Friday, February 22, 2013

Hello! I’m Dhilmi Suriyaarachchi, a medical student from Sri-Lanka. Currently I am on my semester vacation, thoroughly enjoying my time working with ECO-V.  

Jai, Preethi,Sameera, Kanchana, Kavindu and Dhilmi at ECO-V office

I was excited to be a part of ECO-V’s  first project for 2013, Paapedi : A bicycle journey for climate justice. I found this journey very close to my own love for nature and long overlooked passion for cycling. Kanchana Weerakoon, ECO-V’s ‘Mum’, had me awe-struck the first day I met her. Her energy and dedication for Nature was captivating!

I was introduced to ECO-V at a very crucial point in organizing Paapedi.  Quite often, we are exposed to selfishly driven ideas & corruption dominating everyday life. I was pleasantly surprised by ECO-V. Every project revolves around nothing but pure love for Mother Nature. Isn’t that amazing?? It has re-instilled my hope that honest work is not an entity of the past. 

The office is beautifully surrounded by a natural wetland. You can feel  the cool breeze flowing in, birds chirping, and the buzz of nature! It’s a lovely space. While working, Kanchana shares snippets of precious knowledge with us, which reminds me of one occasion when she taught us effective hand washing with slightly opened tap, we cannot shrug off the image of her listening closely to see if we are wasting water !!!

I went on to take up social media. Our objective was to inter-link the various social networking websites such as Facebook, Twitter, Blogs e.t.c to bring together a virtual ECO-V network. Through this network we could build a platform to communicate with similar organisations, whilst connecting Nature lovers all over the world. 

realize everything I learn, knowledge & insight gained is definitely one of the most positive influential experiences in my life. I am lucky to be a part of it. I’m sure our collaborative effort, as team, comprising of volunteers and ECO-V members, will make powerful footsteps towards a greener, beautiful Sri-Lanka. Our dream is to popularize bicycle riding among young generation and country moving towards green transportation and sustainability to combat Climate change!
You can help us to achieve these objectives through “Paapedi”. We have crowd funding event on
"Paapedi" will be  a 10 day bicycle ride empowering green youth leaders

Sunday, February 10, 2013

The first Volunteer for ECO-V in 2013

My name is Raquel, I come from Spain but I´m traveling around Asia since 4 month ago.
Besides discovering new places and cultural, my goal is collaborate on projects to improve the living conditions based on sustainability. I´ve been helping in construction of schools, organic farming, sustainability education for children.

On 24th of January I´ve arrive to Sri Lanka and I started to look for local projects that I can join with.
Suddenly ECO-V appeared in front of me on the Internet; ecological organization mostly with local volunteers to support conservation of the environment.

Interesting to me! I didn´t read much and without hesitation I sent an email to request more information.
Everything happened very quickly. Kanchana informed me about the next project (Paapedi) and invited me to attend the next meeting with the others volunteers and without thinking twice I went there.
Very impressed with the amount of people that assisted and the idea of the project I hope to contribute on it.
It was also great to see projects from other organizations and how they can help each other as well as a lot of young (less than 30 years old) interested in contributing to its work. Paapedi, consist in a bicycle journey that will be take 10 days travel from Anuradhapura to Colombo with 25 youth. During this fascinating journey young will learn about the climate change, environmental conservation, organic agriculture, local traditions…Through the project aims to create young green leaders bringing them training, information and living the experience. Also it wishes to encourage sustainable transports like bicycles and share the experience with the local communities where they will stop.

During office work...volunteers busy at work!
There is a lot of job to do so next day it was a worker´s meeting in Kanchana´s office where we set up all the tasks that have to be done: media, contacts, logistics… and how to divide them in the team.
For me it is a great experience to share with other people and other country my experiences but it is very grateful to live how a project like this could be done in a country so different that mine.
All the actions that is necessary to do like meetings with ministries, organizations, sponsors…
Media, logistics, coordination, budget…. So many things that each one chose according on their skills.
Join with us......(Nadeesha, Raquel, Kanchana,Sujatha,Jai, Sameera)
Working, talking, eating with them is something that enriches me, is the real way to live and learn from a culture. 

Being and living with a local people is something that I recommend to all those travelers who besides want to visit the beautiful sites of a country want to know something of their culture.
By other hand, projects like Paapedi make us grow as person. Because if humans do not respect and give back to nature what it offers us we can´t be called person.

Thank you for your dedication Kanchana, without your dedication and perseverance, many young people do not appreciate the value of our Mother Earth.
Very grateful for the opportunity to enjoy with ECO-V,

Raquel .