U.S. Ambassador to Sri Lanka Michele J. Sison awarded $102,547 (approximately SLR 13,357,772) to 11 Youth Empowerment Grant winners for projects to help enhance their local communities. Chosen from a competitive pool of proposals, the 11 winning recipients were awarded for creative ideas that will help benefit local communities and make a difference through youth leadership.
“I believe the best solutions to our shared challenges will come from harnessing the energy and creativity of youth,” Ambassador Sison said at the awards ceremony on Monday, September 15. She praised the diversity and reach of the projects, which will reach youth in Trincomalee, Galle, Vanni, Udawalawa, Horowpathana, Colombo, Embilipitiya, Hatton, Kandy, and Kilinochchi.
Youth Empowerment Grant winners will improve their communities while continuing to build the capacity of civil society organizations. Projects focus on preparing youth for future academic or employment pursuits by developing information technology expertise, job-readiness skills, English language proficiency and youth entrepreneurship. Other projects support environmental conservation, promote freedom of expression, raise awareness about gender-based violence, and use the arts to empower youth.
Now in its fifth year at the U.S. Embassy, the Youth Empowerment Grant has supported a diverse range of creative civil society projects in Sri Lanka. In total the U.S. Embassy has contributed $702,732 (approximately SLR 91,537,870) for 79 projects through this Grant.