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Sri Lankan youth volunteers set world record

!500 Sri Lankan youth broke the Guinness World Record for the Largest Human Mosaic when they formed the word "youth" at Colombo University on International Youth Day 12 August 2011. (Lakshman Nadaraja, 2011)!500 Sri Lankan youth broke the Guinness World Record for the Largest Human Mosaic when they formed the word "youth" at Colombo University on International Youth Day 12 August 2011. (Lakshman Nadaraja, 2011)
25 August 2011

This year, “youth” was more than just a word to volunteers involved with Sri Lankan youth service organizations.  On 12 August, International Youth Day, 1500 youth volunteers assembled on a Colombo sports field to form the word “youth” and break the Guinness World Record for the Largest Human Mosaic.

The goal was to motivate youth to volunteer and meet peers with the same passion to strive towards volunteerism and it played a vital role in the organizers’ success.  No separate budget was allocated for this project. Each aspect was sponsored and volunteered by different individuals and organizations.

UNV took part in this event through the Sri Lankan National Steering Committee to mark 2011, the tenth anniversary of the International Year of Volunteers (IYV+10).  Members of the steering committee’s V-Force of volunteers took charge of many important tasks from troubleshooting the entire event to registering the participants, and from controlling the crowd while the mosaic was being formed to organizing the photo shoot.

To celebrate the United Nations International Year of Youth, the record-breaking human mosaic event was initiated by the Sri Lankan branch of the British Council’s Global Change-makers which teamed up with ten local partner youth involving organizations.  Chief among them was the National Youth Services Council, also on the IVY+10 National Steering Committee.  The Council not only supported this event by sponsoring all 1500 certificates of participation, but it obtained the endorsement from the Sri Lankan Ministry of Youth Affairs.

Other participating organizations included Leo Club, Sri Lankan Model United Nations (SLMUN), Rotaract, Interact, the Association for the International Exchange of Students in Economics and Commerce (AIESEC), Sri Lankan Girl Guide Association and a national broadcaster, MBC Network.

Once the 1500 enthusiastic young people were assembled on the field to form the word "youth", it was obvious that ultimately the commitment and hard work of all who volunteered for this event was what made it a winner.

UNV is administered by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)