This month at Peace Direct we would like to say a big thank you to all our supporters who raised a fantastic £7,105 for the Voice of Image project. This important project empowers young people to use photography to rebuild understanding between communities in post-war Sri Lanka. Throughout that country, young people benefit from this professional training and use their skills to express perspectives, break down barriers and encourage acceptance through the powerful pictures they take of their communities.
It is only through the continued donations from our supporters that such projects can take place. These enable our Sri Lankan partners to develop new and engaging ways of supporting Sri Lanka’s post-war journey and empower young people to shape their own futures.
18-year-old Tharindu used his new photography skills to document a recent peace visit to Jaffna in the northern part of the country. The visit left Tharindu with a positive appetite for the future of Sri Lanka, and the future of his own life: “Today I am happy to visit Jaffna for the first time in my life, and be assigned as a professional photographer (beside five of my VOI colleagues) to cover one of the main events organized by CPBR.” The visit allowed Tharindu to “observe different religious and cultural rituals, and see how people from different communities tried to connect with each other after the vicious war that separated them for nearly 30 years. I was able to capture all these through my camera.”
Thanks to VOI, Tharindu’s photos are helping communities to work together. The project encourages Sri Lankans to be united, and not divided, in their diversity and opens up opportunities for youth all over the country to change their futures.
Together we are giving young people the chance to experience something new, develop skills and build bridges for the future.