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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2909

Report – Inaugural OBT, Ridee Viharaya, Kurunegala

Kurunegala, 27 February,

A historic series of a events was launched on the weekend 14th-16 th February 2020, as the Department of Sociology organized University of Peradeniya organized the first of three leadership programmes. 1st-year undergrads from the University of Peradeniya participated in the inaugural Outbound Training Camp at the beautiful Ridee Viharaya Conference Centre, close to Ridigama, Kurunegala.

The leadership programme was specifically catered to developing the students’ group dynamics, team building, emotional intelligence, behavioral motives, conflict resolution, time management, and values suchnas respect, trust and spiritual development.

On day one, the multilingual students were warmly greeted at the opening ceremony. Traditional ‘Wes
Dancers’ and other performing troupes brought light and energy to proceedings.

The Vice Chancellor of the University, Professor Upul B. Dissanayaka, was guest of honor, highlighting them Peradinya subculture and the importance of developing personality, leadership qualities and ethics, with a view to becoming a good citizen, as the successful graduate is central in shaping our mother nation.

The programme was coordinated by Prof. Nandana Wijesinghe, Department of Sociology. He introduced all
the necessary points, the schedule, rules and regulations and future aspirations.

He mentioned that the weekend had started on Valentine’s Day, highly significant in that by coming together in a display of ethics, personality and leadership, these young people were embodying the qualities of a True Lover.

In the context of this event Outbound; did not simply refer to the trip from Peradeniya to Kurnegala, but rather alluded to the nature of the student group in attendance, which transcended socially constructed categories, such as, class, gender and age. These externally enforced classifications all to often prove to be an barrier, even in the 21st century, and have to be broken down if our youth want to perform in line international standards of achievement.

At first, the students thought this was just an ordinary lecture, but it soon emerged that was not the case, as
they found that their performance in the activities was going to be marked.

From 1000 total participants over the course of three weekends, 100 would be selected for advanced training, with the best 10 ultimately winning the opportunity to receive training at prestigious overseas institutions. The heat was on!

The day was filled with fun; in which icebreaking and teambuilding activities fostered skills such as communication, unity and cooperation. Mr. Saabir M. Hasheeem, mediated interesting discussions on the subject of love, marriage, sexuality, respecting parents and other qualities that a leader should strive to

The energy flowed into the night with a music therapy session led by Mr. Gunawardana and his group.

Things started on a positive note the next morning with yoga, meditation and breathing exercises – novel experiences for most students. The morning was pervaded by peace and a great energy which could literally be felt in the air.
Things quickly gathered steam as the group activities continued, with a new stake; the Chinese Whisper.

Giving Feedback and the Power of Questioning for effective communication and the Tree of Expectations as a tool for gaining awareness of ones own skills, future goals and achieving those aims.

Next came a fascinating lecture about 5S Concepts by Mr. Sanjeewa Samarakoon, Senior Manager, Bank of Ceylon. Lunch was followed several activities focused on developing problem-solving abilities, creativity, interpersonal relationships, teambuilding and cohesion.

The evening was covered by a shramadana planting activity to build a friendly environment and expound the importance of maintaining a healthy/wealthy lifestyle. As night fell, a campfire and cultural event brought color to the entire schedule. The groups presented singing, dancing and acting performances. It was brilliant day filled with fun and laughter.

The most important event of the last day of the programme was the hike, which was indispensable in building team synergy and team cohesion. The destination was Pahangala Mountain.

More activities followed, with the goal of building value, respect, trust and discipline.

At the end of the weekend, it dawned on the students that they had been given a once in a lifetime opportunity to equip themselves with the skills required of true leaders and this was reflected in the enthusiastic manner that they threw themselves into all aspects of the programme.

- Asian Tribune -

Report – Inaugural OBT, Ridee Viharaya, Kurunegala
Report – Inaugural OBT, Ridee Viharaya, Kurunegala
Report – Inaugural OBT, Ridee Viharaya, Kurunegala
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