Sarvodaya Founder Receives Highest Sri Lankan Honour

Dr. A. T. Ariyaratne, founder of Sarvodaya Shramadana Movement, received Sri Lankaabhimanya (Pride of Sri Lanka), country’s highest honour today. In an event at Presidential Secretariat Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapkase conferred the highest honour to Dr. Ariyaratne. Dr. Ariyaratne was recognized for exceptional honor and glory brought to the country through Sarvodaya Shramadana Movement.

Gujarat Vidyapeeth Convocation Ceremony

Dr. AT Ariyaratne was the chief guest at the Convocation ceremony held on the 18th October 2006, at the Gujarat Vidyapeeth – Ahmedabad – India, founded by Mahathma Gandhi in 1920. Dr. Ariyaratne delivered the keynote address while the Vice-Chancellor of Professor Sudarsha Iyenger presided over the function.

2006 Mahatma Gandhi Award for Reconciliation and Peace Awarded to Dr.A.T.Ariyaratne

Dr. AT Ariyaratne Founder President of the Sarvodaya Movement was honored with 2006 Mahatma Gandhi Award for Reconciliation and Peace in Durban – South Africa on the 13th of September. Mrs. Ela Gandhi – granddaughter of Mahatma, presented the award at a ceremony held at the prestigious City Hall – Durban amidst a large gathering. Deputy Mayor of the Durban city Hon. Naidu was the chief guest. This year’s award was coincided with the 100 year celebration of the Satyagraha.

Damniyamgama – Sarvodaya Eco-Village

Sarvodaya Eco-village development pilot project has been designed and introduced for 55 poor tsunami affected families in Kaluthara District in the western province of Sri Lanka as an innovative model of participatory development to address environmental sustainability. The pilot project is primarily financed by Sarvodaya with contributions for specific components of the eco-village by the American Joint Jewish Distribution Committee (AJJDC), USAID, Bush Clinton Tsunami Fund, the United Nations Environment Programme, the Asia Pacific Forum for Environment and Development (APFED). The early design advice was given by world renowned permaculture experts from Australia Max Lindegger and Lloyd Williams of Ecological Solutions and Global Eco-village Network (GEN). The architectural designs were by Mr.Chandana Edirisuriya, a Sri Lankan Chartered Architect.

Work has begun on the eco-village on 4th of April 2005 and the village will be officially declared opened by His Excellency the President of Sri Lanka Mahinda Rajapakse on 28th March 2006.

Sarvodaya Peace Meditation in Trincomallee

Sarvodaya, as part of its continuing action programme for peace in Sri Lanka held yet another important landmark event in Trincomallee (in the Eastern Province) from 16th – 19th February 2006.

Trincomallee, a district which has a mixed population of Tamils, Sinhalese and Muslims has been one of the worse affected areas during the 20 year armed conflict. Eventhough the ceasefire agreement of 2002 brought an end to the direct hostilities between the Sri Lankan armed forces and the LTTE and the guns and bombs were silent, other forms of violence persisted, particularly in the Eastern Province, which consists of Trincomalee, Batticaloa and Ampara districts. This multi-ethnic and multi-religious area of Sri Lanka has remained the victim of deep-seated communal tension.

The first part of the Sarvodaya peace event in Trincomallee was a youth camp titled “compassionate youth gathering”. Over 650 youth and peace activists from all parts of Sri Lanka participated in this 3 day peace event held at the Sarvodaya District Centre premises in Trincomallee.

Sarvodaya Receives UN Habitat Scroll of Honor 2005

On October 3rd, Sarvodaya Shramadana Sangamaya was awarded the Habitat Scroll of Honor award, the UN’s highest prize in the field of human settlement and shelter. The award is granted annually by the United Nations Human Settlement Program and Sarvodaya was among eight recipients for the year 2005.Sarvodaya was recognized for its development work in villages with particular regard to its massive post-Tsunami reconstruction work.

In a ceremony held in Jakarta, Indonesia to mark World Habitat Day, Mrs. Udani Mendis, the Acting Executive Director, and Mr. Saman Algoda, the Finance Director, received the award on behalf of the organization. In a speech at the ceremony, Mrs. Mendis described Sarvodaya’s work with special emphasis on the movement’s focus on eradicating poverty through social, economic, and technological empowerment of people. She described how the organization had been working for almost fifty years in this endeavor of “sarvodaya” or “awakening of all” and had thus far reached almost 15,000 villages throughout the island.

Double-Honors: Sarvodaya Receives Humanitarian Award and Launches Six-Month Report on its Tsunami Recovery Effort

October 3rd marks two important events for the Sarvodaya Shramadana Sangamaya. The society will be honored by the United Nations with an award for its outstanding humanitarian work following the Tsunami of last December. The day will also see the launch of “Waves of Compassion: Sarvodaya’s Tsunami to Deshodaya Plan After Six Months of Action,” a comprehensive report on the recovery work that was completed by the organization in the first six months after the tidal wave.

In a ceremony to be held in Jakarta, Indonesia to mark World Habitat Day, Sarvodaya will be presented with the Habitat Scroll of Honor award, a prize that is granted annually by the United Nations Human Settlement Program for outstanding work in the field of settlement and shelter.