(COLOMBO, LANKAPUVATH) –Memorandums of Understanding (MOU) were signed recently between the Office for National Unity & Reconciliation (ONUR) and 22 selected Civil Society Organizations (CSO’s) to expand the reach of grass root level national unity and reconciliation related projects island-wide.
This initiative has been welcomed by various stakeholders given that a Government institution has partnered with multiple Civil Society Organizations selected The Conflict Transformation programmes to be implemented through these organizations will focus on capacity building and community empowerment at Divisional and Village level through standard Government procedures and to be supported by ONUR.
The partnerships will expedite the expansion of “Heal the Past – Build the Future” programme in 17 districts including Jaffna, Anuradhapura, Ratnapura, Ampara, Mannar, Galle, Kalutara, Kilinochchi, Kurunagala, Matara, Monaragala, Nuwara-Eliya, Batticaloa, Trincomalee, Mullaitivu and Vavuniya.
The “Heal the Past – Build the Future” programme intends to implement several activities including the development of cooperation and coordination between government officials and civil society representatives at District level through the creation of a networked resource pool. Community level awareness programmes on the importance of reconciliation are being formulated to support follow up local-level peace-building initiatives from the community (identified as ‘seed activities’) through Divisional Secretariats in a sustainable manner.
The Director General of the ONUR Mr. M.S Jayasinghe and representatives from the selected Civil Society Organizations participated at the MoU Signing event.