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UNICEF support help youth transcending to the future

Shilpa Sayura Foundation won Adobe Aspire UNICEF challenge for YES Film Project. It provided The 40,000 USD funding for Shilpa Sayura Youth Development. The funds provided in a flash for the idea youth creative skills development to enter Digital media field.

It was a turning point of Shilpa Sayura development which fused YES youth team to become young professionals. The funding helped securing a crew cab, two 5D Mark II cameras, lighting equipment and advanced computers. The funds also used to help Youth team scholarships to help their post secondary education. With funds and equipment youth (www.kandy-youth.org) formed YES Media and YES Films social ventures. www.yesfilmschool.com

 YES Films served community and business digital media needs. YES civic media creations ranged from Child Soldiers, Reconciliation, Alcohol & Substance abuse, Cyber Harassment, Poverty, Environment, Cultural Integration and Gender Equality. Their graphics, documentaries and short films exhibited in communities and shared online. The youth initiating an online dialog contributed to social change.

YES Media won World Summit Youth Award, World Bank Microsoft Youth Solutions award more Adobe Aspire Awards for their creative work. YES film School introduced a Diploma in Film Production in 2014. The First batch of students graduates in September. The success resulted from online learning, knowledge sharing and collaboration shifting social networks usability. Shilpa Sayura innovative approaches attracted Internet society for Respect Girls on The Internet project which address cyber harassment of girls.

The deep impact was made when United Nations Democratic Fund, supported the Paint a Rainbow initiative which aimed at creating democracy awareness and digital media creation to engage youth in an online dialog. It helped Adobe Youth Voices digital media education program expanding island wide. Shilpa Sayura & YES Media trained 38 digital media trainers in a TOT program and 965 youth at telecentres and schools. The curriculum covered democracy, millennium goals and digital media.

The program enabled youth voices through digital activism on social issues. This project was implemented at a difficult time for non-profit civic involvement, yet many innovative approaches helped achieving goals of social change in 2015.


The most remarkable impact created by youth during the torrential floods in December 2014. YES Media Team travelled flood affected Moragahakanda, Polonnaruwa and Anuradhapura communities. They reported the issues faced by victims creating documentaries for social networks. They were largely shared and generated public support and relief for the flood victims. Their work surpassed professional media in this engagement.

These programs had an immense impact in youth lives. YES leader Poornima who directed Child Soldier film won Adobe creative scholarship in 2013. She entered motion graphics and animations degree from Nothembria Univesity(UK), which otherwise too expensive on her own. Aadeeptha and Mithun dropped out school yet developed media and electronics engineering careers. Teranga a disturbed youth was able to gain entrance to technical college and employment in digital design field. Romesh, a rural youth from Lahugala gained employment with digital skills. These are few success stories of many youth benefited. The project generated many jobs in ICT and creative media fields and transformed large number of youth as active digital citizens for social change.

Now Shilpa Sayura is planning to upscale YES as appSMART. AppSMART is an insight of current mobile technologies that would transcend into digital economy of Sri Lanka. The idea of AppSMART emerged among youth trained in Digital Rainbow. Shilpa Sayura continuing its innovation aims to create a new breed of young technologists for mobile and wearable apps by training them online and offline.

A Credit Suisse bank report states that Global mobile apps industry currently at 3-4$ billion market expects to grow 25-30$ billion by 2017. Sri Lanka, a nation with 40% ICT literacy, resulting from e Sri Lanka development, soon expects Google loons over the sky. Sri Lanka has a high potential becoming a digital nation providing mobile technology human resources to the world. Shilpa Sayura was initiated in 2006 has implemented many project, learned many lessons, tempered and ready to undertake a larger mission, with support for innovation for provisioning youth economic development.


The seed Shilpa Sayura planted with Adobe UNICEF support is growing to be a huge tree. It will provishade to larger youth population of Sri Lanka in time to come. Shilpa Sayura is setting a global example of UNICEF impact on sustainable young people development that ecological evolution beyond our imaginations.

Niranjan Meegammana
AYV Lead Educator / Ashoka Fellow
Shilpa Sayura Foundation, Sri Lanka

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