Mihimadale Hithethiyo 2017
“Mihimadale Hithethiyo 2017” was a 2 day residential Youth Camp which focused on “Climate Change and Green Leadership” conducted by ECO-V. This was held on 6th and 7th of May at Sarvodaya Institute of Higher Learning, Bandaragama with 25 participants. Majority of the participants were youth who were trained during past few years with Youth Yathra programs (Training youth Green Leaders who take actions to adopt and mitigate climate change) and others were few of Leo club members of Piliyandala, Few of the youth joined through Face book notifications we posted. This youth force who were from Southern, Western, Sabaragamuwa and Northern provinces took part in this camp and gained environmental and spiritual experience.
Language barrier was the major challenge for us because 7 of participants came from Mannar and Jaffna. Most of them were speaking neither English nor Sinhala and unfortunately none of us could speak Tamil. But fortunately Newton from Jaffna (very active youth from our previous 6 yathras) who speaks good Sinhala, was with us as the translator. The camp was started at 9.00 am on the 6th. After the breakfast youth did “ice breaker” activity which helped to be a good messenger and then they introduced themselves with each other.
After that youth got the opportunity to listen to a renowned environmental activist and a lawyer Mr. Jagath Gunawardhana on “Environmental Law & Public Responsibilities” and “Invasive Alien Species”.
In addition, there was an exhibition set up as part of the training which conducted by Waruni, Lakmini and Chapa.
In the evening youth got an opportunity to do a fun game called “untie the puzzle” which helped to develop listing skills, following instructions and thinking pattern. Apart from they discussed about “EGO centric and ECO centric living” with Mrs. Kanchana in the evening.
One of most interesting hour of the day was the presentation and discussion on “Sustainable living and individual waste management” presented by Mrs. Kanchana before the dinner.
On the second day morning all got together at sharp 5.45 am and had a delicious glass of Kolakenda (herbal porridge). Youth were very lucky to spend adorable morning with gaining spiritual consolation. They listened to bird singing and morning wind. They touched dew on grasses and did environmental meditation. They talked with trees and gave their compliment for everything which trees have done for us. They did “surya namaskaraya” (Sun salutation) with bathing morning sunshine. And finally they meditated with a musical instruments called whirlys’. It was a really inspiring and amazing morning for youth with unforgettable experience.
|Early morning discussion on Mother Nature|
|Meditating with whirlys|
|Talking with trees|
After the breakfast youth got ready to have a nature walk. While walking under flora awning, they learnt about trees, herbs, butterflies, bees, birds and environment. This was all about connecting with Mother Nature and understanding, learning and experiencing her through five sensory organs. In addition to that, they got an opportunity to voyage in traditional, zero emission, environmental friendly “palam paruwa” (floating and self-dragging boat) across the Bolgoda River.
|Green Garden Lizard (Calotes Calotes)|
|Common mime pupa|
I’m sure that youth will able to think about Mother Nature in different ways after this amazing event. They will never spit on mother earth, or break a single leaf unnecessarily. They will give their compliment for oxygen which is given by trees. When they have a bath they will be thankful for every drop of water. Obviously they will be Nature lovers – Mihimadale Hithathiyo!!!