Peace Expo and Colombo Food Fest 2019 will be held on 14th and 15th December at Independence Square, Colombo. Peace Expo 2019 is a unique two-day event, launched in 2016, as part of the UN Sustainable Development Goals Action Campaign activities.

The event is spearheaded by The Road to Rights, a local youth-led organization that engages in advancing Sustainable Development Goals through a Human Rights approach. Peace Expo 2019 will provide an opportunity to celebrate the International Human Rights Day. As such, it is a nonprofit fair where all stakeholders will be brought under one umbrella to celebrate volunteerism, recognize strides towards furthering human rights and to localize Global Goals. The event will also serve as a forum to discuss issues in terms of SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals) and other related community issues at the SDG Media Zone.

As part of this initiative Road to Rights is looking forward to introducing the SDG Celebrity Ambassador program where celebrities will pledge their support to spread awareness, and advocate for 17 Sustainable Development Goals. A public figure can be a powerful tool in mobilizing the support necessary to increase the knowledge of sustainable development goals, therefore these advocates will act as a catalyst for change in the community.

The food festival, which is happening concurrently with the Peace Expo 2019, will be a youth and family-friendly food festival featuring independent vendors selling various kinds of food, restaurants, and hotels. Further, it is also part of the fundraising project of the Road to Rights youth-led organization to support their upcoming projects which are listed on the and UN SDG Action campaign activities in Sri Lanka.

“Through Peace Expo 2019, we aim to provide a platform to promote the efforts of the young people, engage them and to raise awareness on civic issues, establish new partnerships, mobilize potential sponsors and volunteers, and increase valued knowledge,” stated Ashan Perera, Founder, Roads to Rights
“Sri Lanka is placed first at the Volunteering world map adds more value to this event. As such, Road to Rights plans to make this an annual nonprofit fair, bringing NGOs, NPOs, CSR, Youth-led initiatives in Sri Lanka under one forum. Thus, bridging everyone under one umbrella to collaboration for a visible social change,” further stated Perera.

Youth as a category is often ‘othered’ in the discourse on conflict, peacebuilding, and reconciliation. Therefore, through initiatives of this nature, Road to Rights is visibly putting in an effort to reposition the youth in peace conversations, NGOs (Non-Governmental Organizations), NPOs (Non-profit organizations), CSRs (Community Social Responsibility) youth-led organizations, and humanitarian projects that are working towards Peace and Reconciliation. Furthermore, SDGs, are given an opportunity to present their activities to a diverse audience of young and seasoned professionals, policymakers, and SDG advocates from all walks of life.

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