Sri Lanka: The Theory and Practice of Peacebuilding
The Sri Lanka Seminar will be a life-changing experience led by Gordon alum Prashan DeVisser, who founded both the Sri Lanka Unites and Global Unites organizations. Participants in the seminar will have the opportunity to work with and learn from peacebuilders who have been working in the trenches of the reconciliation work in Sri Lanka, a country that experienced nearly three decades of conflict. Lecturers include top diplomats, policy-makers, peacebuilders, and international lawyers from Sri Lanka and around the world. Students will also have hands-on experience with Sri Lanka Unites, a youth movement that has not only been effective in Sri Lanka but has also been replicated in a number of other countries.
Watch a video about the seminar ➔
The classroom portion of the seminar will be held in Colombo, the capital city of Sri Lanka. Participants will live together in a private hostel just blocks from the ocean. Students will also tour Mullaitivu and regions of northern Sri Lanka that were impacted directly by the war, and will have the opportunity to choose one of the following unique sightseeing opportunities:
- Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage: The orphanage was originally founded for the care and protection of the many orphaned elephants found in the jungles of Sri Lanka. Visitors have the opportunity to ride, feed, and even bathe the elephants.
- Sigiriya: This fortress complex includes remnants of an ancient palace surrounded by an extensive network of fortifications, vast gardens, ponds, canals, alleys and fountains. Sigiriya is recognized as one of the finest examples of ancient urban planning and has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage site.
The 4-credit course, Theory and Practice of Peacebuilding, will provide students with a combination of classroom time and practical fieldwork. The practical component will involve attending and working with Sri Lanka Unites’ university-level Future Leaders Conference and visits to one of Sri Lanka Unites’ reconciliation centers.
Through the course students will:
- Gain a general understanding of Sri Lankan history and what has led to the rise in ethnic violence in the country;
- Gain an understanding of the process of disarmament, demobilization and reintegration in post-war Sri Lanka;
- Gain an understanding of conflict transformation and the differences in its approach to reconciliation as compared to other methods of addressing conflict;
- Gain an understanding of transitional justice mechanisms and human rights in post-war Sri Lanka;
- Work alongside young local leaders in implementing a nationwide reconciliation conference;
- Gain an understanding of how the Unites movement engages youth, in multiple country contexts, in promoting movements of non-violence and conflict transformation;
- Be instructed by individuals who have worked first-hand aiding the country in moving forward towards a peaceful future for all people;
- Gain an understanding of what it means to be a proponent of reconciliation in any context in which they may find themselves;
- Explore how the peace-building content, approaches, and strategies are informed by and integrated in various faith perspectives;
- Create meaningful relationships and opportunities of engagement across different faith traditions.
To apply for the Sri Lanka Seminar and Theory and Practice of Peacebuilding:
Gordon students ➔
The cost will be $4600, which includes flights, ground transportation, housing and food for the duration of the program, attendance at the University Conference, and all excursions.
For further information, please contact:
The Global & Experiential Learning Office
Learn more information about Sri Lanka Unites ➔