Enhancing Literacy of Brother's Language
On May 18, 2009, Colombo Sri Lanka declared the end of the 26-year civil war between the Sri Lankan government and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) separative terrorist movement. It was presented as the beginning of a new era of peace, national reconciliation and development. But for many of those in the north and east of the country, where the worst of the war was experienced, that harmony cannot materialize when so many scars of war remain.
Language barrier was the most important determinant factor, which made the reconciliation process of the country’s Sinhala and Tamil speaking communities less progressive. As a NSO we decided to implement a pilot project, selecting two scout troops, 50 scouts from each scout troop, one from a remote island called “Nagadeepa” (Which doesn’t have inland transportation with main stream and was affected the civil war) in northern part of the country, with purely Tamil speaking community and the other one from southern part of the country known as “Matara” with purely Sinhala speaking community. The scout troop from Nagadeepa, since they are an island community, was highly isolated from the facilities, commodities and main stream of transportation and also with culture & social activities, which made them complete outsiders of the main stream of Sri Lankan community.
100 Scouts from northern and southern parts of the country was working together and camping together in Northern province of Sri Lanka for 5 days and 6 weeks apart they were camping in Southern province of the country for another 5 days. During the period of 5 days, they were sharing their culture, ideas, views and language. A special program was conducted with the use of Sinhala and Tamil local language teachers and volunteer facilitators to build up a good literacy of their second language, during the stay of the camping to enhance their level of communication in their brother’s language in which they were not fluent enough.