Young peace activist Anojitha Sivaskaran attends One Young World Summit 2022

Sep 19 2022. views 97


Sri Lankan youth peace activist, Anojitha Sivaskaran was the only Sri Lankan to receive the EU Peace Ambassadors Scholarship to attend the One Young World Summit 2022 in Manchester. 

The One Young World Summit is the largest global community for young leaders and brings together 2,000+ of the brightest young leaders from every country and sector who are working to accelerate social impact across the globe. Delegates from 190+ countries are counselled by influential political, business and humanitarian leaders such as Ban Ki-moon, President Mary Robinson, Dr Jane Goodall, Nobel Laureate Professor Muhammad Yunus, and the Duchess of Sussex, amongst many other global figures. 

Every year, Peace Ambassadors are recognised for their contribution to peacebuilding.  Anojitha Sivaskaran attended the Summit as part of the latest cohort of One Young World Peace Ambassadors supported by the European Commission. “I’m truly grateful! Because over 6000 applications from all over the world were made for the European Commission's peace ambassadors’ scholarship to attend the Summit. Only 50 young leaders working towards preventing and countering violent extremism, building peace, and promoting conflict resolution were selected and I'm extremely honoured to be among the selected few and to represent the country on the global stage despite the ongoing economic-political crisis” expressed Sivaskaran. 

At the Summit, delegates participated in four transformative days of speeches, panels, networking, and workshops. The One Young World Peace Ambassadors initiative supports young leaders globally in efforts to prevent and counter violent extremism, build peace and promote conflict resolution, and empowers, connects and helps support lasting impact for the young people fighting for peace in their local communities. 

On her return to Sri Lanka from the Summit, Sivaskaran shared that the most striking lesson she learnt was the immeasurable potential of young people and their impact in the today and the now. “We have been always told that we are the leaders of tomorrow. But the reality is that we’re also leaders of today. Inclusion of young people in state policies and decision making can ultimately drive economic growth and can play an active part in shaping the political and social life.”

 “As a country, Sri Lanka needs a structure in which young people can express their views, as well as their participation in decision making, is legitimised. Especially in the peace-building process, specific efforts should be taken to reach out to the most relevant, vulnerable, underrepresented, or marginalised young people in communities to ensure that their voices are heard” she added. 

Born and raised in Jaffna, Sivaskaran is a youth and peace activist working with grassroots civil societies in Sri Lanka for over 5+ years. Her passion for peacebuilding and sustaining peace in the country stems from having lived through the worst of the war in the middle of the war zone during Sri Lanka’s 30-year civil war. In 2021, Sivaskaran was the recipient of The Diana Award, awarded in recognition of those who go above and beyond in their work for their communities.  

“As young change makers, we must never be afraid to advocate for things that we are passionate about and to demand safe spaces, justice, equal opportunities, peace, gender equality, and most importantly education.  I hope to use the knowledge and networks I built at the summit to extend the humanitarian work I do and to influence more and more young people to advocate for their community issues and challenges.”



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