Founded as Play for Peace Club: 2017
Mentor: Aninilavan Puvanesan
Regional Coordinator: Archana Magar
Partner Organization: Global Sri Lankan Forum
Location: Mullaitivu, Sri Lanka
Focus: We aim to promote unity in Sri Lanka by using compassion to create friendships across divides of politics and religion.
The civil war in Sri Lanka between the Tamil Tigers and the Sri Lankan military ended in 2009, leaving the population traumatized and the country’s economy deeply affected. The war ended in Mullaitivu, which was the last battle of the Tamil Tigers before they laid down their weapons. In March 2017, certified trainers Swati Bhatt and Agyat Mitra visited Sri Lanka and conducted a two-day training session in an effort to bring peace to the area. Aninilavan Puvanesan, a volunteer from the Center for Peace building and Reconciliation who attended the session, went on to organize a training for his group of youth volunteers, hoping Play for Peace methodology could help them break down ethnic and cultural divides in their community and create friendships. Soon after, the group officially formed the Breeze for Peace club and now organizes practice peace sessions in Mullaitivu.
Now that we’re one week into Level Up: Race for Humanity, we want to introduce some of the amazing mentors from our Play for Peace clubs who are taking part in this month-long event. We’ll be following their journeys over the next few weeks, to share how they are leveling up in their communities.
While our community in Sri Lanka was greatly affected by the Easter bombings in April 2019, our clubs’ commitment to peace remained strong. Just months after the tragic terrorist attack, we are once again spreading peace to youth in country.
When the civil war in Sri Lanka ended in 2009, ten-year-old Ani not only lost his father but he also saw more death and destruction than any child ever should. Instead of feeling resentment, Ani became a peace builder in his community, and today trains with Play for Peace to create friendships across divides.
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