At a time, when the most potentially damaging challenges faced by the planet are global warming and climate change, it is indeed encouraging to report on counter-initiatives launched by a school in Sri Lanka, achieving an international reach. The school in question is Lyceum International, Kurunegala, part of the Lyceum International Group of Sri Lanka, which has, within a couple of decades, established a presence in several districts, island-wide. Lyceum, Kurunegala has launched a campaign to plant 100,000 plants, to commemorate Sri Lanka’s 73rd Independence Day celebrations, having obtained the enthusiastic participation of the SMAN 3 School, Padang Panjang, Indonesia, DAV Public School, Faridbhad, India and Sialkot Girls’ Secondary School, Pakistan.
This is possibly the first instance when Sri Lanka’s Independence Day has been celebrated internationally, by three educational institutes in three countries. It assumes even greater significance, when the commemorative activity is a project which contributes materially to the greening of the planet, which is rapidly being denuded of its forest cover. This is not a one off event, as Lyceum International, Kurunegala, will continue to pursue this important objective in the years to come. Since 2018, the Global Social Leaders Society of Lyceum Kurunegala, a representative student body, has been participating in the Global Goals Competition, organized by the Future Foundation of UK, in collaboration with Wellington College, UK. The Future Foundation is an entity operating under the auspices of the Queen’s Commonwealth Trust, providing leadership to youth around the world.
Lyceum International Schools’ Group, which has, under one umbrella, the greatest single student body in Sri Lanka, gives primary importance to inculcating in its student body, from the very inception, the importance of the preservation of the environment. In fact, this aspect is separately addressed in the school curriculum. Apart from this initiative, the Lyceum Global Social Leaders group has also engaged itself in other projects of wide-ranging civic benefit. Amongst them are the two projects, “Prize for Life”, and the “Books to Remember”, the latter assisting other schools short of reading facilities. This project earned the GSL group the award, “Junior Standout Winners” in the academic year 2019/2020, participating in a virtual summit as dictated by the pandemic restrictions.
This enterprising group also participated in the Global Social Leaders World Summit in the UK, proudly representing Sri Lanka and being rewarded with the Junior Standout award for the “Kidney Prize for Life” project. The current re-greening initiative, and others in the process of implementation, had their genesis in the vision of Dr. Mohan Lal Grero, who founded Lyceum International 28 years ago, a key driver of the core concept being to “ Mold Citizens Who Will Reshape the Motherland”. The restoration, protection and sustainability of our beautiful environment is a key component of that concept. It is clear, judging from the recent achievements of the Global Social Leader Group, and others which have preceded it, that it is a concept and a vision which is being actively transferred from generation to generation of Lyceumers.