Forty young people share positive ‘Respect in the Commonwealth’ workshop experiences at six-week check-in

31 October 2022
Participants at a Faith in the Commonwealth programme

Forty young people joined a virtual meet-up six weeks on from their participation in peace-building workshops in Sri Lanka.

Hosted by the Commonwealth Secretariat, in partnership with UNDP Sri Lanka, the Zoom session on Wednesday was designed as a follow-on activity from two hugely successful “Youth for Diversity and Inclusion” workshops that took place from 29th August – 9th September 2022 in Ahungalla, Sri Lanka.

The “Youth for Diversity and Inclusion” workshops were delivered as part of the Faith in the Commonwealth programme, the next iteration of which, entitled Respect in the Commonwealth, was also launched on Wednesday to coincide with the meet-up.

The two, four-day long workshops were delivered to 40 participants respectively, and aimed to promote skills and knowledge for diversity, inclusion, and peacebuilding. In total, the project engaged 80 young people, government representatives, NGO staff and activists from across Sri Lanka.

Participants in online Respect in the Commonwealth’ workshop
Participants spoke about their experiences taking part in the peace-building workshops in Sri Lanka.

The virtual meet-up brought together people from both cohorts, most of whom had never met each other before, as a way of reinforcing the robust connections formed during the workshops and forging new ones.

The six-week check-in also enabled the Commonwealth Secretariat and UNDP teams to get an update on the activity of all participants since attending the workshop.

With around 40 participants joining, the meet-up was a great success. There were a variety of activities, breakout sessions and presentations, and participants were also briefed on multiple Commonwealth Secretariat opportunities that have arisen since the workshops.

An interactive session where participants shared the impact the workshop has had on their lives was a powerful and uplifting moment with many describing the transformational effect of the workshop on their personal and professional lives.

Facilitators roamed the “breakout rooms” making notes of the great work that the participants have undertaken since the workshops, using an online collaboration tool to visually represent the progress.

The attendance, engagement and success of the follow-on meet-up reinforce the efficacy of the Respect in the Commonwealth programme, now launched by the Commonwealth Secretariat.

This includes a peacebuilding toolkit resource free for individuals, stakeholders and organisations seeking to help groups build bonds and cross-cultural understanding across perceived ideological boundaries. 

Learn more about the Respect in the Commonwealth programme
Access the Respect in the Commonwealth toolkit

Media contact

  • Amy Coles  Communications Officer, Communications Division, Commonwealth Secretariat
  • E-mail