Harmony through Music North South Exchange Programme with the Symphony Orchestra of Sri Lanka


There is an old saying attributed to Chinese Philosopher, Confucius “When music and courtesy are better understood and appreciated, there will be no war.”

Since the end of the civil conflict in Sri Lanka, we at the Foundation of Goodness extended our work to opening up avenues of reconciliation and true understanding between communities in the North and South. Exchange programmes, connecting youth groups through the mediums of sports and arts is an annual engagement that shows great promise in creating fellowship.


During the Christmas break, the Symphony Orchestra joined hands with us for a residential choral training programme for ten students from St. Anne’s Maha Vidyalayam, Mannar and twenty students from the FoG Village Heartbeat Empowerment (VHE) Center, Monaragala. The girls, accompanied by three teachers came to Colombo to spend two days where they got to learn about music performance and creative expression. They also explored the city and took in the sites.

Our first stop was the Dehiwela Zoo, where the girls spent a fun morning with the animals. Next up was the self-compassion workshop conducted by child therapist and counsellor, Seema Omar. The girls were encouraged to express themselves anyway they liked; screaming, dancing and scribbling. It was a new experience for the group, as they shared with us later, ‘we had never thought of anything like this to express our feelings’. The girls were encouraged to make as much noise as they liked! They then wrote a letter to themselves, which the girls described as a very emotional experience.

The group got together for their sessions with the Symphony Orchestra, where they got to see the Orchestra live in action, and learn from them. The girls were introduced to the various instrumental sections of the Orchestra and got to try their hand at some of them. In readiness for the season the singers of the Symphony Orchestra ran through some Christmas favourites with our girls. Overall it was an inspiring evening for the girls to see the talent, skill and dedication 

The group then toured the city, enjoying an evening at Independence Square, interacting with each other and sharing experiences. Our appreciation goes out to Upali's by Nawaloka, Colombo for treating the group to a delicious lunch on their final day in the city.

The teachers of St. Anne’s Maha Vidyalayam, Mannar speaking on the impact of the exchange programme said, ‘We shared our thoughts, deeds and actions, with each other. We feel this exposure the children had in Colombo is an important experience in their life. The Symphony Orchestra experience was amazing for the children’s  

The students from our Monaragala VHE Centre also enthused, ‘it was really entertaining from beginning to end. And we made new friends who came from the North. We screamed and played together like pre-schoolers. It made us feel relaxed and happy. Even though they spoke Tamil and we spoke Sinhala, we worked together as one team.’


9th January 2019







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