Bertal Pinto Jayawardene
Ekamuthu Oray Makkal Unity Mission Trust
31 October 2012
Testimony on Unity Camp 5
Please do permit me to share this note with you.
1. Thank you so much for praying for the success of Unity Camp – 5. This was very successfully held from the 26th to the 29th.
2. We were very blessed; we had to face many many different challenges to simply hold this Unity Camp. These challenges continued upto 1 day before the Camp.
My testimony to you, is that we did everything with a lot of faith and trust in the blessings of our respective religions protecting us. We met with; we invited and we had on camp representatives of Kandy region heads of all major religions to participate in the opening ceremony.
a. Though we were surrounded by pelting rain, only those present can testify, that we were not affected by the rain when we needed it to cease !……our sports programme and the opening ceremony and breaks for meals all had no rain or only a very light drizzle.
b. when Camp ended, we were aware as per sms alerts that there was a cyclone heading to Mullaitivu/ North. We simply got together and prayed in our own several ways, for the safety of our children travelling to that area.
The cyclone somehow veered away; this was exactly like Unity Camp 3 where we were spared of the cyclone that hit India across the waters.
c. for the 1st time, we had to deal with poisonous serpents found in passageways etc….the children who walked past were protected.
3. We had 570 on Camp – way more than we bargained for; the demand for our Unity Camp was very high. Notwithstanding the large numbers we had no major problems.
There were other problems — some of the children were travelling for the first time south and into a different environment. They had difficulties in adapting to the facilities on hand and this caused some problems …..indicating that we still have more to do in bridging the gaps between those who have suffered from 30 years of war and limited resources to those who have……….we also have more continued work required to build bridges of understanding., unity and integration/.
4. We believe that the Programme was a success in terms of fostering unity,understanding and further integration by children realising that there was not much different between each other.
We had many stories and testamonies made by children from Kandy and Colombo in particular who found it difficult to share toilets etc, and were wondering how they were to manage for 4 days……ending up wanting more time on Camp and hugging the children from the Wanni and the North/……..children,ONCE AGAIN, were refusing to go home……Camp finished at 11/30 am on Monday….we were able to get them to go only by around 1/30pm and these included Northern children!
There are lovely and wonderfully talented children all over Sri Lanka ……..students who have wonderful attitudes; who have very positive mindsets ; who want to move forward as One Nation …….there is also healing that has to continue from wounds that have been experienced…….this can happen only with programmes like what we have had, where children meet each other on a neutral platform of equality and fun …..where they can exchange ideas and their stories and see that they can all contribute to a Team as equals and that they are not fundamentally different from each other………
I will forward some pictures shortly to share with you some part of our story……….please do log onto our websitewww.unitymission.lk and our Facebook site for more information.
Thank you again, for YOUR OWN personal encouragement. We have received many sms,email and calls to encourage us …..many have come forward to sponsor 01 child ….all of this matters to us, as we move forward to help build up One Nation , where our own children can live as equals and in harmony.
sincerely and on behalf of the UMT Organising Committee,
Bertal Pinto- Jayawardena
Bertal Pinto- Jayawardena
Founder Trustee / Co-ordinator