My first memory of the British Council was in the 1960s and early 70s when I accompanied my father to watch the newsreels every Saturday in Kandy. I used to look forward to this visit as I also got to read and look at the pictures in my favourite Autocar magazine.
I was very impressed by the British Council’s professional approach and commitment to education. I liked the openness and flexibility to make the programmes relevant to the Sri Lankan context, while also promoting both its historical and future relationship with the United Kingdom.
The next encounter was in 2001 when I was invited to becoming a leadership trainer for the Schools and Society programmes. I was delighted as I had just established Sage Training in Colombo - a new Organizational Development and Training venture. The British Council opportunity complimented my work with adults. I had a strong pull towards the education system as both my parents were teachers. I held the firm belief that leadership skills and values have to be introduced at a young age if we are to help evolve a more harmonious world.
I was privileged to be chosen for a Youth Sports Trust (UK), Train the Trainer course for the Dreams and Teams Programme in Oxford, the United Kingdom in May 2002. I started my first training of teachers and youth under the Dreams and Teams programme in January 2003 in Colombo. I was very impressed by the British Council’s professional approach and commitment to education. I liked the openness and flexibility to make the programmes relevant to the Sri Lankan context, while also promoting both its historical and future relationship with the United Kingdom.
My relationship with the British Council has been long-standing and even after I left Sri Lanka in 2011, I have been invited back to facilitate training programmes to stakeholders. The most significant and rewarding memories with the British Council come from my involvement with Dreams and Teams and Intercultural Dialogue programmes. These two programmes made a significant difference to Sri Lanka at a difficult and divided time of war by bringing the communities together for interaction in a safe space.