Mission Trust recently concluded Unity Camp 9 for nearly 400 Youth Leaders from across Sri Lanka. This was the Trust’s 59th successful programme since May 2009.

The Trust is dedicated to provide leadership development, personal capacity enhancement and self confidence empowerment, as a means of building new bridges of friendship across Sri Lanka to facilitate and foster unity, integration, healing and reconciliation amongst Youth of our beautiful and beloved Sri Lanka.

The 9th Unity Camp was held at the end of April at Gurutalawa for youth, who were nominated to the Camp primarily through the Regional Council network of the Trust, which now numbers 17 such Groups of active and operational youth, across Sri Lanka.

The Theme for the 9th Camp was ‘Powering Dreams: Building Leaders: Strengthening a Nation’.

The chief guest at the opening ceremony was the Chairman of the Trust, Major – General (Retired) Lohan Goonewardena. The Keynote special speaker at the 2nd days seminar session was Mrs. Deemathi Periyapperuma, Superintendent of Police.

Mrs. Periyapperuma is the senior-most lady police officer in Sri Lanka and is a role model to youth, in particular young ladies. She is an unsung national asset, being the only police officer, male or female, past or present, to win a World Award for Professional Excellence, awarded by the International Police Women’s Association. Her award was won beating Police Women Officers from 1st world nations, such as the USA, UK, Canada, Australia, et al.

Hence her half-day session of hard hitting home truths for youth was very well received. Her speech included focus on the effects of drug addiction, alcoholism, pornography, over-usage of internet and electronic devises by school going youth; sexual abuse and also valuable advice of Police support that is available for all youth of our nation.

Unity Camp 9 included all elements of Unity Mission Trusts model of placing youth in a challenging environment as a means of building leadership capacity, life-long friendships and learning. Sports, arts and craft, music and group singing and group dance, quiz competition, oratory and drama were some of the areas where youth were able to showcase their talents, while building friendships!

The moving and emotional candle ceremony that is very special to all past Campers, wraps up Day 3, leading into the Future – focusing Day 4 prior to the conclusion of Camp.

Co-Founder Trustee Mrs. Shyamala Pinto-Jayawardena was the Chief Guest at the Prize Giving Ceremony.

Management of the Camp was run by the Young Operations Team. Made up mostly of Regional Leaders from across Sri Lanka.

The Comperes who contributed to success across all four days were young leaders Nimesha Jayamanne, Yohan Senanayake, Sushanthani Yohewsaran, T. Purusothma, Anne Amalini and Yasoda Selvaraja.

Senior Operations Team member Methun Suduwelikondage co-ordinated all music arrangements on Camp and Founder Trustee Bertal Pinto-Jayawardena was responsible for leadership training and development.

Chairman, Retired Major General Lohan stated that it is always “an emotional experience to witness youth who have never met, building long lasting bonds of friendship by Day 4 by the end of Camp”.

Founder Trustee and Co-Ordinator Bertal Pinto-Jayawardena stated, “that it is amazing that even though we have completed well over 50 major projects over 9 years, including 9 Camps, that we keep on improving and fine-tuning the manner in which we run our events, in order to positively impact young lives that will contribute towards building a united and successful future for Sri Lanka.”

The main prize winners included as Best Campers were Ms. Harithi Nandasena (Colombo) and  Balakrishnan Lojan (Vayuniya); Best Group Leaders – Dhanushka Udaya Kumar (Ambalangoda); Maduja Abeyasundera (Poramadulla). Best Athletes – Ms. Dulinika Bulumulla (Colombo); B. Ashwin Peiris (Mannar).

Best Orators – (E) – Jason Senanayake (Colombo); (S) – Dhanushka Udaya Kumar (Ambalangoda); (T) –Raveenthira Kaniratharan (Jaffna). Best Actor/ Actress – Jason Senanayake (Colombo) and Maduja Abeysundera (Poramadulla).

Special Awards for Outstanding Campers –Ms. Fathima Zaima (Galle); Wishmi Wickremasinghe (Ratnapura); Ms Thiruchelvam Sangavi (Killinochchi); Ms Dulinika Bulumulla (Colombo); Kavindra Senarathna (Colombo) and Ms. Maheshi Nonis (Matara).

Unity Mission Trust endeavours to be in contact with all Campers. Once they exit the school system, they are encouraged to link up with existing Regional Councils of the Trust, in order that they can continue to strengthen their bonds of friendship and understanding across the nation.

The Trust invites caring Sri Lankans to partner their continuing work. More information can be obtained from Facebook (@unitymission trust) and from the website


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