Welcome to The Road to Rights
The Road to Rights International is a youth led organization established in 2009 in Sri Lanka is the evolution of a childhood dream, to serve humanity from the age of 8, aimed at supporting and empowering young people on creating opportunities, skills development, creativity and innovation by taking a Human rights based approach towards Peace and Development.
Who we are
The Road to Rights International is a youth led organization established in 2009 in Sri Lanka is the evolution of a childhood dream, to serve humanity from the age of 8, aimed at supporting and empowering young people on creating opportunities, skills development, creativity and innovation by taking a Human rights based approach towards Peace and Development. Human rights education promotes values, beliefs and attitudes that encourage all individuals to uphold their own rights and those of others. It develops an understanding of everyone's common responsibility to make human rights a reality in each community. “The Road to Rights” a platform to expose abilities, whatever the abilities they maybe because every individual comes to this world with a special skill, we believe in bringing and helping them take right use of it. The Road to Rights create awareness, and promote advocacy for the communities through community and social development programs. The advocacy is directed to guiding children, youth & women, who he believes; need to understand their rights and responsibilities based on core values, attitudes, and skills, if they wish to play a role in shaping their lives, to serve their communities, and their nations as the next generation of future leaders. Key avenues of The Road to Rights to empower youth children and women addressing social issues including Gender inequality, Poverty, Climate issues;
- Human Rights Education.
- Education (Skills, Knowledge and Attitudes.
- Environmental Sustainability.
- Sport for Peace and Development.
- Arts for Peace and Development.
- ICT, Innovation and Social Entrepreneurship.
What we do
The Road to Rights working on empowering youth, children and women through various form of activities and create awareness, promote advocacy for the communities through community and social development programs including open forums, Conferences, Workshops, Capacity building programs and social media campaigns. The Road to Rights believes in bringing youth people and communities together to ensure peace and development. Sport and Art programs are two major programs that road to rights is working on engaging people to educate them on their rights, responsibilities and empower them through activities. Purposeful Play, Senses and Soul, Knowyourrights.lk , iLead, YouthVote, Human Rights Friendly Cities, Rock the City, Green Girls are a few campaigns of the road to rights to addresses different social issues in achieving peace and development.
"Purposeful Play" is a global youth led Platform under the banner of “The Road to Rights” initiated with the vision of using sport as a tool for peace building and development. The movement was founded in 2009 as “The United Cup”. We are known to have accomplished “Difficult things in Different places” including worldwide projects in Nepal, Bangladesh, Afghanistan and India when it comes to spreading our message.
We seek to empower individuals, develop skills and educate them about social ethics and their responsibilities towards the community. We believe that the power of sports go beyond the boundaries of a play field. It can change lives and impact communities.
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Art for Peace and Development
Arts, broadly defined as aesthetics, play a vital role in taking the message of human rights to the society hence building peace with and within people. We believe that Art, especially visual art, have the power to mobilize a society towards peace or conflict. Therefore our hope and vision is to use Art as a tool in evoking peaceful emotions within our communities while contributing towards Development and Human Rights Education. Art has a broader function in defining us and modifying our views of ourselves and our societies. Innate creativity is a provenance of human achievement. A child who is exposed to the arts at a young age has the potential to become a more creative, imaginative, expressive, confident, self-reliant and critically thinking individual. Several forms of art, including visual art, are widely recognized as universal languages that can serve as tools of communication across language barriers. Art is also an effective media to promote understanding: to open one’s mind to the world through art avoids coloring one’s perceptions with new and old conflicts. Through art, an individual can make emotional connections that invoke compassion and develop empathy. Art possesses the power to heal, inspire and unify humanity across the globe
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About the Founder
Ashan Perera is a youth leader and has led his own youth movements for 16 years from the age of 8. Serving his community, working with the underprivileged and taking Sri Lanka out to the world through the work he has been doing, has been Ashans mission thus far. Ashan’s effort has been incessant since a very young age which has been his calling, to choose this path to serve humanity that has not gone un-noticed. He commenced this journey by driving a vision that led him to form his first ‘Club’ as a young boy in his back yard, and from there on evolved over time to reach its present status, conducting his work under the name ‘The Road to Rights’. The organization encompasses all that is required to contribute to his work, which focuses on Value Based Education.
Ashan is an advocate of many inspiring programs pertaining to the ‘Rights’ of youth. His sensitivity towards his opinion of how he sees ‘Human Rights’ is NOT about Violation and Violence but pursues to find various avenues to contribute to the future of his generation, built upon meaningful VALUES that would be accessible and serve the Humanitarian needs of others. He believes that these are the tools that we should also use to empower and be empowered, and through his work find ways that would contribute to Children, Youth, World Peace, Human Rights, and Humanitarian& Voluntary Services.
Ashan Perera, an alumni of one of the most prestigious public schools in the country; Royal College; is a Youth leader, Youth Activist and Human Rights Advocate of Sri Lanka. Ashan in these past few years has devoted his entire life to serving society. Many doors have opened to him to seek and discuss possibilities on how he could realize this vision and to achieve his goals. He has been successful in many areas by working concurrently with government and none governmental organizations both in Sri Lanka as well through his International collaborations which he have been successful in establishing over these past few years.
Ashan’s work captured the attention of many. Some of the high points of his work were proven in being selected as a Senate Member of The National Youth Parliament of Sri Lanka and in 2012. he was awarded the ‘International Human Rights Hero Award’ in Brussels, as the first Asian and Sri Lankan. In recognition of contributions made to world peace, human rights and children both locally and internationally. He was also awarded and recognized as one of the JCI Ten Outstanding Young Persons in Sri Lanka in 2014. He was the Asia ambassador at the International Youth NGO Summit 2015 held in Chennai, India. Having experience serving as a Committee member at the International Gathering for Peace and Human Rights in AFRICA. He was a Contributor to the drafting of the National Youth Policy, the Colombo Declaration on Youth, the SAARC Youth Charter and the National Policy and Strategy on Health of Young Persons in Sri Lanka. He is the Global Youth Advocate for United Nations MY World 2015 Campaign and SDGs and is the Global Youth Advocate for the United Nations HeforShe Campaign. These are merely a few of the accolades he has received over the years.
Ashan has proved that having initiated a series of ‘Clubs’ to serve the local community as a young boy from the age of 8 has not only given him the ability experience the many discipline required to make the right decision and choices but has also proved that he has what it takes to ‘Reach out’ with kindness and compassion.
“We have the power to affect change, while I believe I have the capacity to influence the positive development of the human mind through positive change; together we have the power to reach out as a unified global network of youth representing our nations to be the ‘A Voice for the Voiceless and Affect Change’ for Peace and Global Harmony in our societies” – Ashan Perera
Advisors and Directors
Mr. Ravi Karkara – Global Youth Advisor
Ravi Karkara is a trained social worker with commitment to advance human rights, participation, inclusion and gender equality, accountability and social justice. He serves as a Senior Adviser Strategic Partnership & Advocacy to the Assistant Secretary-General/Deputy Executive Director of UN-Women. He has worked with several organizations on gender mainstreaming with a specific focus on children, youth, women - UN Women, UNICEF, Save the Children among others -successfully advocating the role of boys and men in gender equality from a life-cycle and gender transformative approach. He is also the recipient of prestigious NOVUS Award, that unites global shapers from around the world to tackle the today's grand challenges via actionable change.
He served as Global Advisor on Youth with UN-HABITAT. He is lead author of the groundbreaking report “Youth 21: Building the Architecture of Youth Engagement in the UN System,” which contributed to the creation of United Nations Secretary General’s Envoy on Youth. Ravi represented UN-HABITAT as the co-chair of the UN Interagency Network on Youth Development. Government of Sri Lanka appointed him as the Global Advisor to the World Conference on Youth in 2014, focusing on youth perspectives in developing post-2015 development agenda. Ravi also served as the Global Advisor Strategic Advisor on Partnership with UN Millennium Campaign. He relentlessly supported UN Secretary General’s My World 2015 survey reaching close to 5.5 million youth. Ravi is co-chairs the Policy Strategy Group for World We Want 2015 – largest UN & civil society data-curation-visualization Big Data platform.
He has extensive experience in facilitating and managing strategy development processes with diverse range of audience ranging from policy makers, development workers to local communities. He has extensive experience in knowledge creation and management. He has written more than 80 publications and has given keynote and panel addresses across the world.
Bruce Ferguson – Global Coordinator and Partnerships – Mentor
Bruce Ferguson, Founder and Executive Director of Ferguson Humanitarian Foundation International, Inc. (more commonly known as FHFI).
Bruce was born, in San Francisco, high on a hill, in mid summer of 1953 and shortly thereafter moved to India with his mother in 1957 at the age of 4½. He and his mother lived in India for the following 10 years. Bruce’s mother taught at a Christian boarding school, Woodstock School, high in the Himalayas, still ranked as one of the best preparatory schools in the world.
Bruce went to school in possibly the most beautiful spot in the world, Mussoorie, Uttarakhand, India. At 6,000 feet the hill station has an incredible panorama of natural life cycling through every season. Bruce learned some local languages, but even more gained an appreciation of the depth of culture found in all over India, in which he and his mother immersed themselves every winter break period.
After graduating and 2 years at University of Arizona, Bruce worked in various organizations from health care to sales and non-profit. He is now employed in the payments industry, and is an 18 year veteran at the company he has helped expand.
Proffesor andré de quadros –
Advisor , Director Art for Peace and Development (senses and Soul)
André de Quadros, conductor, ethnomusicologist, music educator, writer, and human rights activist has conducted and undertaken research in over forty countries around the globe.
A sought after conductor and clinician, André de Quadros is Music Director and Conductor of the Manado State University Choir (Indonesia) with which he toured France, Sweden, Sri Lanka, and Poland in 2010 winning a first prize at the Warsaw International Competition, and in summer 2012 took the US by storm at the Yale International Choral Festival, New York City's River to River Festival, and engagements in Boston, Cincinnati, and Los Angeles. Upcoming engagements for MSUC include appearances at the Choralies festival in the south of France in August 2013 and the World Symposium on Choral Music in Korea in 2014. De Quadros’s previous conducting engagements of note include the National Philharmonic Orchestra of Bulgaria with which he toured Spain, the Massachusetts All-State Chorus (USA), the Tanglewood Institute Young Artists Orchestra (USA), the Prokofiev Symphony Orchestra (Ukraine), the National Youth Choirs of Great Britain, the Nusantara Chamber Orchestra (Indonesia), the Moscow State Radio Symphony Orchestra, the New Monash Orchestra, and the Jauna Muzika Choir (Lithuania).
An ardent human rights and social change activist, André de Quadros believes that consensus music-making can bring people and cultures together. To that end, he has been at the forefront of efforts for music and social change. In 2008, he co-created Aswatuna: Arab Choral Festival in Jordan that brought together choirs from Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Palestine, and Syria. The festival was such a success that it was repeated in 2012. In 2010, he co-directed a historic project with Palestinian and Israeli choral musicians in East Jerusalem working to foster understanding between the two communities. This project has continued on a regular basis and is called the Community Heartsong. A staunch advocate for the democratization of music, André de Quadros teaches in two Massachusetts prisons. He is a member of the Scientific Board of the International Network for Singing Hospitals and a member of the steering committee of Conductors Without Borders. André de Quadros was part of a multi-year, externally funded arts and public health research project that was pioneered in Peru and may be replicated in other marginalized parts of the world to discover the power between the arts and public health. He is a member of the editorial board of the peer-reviewed journal, Arts & Health.