Kandy, Sri Lanka


Canada World Youth is an international non-profit organization dedicated to providing dynamic youth, ages 15–25, with an opportunity to learn about other communities, cultures and people while developing leadership and communications skills.

Founded in 1971 by the late Honourable Jacques Hébert (1923–2007) a former Canadian senator and lifelong promoter of youth and international development programs; Canada World Youth has sent over 35,000 youth volunteers in 68 countries worldwide to participate in its programs over the last 40 years  with the mission to increase the ability of people, and especially youth, to participate actively in the development of just, harmonious, and sustainable societies.

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Under the sponsorship of the Catholic Church in Marmora,  an exchange with Sri Lanka was arranged in 1985,  when 7 Sri Lankans  and an equal number of Canadian youth from across the country were boarded here in Marmora, and took part in all kinds of educational and social activities.  Part of their day was also spent on contributing to community projects arranged by various organizations in town.

Upon arrival both groups got to know each other by boarding together  in the Town Hall  on make-shift cots.  Communal meals were held and time was spent getting to know the town.  Shortly thereafter,  the two groups were paired off and taken by local families to spend the next three months in family activities.  Group activities were organized during the day.

At the end of three months the entire group repeated the experience in Sri Lanka,  boarded in the homes of Sri Lankan families.  This is a unique opportunity to become involved as a volunteer, discover other cultures, learn another language, and become a true citizen of the world.


  1. Claire & Jim Bedore
  2. Bev & Joe Maloney
  3. Wilma Bush (Brady)
  4. Glen & Marcel Labossiere
  5. Hannahs
  6. Marilyn & Mickey Maloney
  7. Joe &  Thelma McGrath
  8. Lillian & Breen O'Connor


  1. Upamalika Ratnayake & Marie-Claude Pilon (Quebec)
  2. Hamantha Kusumsiri, Paul Toffoli (Vancouver)
  3. Susantha Chandramali & Kimberly Osmond (Newfoundland)
  4. Chitra Amarasekara & Carol Shepherd (Hamilton, ON)
  5. Ramya Basnayaka  & Chris Ray (London, On)
  6. Payatissa  & Kevin Burton (Nepean, On)
  7. Sissira Manddis  & Stephanie
  8. Group Leaders -Siobhan Farrell & Lalitha Hewage

                                                                                       ACTIVITIES & PROJECTS

Renovation of train station

Tour of Water Plant, farm & cheese factory & auto factory

A day sailing

Assisting at the Nursery School


Tour of Ottawa, CN Tower, Niagara Falls, Peterbrough Liftlock

Dance at Community Centre

Putting on cultural shows at town hall

Fall fair, singing on stage

Youth coffee party at Sacred Heart

Lions Fish Fry & Farewell party

 Family outings, potluck supers

Kusum and his taxi

Kandy,  Sri Lanka. , years later.                                      The taxi in this picture is owned by Kusum

Letters back from Sri Lanka - the second half of the exchange

Adam's Peak

Sri Pada is first mentioned (as `Samanthakuta') in the Deepawamsa, the earliest Pali chronicle, (4th century), and also in the 5th century chronicle Mahawamsa, where it is stated that the Buddha visited the mountain peak. The chronicle Rajavaliya states that the King Valagamba (1st century BCE) had taken refuge in the forests of Adam's Peak against invaders from India, and later returned to Anuradhapura. The Mahawamsa again mentions the visit of King Vijayabahu I (1058–1114) to the mountain. The famous Chinese pilgrim and Buddhist traveler Fa Hien stayed in Sri Lanka in 411–12 CE and mentions Sri Pada although it is not made clear whether he actually visited it. The Arab traveler Ibn Batuta on arriving on the island in 1344 CE, and Marco Polo, have recorded their visits to Sri Pada. John Davy (1817) was the first English traveler to visit the peak, and recorded observing an oversized foot print carved in stone and ornamented with a single margin of brass and studded with gems.