My first interaction with the British Council dates backs to mid-70s when I was a schoolboy. At that time I was a member of the Library in Kandy and a frequent visitor. I spent most of my after school time and weekends reading books and magazines. Back then, the library screened British classical films. I didn’t miss a single film screening. I still remember watching Macbeth, Railway Children and Sound of Music, to name a few. I continued my membership until I left the country in the latter part of the 1990s. It was a very cosy place. The staff was very friendly, kind and helpful. There were lots of interesting books, magazines and newspapers useful for our studies and schoolwork and also helped improve our knowledge, especially improve our English knowledge and vocabulary.
My relationship with the British Council is a long-standing one spanning over a period of 45 years, at different stages of my life. First, as a library user during my school days and in higher education. During my professional life, I used the library for my work and leisure/hobby.
When I was studying at the University of East Anglia in the early 1990s, I had the opportunity to take part in many events for the international students organised by the British Council. Even after moving to the UK in the latter part of the 90s to take up higher studies and a career position at Newcastle University, my association with the British Council continued through various professional activities.
My relationship with the British Council is a long-standing one spanning over a period of 45 years, at different stages of my life.
I returned to Sri Lanka in 2015 to take up a challenging assignment to set up and manage Lanka Social Ventures (LSV) and this gave me a fantastic opportunity to renew my relationship. After 4 years of working together on various activities in the social enterprise space, I feel my relationship with the British Council has grown stronger. The joint projects and events i.e. social enterprise conferences, social enterprise survey and BESE project, have been able to create a positive impact at every level.
I think, I, myself, personally and LSV as an organisation, have developed a good relationship with the British Council and its staff and I feel that the British Council is much closer to us than ever before.