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Strengthening Capacity for Youth and Civic Leadership Education in Universities (UNICYCLE) Project – Going Global Partnerships

Strengthening Capacity for Youth and Civic Leadership Education in Universities (UNICYCLE) Project – Going Global Partnerships

“Globally Connected – Locally Engaged”

Active citizens drive the change themselves. Uva Wellassa University (UWU) became a proud partner in the successful journey of young ‘Active Citizens’ under the UNICYCLE project – Going Global Partnerships introduced and funded by the British Council.

The project commenced in January 2022 with two other Sri Lankan universities and Glasgow Caledonian University, UK.

In the modern era, the universities are seen as the hub of developing the students as global citizens who are capable of understanding social issues and tackling them in innovative ways. Having recognised the opportunities which would open up for our undergraduates involved in this project, a team of UWU (Faculty of Animal Science and Export Agriculture) applied and secured this project grant in 2022.

The objective of the UNICYCLE project is to develop students in SL and the UK as responsible citizens, fostering a strong sense of civic responsibility and the skillset needed to participate actively in a changing world. Alongside their academia, graduates can benefit greatly from accessing skills, experience, and networks associated with meaningful civic education. This can increase their potential to be more resilient to system shocks, more confident and informed on how to value cultural differences and enable a deeper understanding of the complex root causes that contribute to local issues.

Through dialogue and community projects, Sri Lankan participants aim to develop a more intimate understanding of local social systems within which their university is embedded and participate in knowledge and cultural exchange with peers in the Glasgow Caledonian University, strengthening intercultural awareness and gaining a greater understanding of similarities and differences in the community development practices.

Active Citizens is a global programme using a globally tested and quality assured methodology, promoting intercultural-dialogue, citizenship education, the role of youth in social leadership and social development. Further, it aims at promoting the community cohesion and improvement through civic engagement. The students will be able to become a part of a global and regional network of resourceful and proactive Active Citizens.

The GGP UNICYCLE project is implemented with the guidance and assistance of Prof. Jayantha Lal Rathnasekera, the Vice-Chancellor of the Uva Wellassa University, Prof. H.M.Saman K. Herath, Dean of Faculty of Animal Science and Export Agriculture, Prof. A.M.Wasantha K. Senevirathne, Head of the Department of Export Agriculture, Dr. Deshani Mudannayake, Head of the Department of Animal Science, Uva Wellassa University.

The inauguration ceremony of the UNICYCLE project was held on 15th March 2022 at Uva Wellassa University with the participation of the invitees from Uva Wellassa University and the British Council.

Our facilitators were trained at the residential 5 day Facilitator Development Workshop conducted by the British Council at MAS Fabric Park, Thulhiriya from 20th to 24th January 2022. Mike Waldron, international Facilitator from UK trained the Sri Lankan and UK university facilitators.

The Active Citizens training programme was successfully conducted from 15th to 18th of March 2022 at Uva Wellassa University with the selected group of 43 students representing five degree programmes in the Faculty of Animal Science and Export Agriculture. The training programme was designed with the concepts adopted from the Global toolkit (5 modules) of Active Citizens river learning journey. 43 students successfully completed this training conducted by the lead facilitator Ms. Ayanthi De Zoysa (British Council), Dr. Dayani Gunathilaka, Dr.Prasad Mahindarathne, Dr.Prasad Neelawala, Dr.Kaushalya Wijayasekara, Ms.Maduwanthi Banagala and Project Assistant Mr. Chathura Gunarathne from Faculty of Animal Science and Export Agriculture.

Our Active Citizens have developed 6 project initiatives (3 social action projects and 3 social action research) in identified communities of different areas related to the themes of Livelihood Development and Environmental Conservation. We are pleased to see that our Active Citizens are currently engage in some impactful work to the needy communities. This will inspire the students to become future leaders with strong sense of social responsibility.

Social Action Research Project

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