Korean YMCA Executives visit Sri Lanka seeking possibility of developing partnership on YMCA Camping

Mr. Peter Choi, Moon- Young, Executive Director and Mr. Lee Yong Chan, Director Youth Part of the Incheon YMCA of Korea, now in Sri Lanka visiting different YMCAs and meeting with YMCA members. They are on a fact finding mission to Sri Lanka and looking for the opportunities of developing partnership for YMCA Camping. They visited the NCY- Sri Lanka office on 26th March 2013 and conducted a meeting with members of NCY Camping Committee.


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Life Agriculture Project

Working with small farmers to ease their problems enabling them in achieving a better life style with dignity”

The Life Agriculture Project commenced today (01st February 2013) with an orientation workshop for the General Secretaries and Projects Coordinators of 08 YMCAs involved in the project. The Overall Goal of this project was illustrated by Mr. Prasanna Peiris, the Executive Secretary of the National Council of YMCAs of Sri Lanka (NCYSL) as “Working with small farmers to ease their problems enabling them in achieving a better life style with dignity”.

The project will be implemented to achieve below given 05 objectives that would lead towards the said overall goal.

  1. Creating spaces for a dialogue on issues related to farmers and developing sense of collectiveness to address and deal with such issues.
  2. Creating awareness on the technical aspects of sustainable agriculture (organic farming) and developing physical capacity of the farmers.
  3. Developing saving habits and strengthening the farmers to compete with other products demanding a fair prize for their products
  4. Creating opportunities for farmers to exchange their knowledge and   experiences with each other and develop new linkages.
  5. Developing a mechanism and space for farmers to identify issues that affect them and designing a system to address them.

The project would be continued as a follow up to the pilot project that was implemented during 2011/2012 by the YMCAs of Pandetherippu, Pamunugama, Thuraineelaveni and Rambukkana . 4  new YMCAs  namely Ampara, Negombo, Matara and Kalmunai  are added to the new project that would last for 3 years.
Speaking at the orientation workshop, Mr. Lakshan Dias, the National General Secretary of NCYSL said that this is a project that would connect YMCA to the community and requested all the YMCAs to use this opportunity to make YMCA more community oriented. Well designed activities will be conducted by the YMCAs such as awareness building on organic farming, formation of saving groups and also assisting the peasants to address their farming issues.
Mr. Aruna Shantha Nonis, Consultant to NGS of NCY discussed about the overall monitoring plan while Mr. Shanak Mendis, the Accountant elaborated on the financial aspects of the project. The final session of the orientation workshop was conducted by  Mr. Charith De Silva, Executive Secreatry and he gave a broader picture on the Project MoU between the member YMCAs and NCYSL.
(Aruna Shantha Nonis )

Organic Vegitable Cultivation

Construction of community well

A farmer planting traditional seeds introduced by the project

The YMCA Annual Fellowship Dinner & 50th Anniversary Awards Night.

The YMCA Annual Fellowship Dinner & 50th Anniversary Awards Night was held on 8th December 2012 at YMCA International Hotel, Kurana Katunayake, 72 YMCA leaders were recognized and awarded for their outstanding service to the movement during the last 50 years.

Games, DJ and Karaoke.. added more colours to the  fellowship dinner

South Asia Youth & Global Citizenship Education Programme 

Philip is facilitating a session at the programme

Philip and Sudesh attended South Asia Youth & Global Citizenship Education Programme  

Mr. Philip Damian, Vice President, the Chairman of Youth Committee of NCY of Sri Lanka and also the co-chairman of Youth Participation and Leadership Development Committee of the APAY and Mr. Sudesh Mendis, YMCA of Moratuwa attended the above programme held from 18th to 23rd January 2013 at YMCA Training Center, Savar, Dhaka, Bangladesh.
The programme was conducted on the theme of “The Challenges in South Asian Realities and the Role of YMCAs in Empowering the Youth”  Philip says “Today’s youth are today’s leaders, they are taking this initiative to help empower young people and make them effective leaders not only in the YMCAs but also in their respective countries.

YMCA National Children Gathering 2012
 “Future is ours”

196 children from 17 member YMCAs from North to South and East to West attended the YMCA National Children Gathering held from 14th to 17th of December 2012 at Diyagala Boys Town Ragama It was a programme of full of activities and events that ensured, enabled and empowered children through sports, cultural activities, creative programmes, leadership developments and community games etc…..

It was also an opportunity for the children to exercise their leadership and express their opinions on different issues that affect them. YMCA National Childrens Gathering is one of the main National events which had been conducted on regular base Due to an unavoidable circumstance. this was not conducted for few years and we restarted the programme last year with the theme of “Smiling Faces”. This year gathering was conducted with the theme of Future is our and the NCY expects to continue this programme in the future.

Photo Aruna Pathirana

APAY fund raising workshop

The Asia and Pacific Alliance of YMCAs is consistently promoting the idea of Resource Mobilizing and the Sri Lanka YMCA is organizing a workshop which will be held on 12th to 14th October 2012 at YMCA International Hotel, Kurana, Katunayake. The workshop will be conducted by Mr. Ron Coulombe, BRE MBA, and Volunteer Consultant for resource mobilization, Ms. Jessica Rawn, CFRE, Manager, Association, Advancement from Canada and Ms. Eloisa Dukha Borreo, Executive Secretary for programmes(APAY). The main focus of this workshop is to develop principle and best practice that will guide future fund raising activities in the YMCA. After the workshop the resource persons will visit each and every participated YMCA for an in-depth discussions and planning sessions with the respective YMCA’s Staff and key leaders.

World Record was an EYE opener

“An attempt to create a Guinness Record by a largest number of people shooting basketball in one day”


Story of the Morning
At 6.05 am on 13th October 2012 we arrived at the Fort Railway Station. The sun was rising slowly. Still we could not see the people around us clearly. We unloaded our equipments to prepare for the planned programme. Slowly the sun rose up and at the same time our banners too were raised up. Fort Railway Station Police came to us and questioned.
"Sir what are you doing here?  "
"We are from YMCA. We are going to do the basketball shooting for world record".
I knew he didn’t understand what I was saying. So, I explained him our programme on that day. I had to explain to more than 10 Policeman about our programme during that day. I had to speak to Police Officers of different ranks. Arround midday they came and asked us to remove all the banners we had hung on the fence. We had a long discussion. Then they asked me to contact their OIC at Fort Railway Station. Then I had to explain him also about our programme in detail. Finally he allowed us to display the banners in the same places. Education and awareness were the key factor in building up these relationships.

It is a land mark of the Sri Lankan YMCA history that they participated in the World Challenge Programme on 13th October 2012. The “YMCA World Challenge” was conducted on 13th October 2012 as a part of a global celebration to tell the YMCA story to the world by mobilizing 5 million people on one day. 120 Countries worldwide participated in this event. .

 NCY-SL requested all the YMCAs to organize a programme with special themes of “Stop Poverty", “Stop Child Abuse", “Prevent HIV/AIDS" " Say No to smoking" " Care for the Nature & Stop global warming".

Story of Nugegoda
Nugegoda is a very small YMCA. They don’t have a large membership or a very active YMCA Youth Club. But in the morning of 13th October 2012, youth came with their leader, Chathura, the upcoming new leader of Nugegoda YMCA. This was a surprise because Chathura is new to YMCA background & especially to Nugegoda YMCA as it had just started with few people. Chatura & his brother brought their friends for this programme. Some of them stayed till the end. Some of them were not very keen about the event. But soon, they all participated in the activity enthusiastically.  We saw how well they influenced the people to shoot the ball. They all gave their valuable time for our programme.

Story of Mullaittu
After the programme on Monday morning we received fax messages from KANDY & NAVALY YMCAs, with all the details. Point Pedro YMCA had been more active and enthusiastic about the event. They even sent pictures via email. Further, they had sent some pictures directly to the official web of WORLD RECORD too. I wasn’t surprise about their participation and achievement as their YMCA had been functioning well for some time. But I was surprised to receive a fax form Mullaittu where the people had suffered immensely during the war ended in 2009. North & East is changing amazingly and much fast. Life is changing amidst all difficulties. Mullaittu YMCA started its work with few people. They took the trouble and managed to organize the basketball event with their limited recourses and complete it successfully.  They collected 26 shoots with the help of local people. More than the results, their thoughts & action in uniting and participating in a Global event together with the National Council of YMCAs were incredible. It gives us hope & encouragement to work together with our member YMCAs.

News Papers Ada, Daliy Mirror, Island, Dina mina and Tharunaya published our news articles and News 1st gave publicity through their news coverage in Sirasa, Shakthi and MTV channels.   The Red Cross, Scout Association, Government officials, worked as recoding partners of the event.

This opened a path for the YMCAs to link with other organizations. YMCAs in Sri Lanka had the opportunity to participate in an international event. YMCA opened to the wider public, linked with media institutions and the business community. With the Support of eight YMCAs, we collected 2569 shoots on the 13th October 2012 programme.

Story of Challenges
The Railway Department was very supportive and understood our programme and gave us a space of 25’x35’ usually charged Rs. 145,000/, for only Rs.26,400/. Also they supported us by giving the letters we needed very quickly. We send several letters to sports equipment suppliers. We received a prompt reply from Sports Store at Dehiwala, congratulating us and sent three Molton brand basketballs for shooting on 13th October. We had no dealings with them before. But they came forward to support us. The Colombo YMCA supported us in many ways, especially with food. We had a great difficulty in raising funds to organize the programme. Mr. Philip Damion - Chairperson – NCY-SL Youth Concern Committee came forward and introduced us to ABANS Group and with the efforts made by the National General Secretary, NCY-SL , Mr. G.S. Lakshan J.S. Dias  ABANS Group sponsored a major part of the programme. To raise the rest of the funds needed, Mr. Philip Damion convinced one of the Digital Banner Printers to contribute a large Digital Banner valued at Rs.16,000 for promoting our event & the YMCA.  Finally we managed to raise the funds needed from other small contributors also and organized the programme.

Scouts Association also came forward to support us. They were the Official Confirmation Partner for our programme.

We know that the entire member YMCAs had similar experiences. They all struggled with limited recourses to conduct the event. But it was a good experience and a good opportunity for the YMCA to go to the people to make the people aware of the YMCA and also for membership drive. It was a new challenge as the YMCAs at present are slow in membership drives and lack the capacity for wider publicity. If we had 20 volunteers at the Fort Station, the Programme output would have been much different. We need more people who really feel about the YMCA, people who contribute to YMCAs willingly with a deeper commitment, people who understand the meaning of working with people, people who understand the seriousness of public events.  We gain experience through these programmes and come to know about areas we need to develop.  It is an eye opener for all of us.

The Photos captured in National Council Programme


YMCA launches it's Tree Planting Programme

First tree planted by Rt. Rev. Dhiloraj Ranjith Canagasabe, the Bishop of Colombo

YMCA Tree Planting Programme was launched by Rt. Rev. Dhiloraj Ranjith Canagasabe, the Bishop of Colombo on 17th September 2012 at the Cathedral compound, Bauddaloka Mawatha, Colombo 07 by planting a “ Diospyros Ebenum(Kaluwara) tree.  

The Tree Planting Programme is conducted to mark the 50th Anniversary of the National Council of the YMCAs of Sri Lanka.

Addressing the gathering His Lordship said that “YMCA has chosen an appropriate and relevant activity to mark the 50th Anniversary of the National Council of the YMCAs of Sri Lanka when the country is in need of millions of trees to sustain its eco system”. He further thanked God for the ecosystem and pleased the event as a beginning point of a long journey.   

The Lordship also thanked the YMCA for its yeoman service to the community and requested to expand this programme to all parts of the country. Bishop made a special request from YMCA to plant trees in the Central hills, North and East as many trees have been destroyed.

Responding to the request made by His Lordship, The National General Secretary of the National Council of YMCAs of Sri Lanka Mr. Lakshan Dias said that through the YMCA Tree Planting Programme it is intended to mobilize around 5000 youth and plant 500,000 trees in Sri Lanka within a period of three months from September to December 2012. YMCA also expects to build awareness among the community especially, among the youth on the importance of having sufficient plants on our earth. There will be educational and awareness programmes on climate change and global warming in parallel to the tree planting programme as well.

It is also revealed that the YMCAs of Point Pedro, Kalmunai and Pamunugama inaugurated their local level tree planting programme on the same day.

Launching programme at St, Michael's College- Colombo -03


Issuing First Free Tree at NCY

Exposure visits to YMCAs

On the following day morning the international guests were taken for a three day exposure tour to North, East, South and Central Provinces  where they were privileged to experience the different faces of activities of different YMCAs spread in the country. These visits also helped the international participants and members of YMCAs to interact with each other.

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 The Asia and Pacific Alliance of YMCAs , Global Citizenship Education for Change Agents

programme was held in Sri Lanka from 6th to 12th August 2012.

35 Youth representatives from 12 countries; India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Singapore, Cambodia, Hong Kong, Myanmar, Thailand, Japan, Philippines, Malaysia & Australia          participated the ToT programme. The programme included sessions on  understanding the theme of " Global Citizenship " & " Change Agent " & experience sharing. Resource persons for the programme  Dr. Text Gabo , Mr. Jose Vargeese and APAY staff Mr. Kohei Yamada     (General secretary APAY) Ms. Eloisa Borreo , Mr. Dacun Chaowdhury ( Excecutive  Secrataries - APAY ), the Intern Ms. Julia Mun Pan  are the main organizes of  the programme.  Mr. Sudesh De Silva & Mr. Niranga Fernando ( Executive Secretaries were the local coordinators for the programme.

The opening ceremony & the first part of the programme was held at the MAS Fabric Park Centre Thulhiriya

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The youth participants joined in an excursion to "Vavuniya Sri Lanka" to experience   the realities of the communities suffered from war and poverty.

Youth participants stayed in local homes during their visit to Vavuniya.

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Youth from foreign countries enjoyed their visits to many different enviorment and   localities in Sri Lanka.

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50th Anniversary of the National Council of YMCAs of Sri  Lanka

“ City Tour and Fundraising Dinner

The main function ended at 11.30 and then the international guests were offered a city tour around Colombo and later in the evening they gathered at the same venue for the Anniversary Fundraising Dinner which was flourished with entrainments and fun.




50th Anniversary of the National Council of YMCAs of Sri  Lanka

“Anniversary Celebration & Awards Ceremony”

Over 250 guests including 82 representatives from international YMCA family together with religious dignitaries, representatives from civil society organizations and members of the YMCAs from all over the country gathered at Mt Lavinia Hotel on 11th August 2012 for the “Anniversary Celebration & Awards Ceremony”, which was the main event of the 50th anniversary celebration of the National Council of the YMCAs of Sri Lanka.

The Chief Guest Rev. Dr. Johan Vilhelm Eltvik the Secretary General of the World Alliance of YMCAs and other special guests ; Mr. Fernando Ondarza Villar, the Vice President of World Alliance of YMCAs, Mr. Yau Chung Wan, the President and Mr. Kohi Yamada, General Secretary of the Asia & Pacific Alliance of YMCAs, Mr. Rolland Williams, President and Mr. John Vargees, the National General Secretary of the National Council of YMCAs of India, Presidents ,General Secretaries, Delegates  of YMCAs of Japan, Singapore, Philippines, Norway, Bangladesh, Germany, Australia, Indonesia, Mianmar, Hong Kong, Korea, Thailand, Taipei, andVietnam  were welcomed at the main entrance with garlands and flower pins . The guests and invitees were ushered to the main hall with a procession of traditional Sinhala and Tamil dances. 




        The proceedings of the event commenced with the lighting of traditional oil lamp and singing of the National Anthem followed by  a prayer offered by Rt. Rev. Dilorajh Ranjith Kanagasabey, the Anglican Bishop of Colombo.


The organizers were mindful to limit the entire proceedings of the event for two hours with varieties   of items such as cultural performances of youth, power point presentation on YMCA history, growth and current activities, speeches, greetings and presentation of awards. The Key-Note Address was delivered by Dr. Ananda Galappaththi.



One of the main items of the event was the recognition of founding YMCAs of the National Council of YMCAs of Sri Lanka in 1962. Specially designed plaques were presented to the YMCAs of Ampara, Colombo, Dehiwela, Mt. Lavinia (Dehiwela and Mt. Lavinia were functioning as branches of Colombo YMCA) Galle, Jaffna, Jaffna College, Kandy, Moratuwa and Navaly as founder members.


Issuing of the commemorative First Day Cover

Issuing of the commemorative First Day Cover, which followed the Thanksgiving Service was done in the Reception Hall of the St. Michael’s Church. The Deputy Post Master General Mr.Gamini Ranaweera, The Director of the Phileteletic Bureau and representatives from the Ministry of Posts, the President of the National Council of the YMCAs of Sri Lanka Mr. Felician Francis, The National General Secretary Mr.G.S.Lakshan J.S.Dias, Vice Presidents Mr.Nirmal Fonseka, Philip Arumugam were present at the ceremony. The First Day covers issued were gifted to some of the dignitaries invited to the occasion.

50th Anniversary Thanksgiving Service

The 50th Anniversary Thanksgiving Service of the National Council of the YMCAs of Sri Lanka was held at St. Michael’s Church,  Polwatta,  Kollupitiya on Saturday 9thJune 2012 at 10.00 am with the participation of representatives from member YMCAs in the Island, special invitees and members.

The Service was headed by the President of the National Council of the YMCAs of Sri Lanka Mr.Felician Francis and the National General Secretary Mr.J.S.Lakshan J.S.Dias.

The procession started at 10.00 am from St. Margaret convent with Sinhala and Tamil traditional drums and dancing proceeded to the Church. The procession was coloured with the national Council Anniversary Banner, the National Council Flag and the Flags of member YMCAs carried by representatives came from different areas in the country.

 The procession ended at the ‘pandol’ erected at the entrance to the Church and the invitees and the representatives carrying the flags were led to the church alter with an elegant welcome dance to a rhythmic music. After that, each representative lighted an oil lamp placed in the respective area of their YMCA on a structure of the map of Sri Lanka.

The General Secretary Mr.G.S.Lakshan J.S.Dias welcomed the gathering and explained the purpose of the YMCA. The Service was conducted by a representation of Youth, in trilingual. As a contemporary reading, an extract from a speech made by Mahatma Gandhi addressing the members of the Colombo YMCA on 15th November 1927 was read. Short reflections were made by three young people in the three languages. The Service with new audio and visual experiences was ended by lighting a lamp constructed on the “Y” symbol placed in front of the Alter and the member YMCA representatives taking an oath with torches lighted from the lamp. They walked out carrying the torches while the recessional song was sung.

The special feature of this wonderful Service was that, all parts of the Worship being conducted by lay representatives of Local YMCAs.

Pre AGM Youth Conference


The Pre-AGM Youth Programme was held from 11th to 13th May 2012 at Aronodaya Centre, Athurugitiya. The programme was conducted with the theme of  " VISION FOR FUTURE". Following sessions were conducted directing the participants towards the theme



The 47th Annual General Meeting 

 47th Annual General Meeting of the National Council of the YMCAs of Sri lanka was held 25th and 26th May 2012 at Subodhi Retreat Centre in Piliyandala hosted by Moratuwa YMCA.

The AGM commenced on 26th with the key note address by chief Guest Bishop Emeritus Rt.Rev. Kenneth Fernando. Mr. Felician Thayalaraj Francis was re- elected as the President of the Council Mr. Nirmal de Fonseka and Mr. Philip Damion also re- elected as Vice Presidents of the Council Mr. Kishan Gunawardane, Mrs. Nilani Manthrinayake, Mr. Susil Hettiarachchi and Mr. Anandaraja Richman were elected as Executive Committee Members. Mr. Nesathurai Neresh, Mr. Chariya Hewawasam, Mr. D. R. Arumaynayagam, Mr. P. D. Thambipillai, Mr. Lakshman Perera, Mr. Shehan Kolambage,   Mr. J. K. Gihan Harith Perera and  Mr. Ratnasabapathy Vinoth were co-opted for the exeutive committee  While congratulating all the Office Bearers & Exco-Members we wish them to lead the movement successfully.


Moratuwa YMCA won the Best YMCA Award for 2012

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Launching the golden anniversary fund raising committee meeting of the NCY-SL

The first golden anniversary fund raising committee meeting was held on 30th April 2012 at 5.30 pm at the Asian Alliance Insurance Boadroom with the chairmanship of Mr. Ramal G. Jasingha the veteran of Dehiwela YMCA and Director/ CEO of the Asian Alliance Insurance with the intention of mobilizing the financial support of the corporate sector and individual philanthropists to mark its golden anniversary with a series of celebratory events focused on the theme “YMCA taking youth to the top”  

Reported by:

Mr. Charith De Silva

Executive Secretary

Sri Lanken GoCY Interns are Back

  GoCY Interns 2011-2012 who went to Norway and Sudan came back to Sri Lanka with wider cultural experience and knowledge on YMCAs of different backgrounds.


NCYSL: 50th Anniversary Celebrations declared – The Press Conference held:

 The 50th Anniversary of the formation of the National Council of YMCAs of Sri Lanka (NCYSL) was officially declared on 23rd April 2012 at a Press Conference held in Colombo. Speaking at the conference Mr. Felician T. Francis announced the programmes and events that are being organized to celebrate the anniversary and  invited youth in Sri Lanka to be a part and stakeholders of this great organization and build a new world.

Talking about the existence of the YMCA movement in Sri Lanka Mr. Lakshan Dias, the National General Secretary of NCYSL said that the history of YMCA in Sri Lanka spanned through 130 years. Colombo, the first YMCA in Sri Lanka was founded on the 24th of June 1884. Thereafter the movement spread out to the other parts of the country. He further said that the YMCA movement introduced the games of volleyball and basketball to Sri Lanka and played a historical role by introducing Physical Training (PT) to school teachers.  YMCA also introduced the concepts of camping and leadership training for youth.  In the later part of the 80s YMCA got involved in community development and peace & reconciliation programmes in response to the contemporary social realities. Mr. Philip Arumugam, a vice president and Mr. C. T. Jansz the patron of the NCYSL also spoke at the press conference.


Mr. C. T. Jansz - Patron 


Mr.G. S. Lakshan J. S. Dias - NGS

 Mr. Felician Francis - President

Mr. Philip Damion - Vice President

Kenyan GoCY Interns left Sri Lanka

Kenyan GoCY Interns Ms. Emily Aching & Mr. Derreik Sanda left Sri Lanka on 1st May 2012. They shared their cultural and YMCA Experience with Sri Lanken YMCA Youth.

They gave a gift to the NCY- SL which Mr. Lakshan Dias, The National General Secretary NCY-SL accepted.

 Training on Accountancy and Budgeting

Training on Accountancy and Budgeting was held on 20th and 21st March 2012 at YMCA International Centre. The training was held in Sinhala medium. 16 (11 female and 5 male) participants were participated. Type of the participants were General Secretary and Accounts staff. Most of the Participants were between 22 - 35 age limit.

This training was very useful to young staff in the YMCAs and they were able to get the knowledge of Basic financial accounting and budgeting. The participants were very enthusiastic to learn new things and persuaded to gather knowledge. The NCY is in process to do the advance training in the future.




 PRR Project – North:-  Thaipongal Programme

The project is implemented under the overall theme of “Re-integration and reconciliation of the young people affected by conflict”. YMCA mobilizes the youth affected by war and integrates them into the society through various programmes and activities. The project initially started in April 2011 and identified 286 youth as beneficiaries from the Vadamarachchi area in the Jaffna Peninsula and involved them in following activities:

a)      Small business

b)      Vocational training and livelihood

c)      Psychosocial support through recreational and sports activities.

Special programmes are designed and now in place for the youth to participate  under recreational activities such as; drama, music and dancing. Under the sports youth are mobilized and trained on games of volleyball, Elle and football.

Through these activities YMCA helps youth to heal their wounded minds and hearts and also to come out from the trauma that they are undergoing and working for a better future.

Thaipongal Programme: 3 day carnival was conducted on 14th – 16th January 2012 in Point Pedro creating a platform for the youth to participate and exercise their talents in sports and esthetical skills.  The PRR North project is now been expanded to Vavuniya.                                




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