The Art of Living has been present in Sri Lanka for more than a decade now. However, it came into prominence in the aftermath of the 2004 tsunami, owing to the extensive relief operations carried out by it in the island nation. Since then, the international NGO has expanded its operations in the country.
Since early 2005, it has been playing a proactive role to find an amicable solution to the ethnic conflict, engaging all parties concerned, including the government, parliamentarians and Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). It has initiated several peacemaking initiatives in the troubled island nation, which has witnessed ethnic violence for more than 25 years.
The Art of Living is also training local youth in leadership skills to wean them away from violence and direct their energies towards constructive pursuits. It has trained over 800 youth across the districts of Jaffna, Nelliady, Chavakacheri, Pussellawa, Trincomalee, Nuwara Eliya and Hatton through its Youth Leadership Training Program (YLTP). Several misguided youth from various backgrounds participated wholeheartedly and pledged to turn over a new leaf with self-discipline and service to the community.
Cutting across the barriers of language, religion and socio-economic background, these programs have brought remarkable transformation and harmony.The beneficiaries of this program also included those at-risk of depression, violence, alcoholism and substance abuse, unemployed youth, children and women in need of stability.
A children`s Montessori in High Forest- Nuwara Eliya District has also been established solely through the efforts of these youth These trained youth then took the responsibility to implement the 5H Program (Health, Hygiene, Homes, Human Values and Harmony in Diversity) and the Breath-Water-Sound Program (Nav Chetna Shibir) in their local communities. Medical camps, tree plantation drives, cleanliness camps and environment awareness programs have been continuing in Sri Lanka for over three years.