Sri Lanka Unites
Commonwealth Point of Light 65. Prashan De Visser
Prashan De Visser, representing Sri Lanka, is the president and founder of ‘Sri Lanka Unites’, a youth movement bringing young people together in the aftermath of the country’s civil war.
Prashan launched the movement in 2009 and, since then, Sri Lanka unites has grown to a 20,000 community of 12-30 year olds from different ethnic and religious backgrounds, active in 25 districts. They have created five reconciliation centres for young people to come together to discuss collaboration and promote peace. Under Prashan’s leadership the charity employs 15 full-time members of staff including a team which visits local schools to share the charity’s vital work.
The award for Prashan was presented at the British High Commission Colombo by the UK High Commissioner in Sri Lanka, James Dauris.
“I am humbled and honoured to receive this award. Serving youth in Sri Lanka and other countries in the midst of or recovering from violent conflict is my passion and calling. I serve with a profound desire to see positive and remarkable transformation within our life time. We strive to see nations that have been written off as failed, corrupt, violent or volatile to be transformed on the shoulder of their youth. A new generation who serve with character and integrity towards unity, justice, excellence and strategic purpose to transform the destiny and direction of their nations.
“This award is not a recognition of an individual, but rather the movement of a new generation of youth daring to heal, repair and transform their nations. Hence on behalf of the ‘Sri Lanka Unites’ and the eight other movements it has inspired through ‘Global Unites’, I say thank you for bestowing this honour and recognising our humble efforts to see tangible and sustainable change that will inspire our nations , the world we live in and the generations to come.
“I thank Her Majesty the Queen for this recognition which echoes the truth that regardless of who you are, where you are from or which circumstances you are born to, you have the capacity to be a light and your commitment to do so, despite the overwhelming odds, are valid, encouraged and celebrated.”