IYAP- International Youth Alliance for Peace founded on 2013 and celebrating its 6th year service this year. IYAP was born as a consequence of ambitious vision and enthusiasm of Mr. Thirukumar Premakumar, the founder and president of the organization. IYAP began its journey with just six individual , who unanimously believed in the creation of platform for youth , which allows youth themselves to initiate and lead projects addressing the most urgent issues and concerns of the youth and now having spread its wings to Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Pakistan and currently in India and Myanmar.
In conjunction to celebrating the 6th anniversary International Youth Alliance for Peace- IYAP in collaboration with Internews Sri Lanka initiated the project ” Storytellers4peace” in which a series of workshops on Storytelling involving 90 #young people across the Eastern, Northern and Central provinces, were conducted to train, equip and collect stories.
with the project coming to an end, Storytellers4Peace showcase in #appreciation of the participants of the project from the three provinces was held. The event was an excellent opportunity to witness the efforts of a group of young individuals who have been committed towards enriching their knowledge on the #culture, #history and #tradition of the island and conveying to the community.
Storytellers4peace showcase 2019 ” was held on Saturday 7th of November 2019 at Lighthouse auditorium and lawns. The Executive Director Mr. Thirukumar Premakumar welcomed everyone saying that ” Storytellers4peace is aimed at communicating values, not just skills for the young people involved in this initiative”.
In his keynote address, Peter D’ Almeida focused on the power of storytelling as a political force Quoting Howard Gartner, he said, ” Stories are the single most powerful weapon in a leader’s arsenal.” He stressed the need for us to reclaim our stories from the hands of politicians who have used them as a tool to create and spread ill-will, and challenged young people to use storytelling as a means of fostering harmony.
The agenda also consisted of two panel discussions where 1st had the theme “History” where the stories which based on histories were presented by the storytellers itself. And the 2nd concluded with them themes of “Culture and tradition”. It was a chance and opportunity to hear from the storytellers themselves. Following the discussions guest speaker Miss Gangulali de Silva, one of the two Sri Lankan Youth Delegates to the United Nations, for the year 2019/2020 gave a inspiring speech.
Ending with awarding of certificates to all participants who were apart of this project and also 03 Awards were given to the storytellers selected from the 45 stories by a jury panel – Best Article Award was won by Miss Vithursha Keethiswaren from the Kandy and Best Video story to Mohamed Asfar from trincomalee and Best Story Award to Miss Logini jeyaseelan from Jaffna. The Stories are published on the blog – https://iyapsl.org/project/storytellers4peace/. This is the phase phase of this initiative and IYAP plans to reach out to more youth in other districts as well in the upcoming months.