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Monday, 07 September 2020 10:12

Taking Democracy to the Grassroots

A training programme for trainers on Resilient Communities Through Everyday Democracy was conducted to empower village level community platforms under NPC’s Social Cohesion and Reconciliation (SCORE) Activity.

The programme was aimed at 22 associates of SCORE’s partner organizations in Mullaitivu, Monaragala, Vavuniya, Ampara and Batticaloa. Trainers who participated in the programme were able to train grassroots community members on the values of the democracy, discuss benefits of a values-based democratic society and identify key issues necessary for such a society.

Similar training programmes were held for community members in Monaragala, Mullaitivu Vavuniya and Trincomalee.

During the programmes, interactive tools and techniques were used based on adult learning principles to encourage a productive dialogue among participants on different thematic areas. They included activities and games, group work and discussions, brainstorming on key issues and follow up agreements.

“Before the training, my knowledge of democracy was limited to books. Abraham Lincoln once stated that democracy means ruling the country through a government that is appointed by the people. This is the first time I understood its real meaning. In my opinion, individuals can make a huge contribution to establish democracy. It is freedom that is most essential when governing a state,” said S.B. Wathsala.

“We should teach the values of democracy to the younger generation. Rather than teaching these things to elders, it will be better if we can make an attitudinal change within the younger generation. I have been teaching democratic values to the children in my village. I am hoping to share what I have learnt here with the children as well,” said R.A.P. Shriyani.

Under the same project, a programme on business leadership through coexistence was conducted in Udagama for 38 members of the Yashoda Women’s Organization to enhance the leadership skills of women involved in joint ventures.