The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Special Envoy Ms.Tokiko Kato visited the Sarvodaya Headquarters on 5th September 2005 to study the Sarvodaya Tsunami recovery programme, particularly the ecology and environment related activities.
Ms.Kato, a well known singer in Japan, was appointed as Special Envoy for UNEP in October 2000 to visit environmental protection and conservation activities taking place at the grassroots level in the Asia Pacific Region and to encourage those involved, as well as publicize these activities. UNEP Special Envoy has been vigorously involved in several environmental protection activities in the region and held exchanges with people through her music.
Ms.Kato was welcomed at the Sarvodaya Headquarters by Dr.A.T.Ariyaratne and Mrs.Ariyaratne. After Ms.Kato toured the Sarvodaya complex, she made a singing performance to all the Headquarters staff at the Vishva Samadhi Auditorium.
Ms.Kato then traveled to Lagoswatta in the Kalutara district, a new settlement that is being built by Sarvodaya for 55 Tsunami affected families. Lagoswatta is being developed as an â€œeco-villageâ€ using environmentally friendly building methods. The members of the prospective families greeted Ms.Kato at the arrival of the site.
The Sarvodaya technical staff presented the design and building concepts to Ms.Kato who appreciated the steps taken by Sarvodaya to make this new settlement a model eco-settlement. At the end of the programme, Ms.Kato entertained the villagers who were gathered there with some of her most famous Japanese songs.