For the second successive year, GIZ-Vocational Training in the North of Sri Lanka (VTN) in cooperation with the National Apprentice and Industrial Training Authority (NAITA) organised a sports and cultural event for vocational trainees on Saturday 27 July 2013 at the Oddusuddan Maha Vidyalaya School Grounds in Oddusuddan, Mulaitivu. This event is also a part of the celebrations marking the 60th anniversary of collaboration between Sri Lanka and Germany.

Over 750 Trainees from the NAITA Phase I Training Center Kilinochchi, VTA center Mullaitivu, VTA center Kilinochchi, Don Bosco Childrens Home Vavuniya, the Don Bosco Technical Center Pallavarayakaddu, VTA center Jaffna, and ORHAN center Vavuniya participated. The competition was fierce but friendly among the trainees as they competed in several sports and cultural events. The participants were true to the motto of the event – Young and Diverse. students from the Ceylon German Technical Training Institute, the Sri Lankan-German Railway Technical Training Centre and the Apprenticeship Training Institute travelled from Colombo to join their counterparts from the Northern region, to participate at the event. The Young and Diverse Programme supported and celebrated the diversity among participants while promoting vocational training in Sri Lanka among the youth of the country.

The various sports and cultural events offered an opportunity for the students not only to compete with each other but also to get to know others like them. Young people of different ethnic, religious and social backgrounds came together in friendly rivalry running relays, playing volley ball and football but also engaging in the more traditional games of Sri Lanka. It was an event that the young people will never forget because for them it was also an opportunity to forge new friendships, develop trust and mutual understanding with each other. The event gave them an occasion to share and exchange their ideas and showcase their talents to other young people from across the country. Sinhala, Tamil and Muslim youth had the opportunity to get to know each other and highlight their talents and skills in Oddusuddan, Mullaitivu. Trainees competed in their favourite sports, formed teams with students from all over the country, shared successes and – most importantly – had fun in an environment where everybody was treated equally and fairly! At the end of the day, many trainees had made new friends and developed new relationships with their peers. It was a truly wonderful way of celebrating the diversity of our country.

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