The Colombo Model United Nations (COMUN) Conference which is an initiative of The Overseas School of Colombo has been held annually for the past 24 years. Its’ primary objective is to raise awareness regarding contemporary issues amongst the world’s youth, whilst providing an unparalleled opportunity for local and foreign schools to come together in the spirit of co-operation and understanding. This year’s conference comprised of nearly 400 students from over 24 different schools in Sri Lanka and 1 each from the Maldives, Oman and, India and was conducted under the able guidance of Jasmine Bhattacharjie of the faculty of the Overseas School of Colombo.
COMUN’s fundamental aim is to provide students with the opportunity to participate in a simulation of the United Nations and gain an insight into the configuration and functions of the primary peacekeeping and humanitarian organization of this era. The conference is geared for students who dare to raise their voice and make a difference, leaving an indelible mark on society’s memory as the advocates of change in a conflict-ridden world. The Executive Committee, well aware and empathetic towards those students who are less fortunate in gaining access to leadership oppor tunities, promoted a Community service programme amongst participating schools through which stationery and school supplies were collected and provided for distribution to needy schools and charitable organizations.
Leading International schools made contributions that enabled the COMUN 2018 team to reach out to students well beyond their sphere of influence, raising not only COMUN 2018’s impact but also empowering the organization in making a difference to the world at large. Some of the collected items were donated to the SOS Children’s Village in Galle. I had the privilege of gifting them on behalf of the COMUN on the 22nd of June when they celebrated the SOS Day. The gift packs included school bags, writing books, stationary, lunch boxes and water bottles. The officials of the Village stated that these are of immense benefit to the children. SOS Villages are a global federation working to protect and care for children who have lost parental care, or who stand at risk of losing it. There are 571 villages in 135 countries.
When working overseas, I have had the pleasure of organizing educational projects in SOS Villages of Bangkok, Hanoi, Ho Chi Ming City, Vientiane, Manila, Lipa City and Cebu. The Overseas School of Colombo has a weekly interaction programme with selected children of the SOS Village in Piliyandala and this has gone on for ten years. OSC is regarded the most prestigious international school in Colombo, Sri Lanka. Founded in 1957, OSC remains Sri Lanka’s oldest internationally accredited educational institution. It is the only school in Sri Lanka to offer the International Baccalaureate (IB) Programme from Pre-school to Grade 12. At OSC parents and teachers partner in working together to create the kind of environment where children not only learn, but thrive. OSC develops the whole person as a responsible learner striving for personal excellence within a culturally diverse school.
Nimal de Silva
The author is a member of the faculty at the
Overseas School of Colombo.