It is with great pleasure and pride that Communities Without Boundaries International announce the first ever Youth Without Boundaries member of the year, Chathura Dissanayake from Sri Lanka. Chathura is the first YWB to receive this award in recognition of his tireless work to build a library for the Am-Mayadunne School in Ampara, an area in the South East of Sri Lanka and is home to the Sinhalese, Tamil and Muslim communities.
Over the past 18 months, Chathura worked tirelessly with the staff from Communities Without Boundaries International, the schools’ principal, staff and parents, all of who contributed towards the success of this project. At the end of October 2013, Chathura’s project had successfully renovated an existing a 20-foot by 20-foot room into a library, furnishing it with books, book shelves, desks and chairs. While Chathura has been able to furnish the library with books and test guides for grades 5 and 12 who will be taking their public exams (scholarship and O’Level), the library still lacks books for the other grades. Chathura hopes to donate two computers and additional books to transform this library into a true information center, where knowledge is readily available to community members who seek it.
At the end of the project, the library will directly benefit 187 school children in the eleven grades that the school, and Chathura hopes that the library will be used as a central community building site by youth from the Sinhalese, Tamil and Muslim communities in the Ampara District.
CWBI’s President, Johnny J. Mack and Vice President, Maneshka Eliatamby will travel to Ampara, in Sri Lanka during the third week of January to visit Chathura’s project. During this visit, CWBI personnel will assess what else can be done to strengthen and preserve the libraries capabilities and to realize Chathura's drea of building community between the Sinhalese, Tamil and Muslim villagers in the Ampara district.