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Sustainable Peace through Religious Amity and Youth Entrepreneurship Development in Sri Lanka (Youth4Peace Project)

Connecting 250 youth in Sri Lanka & 10 countries together with 25 ICT startup companies creating 200 websites for the 4 main religions

Photo of Samantha Pathirathna

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Explain your project idea (2,000 characters)

As Sri Lankans we have had many bad experiences related to religious and ethnic conflicts throughout the past years. As observed we do find that this is not a problem solely in Sri Lanka but a problem that has spread worldwide. It is true that we see youth involvement in both positive and negative streams but mainly when it comes to religious tension we see the destructive side more often. The recent religious conflict in Sri Lanka (2018) showed us clearly that the role played by the youth was rather a negative and dangerous impact on the society. This project will definitely challenge this experience and connect and network youth as ICT startup entrepreneurs. In this regard 200 youth will be selected (8 per district from 25 districts), trained and certified as web developers through a 6 month on the job vocational training course. This group of 200 youth will consist 50 Buddhists, 50 Hindus, 50 Muslims and 50 Catholics (50% girls). Each youth must select a religious institution in his/her village and then develop a web and blog site using WordPress for the religious place while maintaining inter-connections with other religious websites at the same time. Within 18 months’ time the 200 websites will be connected with a minimum of 100,000 youth as followers of those interreligious and inter-ethnic websites. 50 Youth from the selected 10 countries will be linked with the 200 youth and in each district one ICT company will be registered to offer web development services. So, 25 ICT startup companies will connect with those 50 international youth and work towards getting web site development projects from other countries. PASSAsia will franchise them to get more business. Within few years the 25 companies will be able to develop websites for all the religion institutions linking together. So the youth will earn while they are contributing inter-religious relations. Religious and ethnic sensitive website assessment criteria will be developed, validated and adopted.

Who are the beneficiaries? (1,000 characters)

1. Our direct and primary beneficiaries will be 200 Sri Lankan youth with a proportion of 50% girls and an equal composition of Buddhists, Hindus, Muslims and Christians will be trained to become certified web developers. Those youth will economically empower 2. 50 international youth volunteers selected through one INGO from 10 other countries as youth peace volunteers and ICT startup contributors with high scalability to the rest of the word 3. 25 new ICT startup companies will be providing religious website development 4. 100,000 direct users of those websites and one million peace lovers who will take positive action for situation to promote religious amity in Sri Lanka or in any other part of the world with the help of the connected 200 websites 5. In general, all Sri Lankans as multicultural and a multi-religious community will get an excellent opportunity learn on other religions and practices 6.The entire world will get the benefits. Scalability is the entire world

How is your idea unique? (1,000 characters)

Though government organizations, NGO and other private organizations are contributing to promote peace, it is evident that in Sri Lanka the participation of youth is not enough, and the use of ICT applications is also not sufficient to promote interreligious and inter-ethnic relations. Most of the project outcomes are not sustainable and after the project. Therefore, PASSAsia will challenge this burning issue and this project will make use of the ICT startups. Project outcomes of youth business and youth livelihood will be their main source of income or as part time source of income. In this regard WordPress will be the open source website builder and a Mobile Application will be used. We are not only believing but also have proven that we can do this. We proposed to partner with one key government youth organization, one leading INGO work in Sri Lanka and interested international organizations. Proposed religious and ethnic sensitive website assessment is first time in the world.

Idea Proposal Stage (choose one)

  • Prototype: I have done some small tests or experiments with prospective users to continue developing the idea.

Tell us more about your organization/company (1 sentence and website URL)

PASS Asis is one of the most innovative multidisciplinary and multi-cultural consultancy service providers with 20 years of work experience in Sri Lanka. We have connected with youth and religious amity related aspects with organizations like Caritas Sri Lanka, World Vision and UNDP. Our network of relations is strong and wide enough to execute this project with other strategic partners. http://www.passasia.com/customer-care-excellence/clients-customers

Expertise in sector

  • 7+ years

Organization Filing Status

  • Yes, we are a registered company.

In 3-4 sentences, tell us the inspiration or story that encouraged you to start this project.

This is a part of my aspirations in life. As a challenge to the society I got married with a Tamil at the time of the tensions in Sri Lanka. We demonstrate how to respect other religions and cultures in our team. Through the experience we gained from the project evaluations conducted by Caritas and UNDP and the recent religious tension in Sri Lanka we were able to identify the burning need of the involvement of the youth towards building religious amity. And thus, paving the way to peace.

Please explain how your selected topic areas are influenced, in the local context of your project (1,000 characters).

1. In Sri Lanka we have experienced over 30 years of internal conflicts .and peace and prosperity of the entire country with a special reference to Northern, Eastern and the most remote districts in Sri Lanka were influenced by ethnic and religious conflicts. Some of the root causes were miscommunications and misunderstandings on other religions and cultures 2. Peace, prosperity and entire Sri Lanka was seriously influenced by restless youth and lack of economic opportunities for them due to inequitable opportunities in all parts of the country. This was among and in between ethnicities. 3. Even recently peace and prosperity were influenced in Sri Lanka by religious conflicts created by extremist groups. The overall result was human deaths, physical property losses and broken minds of the community on each other. Specially in this regard the involvement of youth was higher which brought forward negative results.

Who will work alongside your organization in the project idea? (1,000 characters)

We are successful in our discussions with strategic collaborating partners. One is the leading government organization which works on youth development. This organization will provide all district level youth access and training center facilities and the valid certification for the proposed Web Development 6 months vocational training. And one partner a religious based charity will coordinate the religious community and religious institutions for this project together with 50 international youth from 10 other countries. Bangladesh based CodexCorder (https://www.codexcoder.com) PASS Asia lead the project with WordPress web development training, mobile application development and youth entrepreneurship interventions. PASSAsia has identified very important strategic partners such as International Center for Religious Diplomacy in USA (https://icrd.org/) to initiate a partnership. PASSAsia invites potential partners to join us to implement this. International partners connect through IDEO

Please share some of the top strengths identified in the community which your project will serve (500 characters)

1. Educated youth in all the districts in Sri Lanka 2. Most of the youth in Sri Lanka are well versatile with the use of IT and mobile devices and the internet 3. Government, INGOs, NGOs and all community level organizations want to mobilize youth, so everyone will support this kind of project 4. Availability of district level community networks to access and coordinate youth 5. Availability of training facilities in each district 6. Favorable government policy and support for religious am

Geographic Focus

Implementation in Sri Lanka and 10 other countries but impact is open for the entire world

How many months are required for the project idea? (500 characters)

Total of 24 months 1. Entire pre project arrangements including training module development and arranging training facilities to be done within 6 months 2. Web development training and religious and ethnic sensitization education to be done within another 6 months 3. Set up ICT startups and Development of 200 religious websites to be done by within another 6 months 4. Attracting other youth and sensitizing them also on religious amity as a day to day practice to be done within 6 months.

Did you submit this idea to our 2017 BridgeBuilder Challenge? (Y/N)

  • No
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Team (7)

James's profile
James Patton

Role added on team:

"Hi James, with your comment only I came to know about your organization. It is for sure that we can work together with this novel project. I really love to build a partnership with you and your organization in this regard. Let us partner for this universally important project. Specially in terms of inter-religious teaching and learning we have to do a through research. Best Regards Samantha"

Samantha's profile
Alexandra's profile
Alexandra Alden

Role added on team:

"Hi Alexandra, I would like to invite you to partner with this idea as a expert in social entrepreneurship. I am sure that we can further develop and share this idea with your contribution. I am waiting your confirmation to be a team member for this project idea. Best Regards Samantha"

Mujahed's profile
Mujahed Mukhtar

Role added on team:

"As per our discussion you are a member from AFghanistan for this project and details we will discuss in due course with the finalization of the partnership"

Codex's profile
Codex Coder

Role added on team:

"Codex Coder is Bangladesh based one of the world best WordPress theme development company. They have agreed to be a partner with PASSAsia for this project by customizing their WordPress religious website theme together with any other code requirements. Further they will connect a team of youth for this project from Bangladesh. All these things happen with this lovely tool - IDEO in this platform."

Svetla's profile
Svetla

Role added on team:

"Thanks for being a team member to link youth from your country and to link with the online university for this project. Let us work together to serve the world with peace and prosperity"

Shikha's profile
Shikha Dixit

Role added on team:

"Thank you for your interest to join with our team. Yes you can become a coordinator for connecting international youth for this project and work together to implement this project. Let us discuss more details with the time. Best Regards Samantha"

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Attachments (2)

Religious Amity PASSAsia Idea 2018.pdf

This visualization presentation was developed as a response for the comments as well as IDEO team tips and guidelines. We believe that this presentation document will provide more insights on our empathy on the burning social need, innovative solution and its model, implementation, prototype, partners and the expected impact

Youth4Peace-Religious Amity & Entrepreneurship.pdf

This is our initial project proposal. We have included detail analysis of the problem, its burning and critical nature and the timely importance of this need with our solution and the capacity of PASSAsia with its transparency and credibility working with world's largest organizations such as UNDP, ILO, IOM, JICA, World Vision, Caritas, and UNIDO.

21 comments

Join the conversation:

Comment
Spam
Photo of James Patton
Team

Samantha Pathirathna 
Thanks for sharing your idea! How will you advertise or drive traffic to the new websites? For those religious communities that aren't currently operating online, it seems to be a major challenge to make a new website known to the larger community. Also, how do you see these online connections manifesting at the local level?

Spam
Photo of Samantha Pathirathna
Team

Dear James,
Thank you so much for your important thoughts. Accordingly to Sri Lankan culture and our experience when we publish details related to the specific community there is a tendency to view those. Now a days the use of smart phones is very popular here. Since this is bottom to top approach traffic is not a matter at all. Technically in our training for youth search engine submissions and other SEO tools to be added. Even religious community they are using mobile devices and they are using social media. This is a matter of getting their attention to identical website belongs to them and the community moderated by a community youth. In Sri Lanka all island mobile internet connections are available and already communities are using. Specially youth is almost addicted. That is why we need to get them for a useful purpose. I have already talk to some of the religious leaders and regional youth and they are also happy to get involve with this novel and interesting challenge. Let us connect to make a great change. Best Regards Samantha

Spam
Photo of Samantha Pathirathna
Team

Hi do you have any document related to religious and ethnic sensitive websites or any similar document? If available can you please share those documents. If not will you be able to contribute for such development? Thank you in advance Samantha

Spam
Photo of James Patton
Team

Great to hear that SEO and digital presence tools are being incorporated into your training model and that you're looking at communities that are already operating online! I do not have any materials specific to designing religiously sensitive websites, but it might be helpful to think about how those spaces are going to be moderated.

Spam
Photo of Samantha Pathirathna
Team

Dear James,
Thank you so much for this prompt and positive response. We really happy about to get you also on board with our team so that at international level you can moderate this and we will be able to produce validated checklist of religiously and ethnically sensitive websites. Thank you so much for extending your cooperation to find a good solution for this matter.

Spam
Photo of James Patton
Team

Hi Samantha -

I don't know of the resources you ask for, offhand, but would probably need a little more detail on what you have in mind to be able to help.

J

Spam
Photo of Samantha Pathirathna
Team

Dear James,

Once again appreciate your thoughts and clarifications. The below are some details;
1. You and the organization can be one of the international partners to bring us international experience and lessons for this project. In this regard quality assurance and validating religious and ethnicity sensitivity checklist for web developers can be done at your end. We will develop those with our religious community and civil society and youth and send as the draft from Sri Lankan context. Of course then you can study and moderate to validate and improve the standards to make an international document. Since you are working in many countries we can bring the lessons from many countries.
2. If you are interested you can or you suggest to select 10 other countries to select 50 youth for this project and then we will link them with the 200 youth here for web development business and religious website development
These are some of the thoughts. Of course according we have to discuss and agree on budget etc. When we offer web developer certification course we can jointly offer a certificate like we offer technical know how and your organization appear on the content and the quality of the religious sensitivity related stuff. Likewise I think for this innovation possibilities are awaiting for us and I would like to hear from you more details. Appreciate your interest and commitment in this regard. Samantha

Spam
Photo of Samantha Pathirathna
Team

Hi James, How are you doing? I am sure you are busy. Can we schedule a skype meeting so that we can discuss more details on how we can partner for this project. I am looking forward to hear you at your earliest convenient. Best Regards Samantha

Spam
Photo of James Patton
Team

Samantha,
We're doing well and are very excited to see the ideas phase move into review. It might be best to reconvene over email. You can reach our outreach person, Nick Acosta, at nick@icrd.org to discuss ways that ICRD might be able to support your initiative.

Spam
Photo of Samantha Pathirathna
Team

Dear James,
Thank you so much for sharing this email. Yes we too really excited and very keen on the next step results. Once after I come to Colombo back I will write him. Let us work together to expand possibilities. Best Regards Samantha

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