Sri Lanka Country Report - Asia

Sri Lanka

ALIVE Associate: T. T. Mayuran
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2018 - 2022

Living Values Education was introduced in Sri Lanka through the first LVE Educator Workshop in 2008. Thirteen years later, this international event was remembered by one of the first programme participants, Prof. S. Mohanadas, Former Vice Chancellor of University of Jaffna, "as an effective training that supports him to mentor educators and youngsters to guide them for taking responsibility with regard to making constructive personal and social choices for a meaningful life". Building on that foundation, albeit with some quiet years in-between, Living Values Education is now finding a new lease of life under the leadership of the Centre for Children's Happiness (GTE) Ltd, a newly approved member organisation of the Association for Living Values Education International.

Due to a lack of resource persons and trainers in Sri Lanka, structured trainings were not conducted for some years and while it was planned to expand activities after the international training and ALIVE Asia Associates meeting in Bangkok in 2019, including hosting an ALIVE Asia Associates meeting in Sri Lanka in 2020, COVID 19 constrained activities which have therefore been limited to promotional meetings, awareness sessions, and advocacy initiatives were conducted to introduce LVE in Sri Lanka. The journey of LVE in Sri Lanka for the four years from 2018 to May 2022 is reflected by the following activities.

Raising Awareness of Living Values Education

A number of awareness programmes were conducted in order to introduce and promote Living Values Education in Sri Lanka. There were over fourteen events conducted with professionals working for children, teachers, parents and children in the last four years in order to raise awareness of the importance of values and their impact in life. This was positively understood and led to requests to implement LVE in schools, child care institutions, community-based children's clubs and preschools. Teachers and child care workers showed interest to introduce LVE on the basis of its child friendly approach and participatory method. This has created a network of institutions that are potentially willing to introduce LVE when training is provided to their educators and staff and include the Department of Education, Department of Probation and Child Care Services and child care institutions in Sri Lanka.

Living Values Education is promoted through "Children's Smile Circles"

Living Values Education was introduced through "Smile Circles" created for children by the Centre for Children's Happiness. With the support of various organisations, children's facilitators and life skill trainers, teachers were introduced to LVE activities that they could carry out with children. This was mainly implemented at a community level.

Promoting Living Green Values with Children

Living Green Values were chosen as one of the keys to help young people become more aware of the importance of taking care of the Earth and be responsible in their relationship with nature. Living Green Values Activities for Children and Young Adults were introduced through nature appreciation clubs formed by the Centre for Children's Happiness in over 120 schools in Sri Lanka. Promotion of Living Green Values activities was conducted with children in communities, schools and hospitals.

Sri Lanka Promoting Living Green Values
Promoting Living Green Values

Sri Lanka is represented at the ALIVE Asia Associates meeting and Educators workshop

Sri Lanka ALIVE representative T T Mayuran took part in the International Educators workshop and ALIVE Asia meeting held in August 2019 in Thailand which offered a wonderful opportunity to connect with the ALIVE network.

Sri Lanka Associates meeting
Associates meeting

Promotion of Living Values Education in virtual settings

As an ALIVE Associated in Sri Lanka, the Centre for Children's Happiness has created its own Facebook page for the promotion of LVE in Sri Lanka and making connections with schools and universities. The page also adopts contributions created by the ALIVE resource team as an effective way of sharing resources and learning materials online. An article from Sri Lanka appeared in the Values-based Atmosphere booklet created by ALIVE for World Values Day 2021. Also in 2021, two virtual sessions were conducted for university students and over 200 students participated from the University of Jaffna and Eastern University of Sri Lanka. While in person meetings have thus been limited, online platforms have provided the opportunity for sharing ideas and experiences during challenging times.

Sri Lanka in virtual settings
Promoting LVE in virtual settings

Training workshop at Colombo Hindu Ladies College

A workshop was held at Colombo Hindu Ladies College for 42 Government school teachers; it was conducted by Ms Kana Gopal, currently the Focal Point for LVE in Singapore.

Colombo Hindu Ladies College
Colombo Hindu Ladies College


2009 April

Living Values Awareness Programme

Professor Mohanadas, V/President LVEA Sri Lanka conducting "Values Theoretical Model"

A joint programme on Living Values Education Awareness was held for teachers at the Holy Rosary Sinhala Maha Vidyalaya and Holy Rosary Tamil Maha Vidyalaya in Colombo 2 on 2nd April 2009. Thirty teachers from both Sinhala and Tamil medium participated. The programme was held mainly in Sinhala with Tamil translation. The Lions Club of Colombo Elvitigala, of Lions International District 306C2, sponsored the programme.

The programme started with the welcome address by the President of LVEA Sri Lanka followed by an introduction from the President of the Lions Club of Colombo Elvitigala. Prof. Mohanadas, vice president of LVEA, gave a brief introduction of the programme in English and Mr. Sugathasoma made a presentation on the overview and the history of Living Values Education in detail. A Value Awareness sessionwas then taken up, with an exercise to reopen the eyes on personal values. It led to an experience of Creating a Values-based atmosphere with a visualisation experience of a dream school. The introduction of the Living Values Education theoretical model gave a deeper understanding of personalizing and practicing those identified values in real life.

All Living Values activities were highly taken up by the participants and it was a new experience for the participants to go within and to touchthe inner values of themselves. Rekindling the childhood memories of a happy school life andgoing in to a world of virtues and values awakened the hidden desire to be an identical role model.

The principals of the two schools too were very happy and requested some more programmes for the students as well. With the sponsorship of the Lions Club, a gift pack was presented to each participant at the end of the programme.

Participants with LVEA members

Participants in Small Group Discussions
Participants in Small Group Discussions

Participants in attentive mood
Participants in attentive mood

Interaction Exercise

2008 November

The first LVEP Educator Workshop in Sri Lanka was held from 6 - 9 November 2008 at Harmony Hall in Dehiwela, Sri Lanka, soon after the creation of a national LVE Association for Sri Lanka. A group of 57 people which included educators, managers, and administrators participated for the four-day programme.

The program was inaugurated with the presence of Ms.Trish Summefield, the main facilitator for the workshop, Mr. Jegathesa, the Patron, Mr. Chitra Liyanapathirana the president, Prof. S. Mohanadas, the vice president, and other office bearers of LVEA Sri Lanka. Mr. President and the Patron, Mr. Jegathesa, welcomed Ms. Trish Summerfield and all the participants of the programme followed by lighting of the traditional oil lamp to inaugurate the first LVE Educator Training workshop in Sri Lanka.

The Living Values Educator Training workshop was conducted for four days followed by a Train the Trainer workshop for two days. All the participants actively participated in the Educator workshop during the first four days and the knowledge, experience and skills they acquired in this training was remarkable. There were many practicing teachers and some volunteers to participate in the TTT workshop, amongst the participants who were trained as LVE Educators and this was a specific training to train the teachers to conduct future training programmes in Sri Lanka. Both these training programmes were conducted by Trish using more classroom activities with presentations and discussions. The TTT paved the way to dispel doubts regarding facilitating a training programme for other educators. The participants became more familiar with the methodology through practical demonstrations of facilitating a session in small groups.

Although all the days were very tight and packed with many sessions one after the other no one felt tired or heavy. Trish, the best facilitator whom many have ever met made each event light, relaxing and enjoyable by being a practical role model of caring for her receivers. Each moment was filled with fresh experiences and a harmony dance made everyone active and alert.  Vegetarian food which was served by the Brahma Kumaris, the host for the programme, nourished the minds as well with enthusiasm and joy. The loving presence of all of them was an encouragement to many.

All the participants were able to acquire adequate knowledge in core values during the Values Awareness and Exploring Our Values sessions. LVEP Theoretical Model and Implementing LVEP in the classroom also were introduced to the participants in detail with Values development in children and skills to create values based atmosphere. The participants also studied how to become a model LVE teacher by modeling the universal values. This was facilitated by Trish with practical and experiential sessions. Introduction to focusing exercises gave a special experience to participants in experiencing values. Practicing facilitating the values activities for specific age groups gave the participants, confidence and understanding of the reality of LVEP.

At the planning and implementing session the ALIVE group got together and drafted a plan for the future. With the acquired skills in brain storming and mind mapping, they identified five main areas the LVE Association will have to work in order to inculcate universal living values amongst the communities.

  1. Developing and organizing training programmes
  2. Developing media contacts and public awareness programmes
  3. Organizing pilot programmes to further train trainers
  4. Long term plans for next 3 years
  5. Plan fund raising activities to raise funds for future activities

Apart from the workshops carried out to the educators, Ms. Summerfield was interviewed by two leading newspapers in the country on ALIVE activities and her LVE activities at Vietnam. The Director of Social Cohesion and Peace Education Unit at the Ministry of Education invited Ms. Trish to her office and had a discussion on working out a project for the local education system. The director was happy and very much convinced by the LVE activity books and asked the local LVEA team to present a proposal for a project for the next year. Ms. Trish also had a courtesy visit to Dr. (Mrs.) T. Kariyawasam, the former Director General of the National Institute of Education in Sri Lanka and also was a pioneer in value education in Sri Lanka.

Many thanks to Diane Tillman, B.K. Jegathesa, Dr. Nirmala, Trish and all those who supported in getting this whole event a success. "There is a hope in everyone's eyes for a better future" many felt.

Comments from participants:

This LVE Training Programme is very valuable to me as this is the first time I was exposed to such kind of training programme.Those LVE activities are very interesting and very useful for our day to day life. We can apply all these values at home, at work place and in the community and set examples to others. Ms.Trish Summerfield is an excellent facilitator and a good trainer. She won all of our hearts during the entire session and she remains in our hearts with the universal value we learnt from her.
Asha - An executive of a government Authority, LVE Member and participant

I am so happy that I could participate in educator training and TTT as well. It was really valuable and I got lot of confidence to plan and conduct similar workshops in future. I am confident that if we get together and plan we can do a lot.  We are so lucky to have an inspiring trainer like Trish for the inaugural training session.
Anura - A Manager by profession, LVE Member and participant

The training provided the necessary knowledge, skills and experience in this Educator Training Programme. The Trainer, Trish Summerfield, with excellent knowledge and experience provided the training to varieties of participants young and old, males and females, professionals and novices etc. The trainer was very interactive and the participants actively participated in all aspects of the ETP. The event was a great success and I am immensely benefited. Now I have the confidence in conducting a Living Values Education Programme.
Prof. S.Mohanadas - Former Vice Chancellor of a local University, LVE Member and participant

Being the president of the LVE Association in Sri Lanka, I am very proud to be associated with LVE Programme and all the members of the association. It was a great team effort and this first LVE Training Programme conducted by Trish was a great success. I am confident that all the LVE Members who participated in this training are able to conduct such programmes in Sri Lanka. Foundation is now laid to bring peace and happiness to all the communities in Sri Lanka through Education of Universal Living Values.
Chitra - An Administrator, LVE Member and participant

I am a teacher  by profession,  who is dealing with very young minds.  This training program helped me to realize many mistakes we make in our teaching styles which can cause great damages in their learning process.  Thanks to the trainer and other participants who actively involved to unveil certain teaching and learning secrets which will help in future teaching.  Willing to participate in many more programs. Thanks to the organizers.
Ambiga Jeger - A Teacher,  LVE member and participant

The workshop for four days was well planned and the organisation is highly commendable. Thanks to organisers. Workshops which I attended or organised earlier was always concerned with subject matter but this is totally different for me.

  1. The approach for a problem is totally different.
  2. Discussions and group work always was directed in the positive negative aspects.
  3. Approach to a problem is tackled in a different way. This will always make a child to change the attitude from negative to positive.

Now my contact with school children is very little, still when I happen to talk with them or with the community it will be different.
Mr. Rasaiah - A retired Zonal Education Director, LVE Member and participant

I had a happy childhood and these four days I felt I was enjoying my childhood days again. I was made to realise that life could be happy and gay even at old age. This programme taught us to be open and receptive, and appreciate the beauty of individuality in diversity. We are all beautiful flowers in a lovely garden.
Mrs. L. Kamalambigai - A retired Principal and participant

Now I feel there is a hope for a beautiful world.
Mr. Sugathasoma - A retired teacher, LVE Member and participant

This four-day programme helped me to improve my inner values. It will help in my day to day life as well as my professional life. I learnt more about tolerance and how to work with cooperation. I really enjoyed the whole programme. It is very useful. Thank you very much for the kind guidance given to us.
Mrs. Ramya - A Lawyer, LVE Member and participant

Lot of thanks for making us realise about Living Values and how to put it into practical life in a very simple way. I wish all the best to the group to be a foundation to create a value based society.
Miss Nitharshini - A university student and participant