Shamilka Karunanayake – Finalist of UNYD 2017 Sri Lanka

Shamilka Karunanayake

Shamilka Karunanayake an Ambassador of IVolunteer International became a finalist in the United Nations Youth Delegate (UNYD) programme 2017/2018. IVolunteer International Writers’ Council interviewed Shamilka who aspires to volunteer extensively and play a part in the lives of others.

1. Shamilka Karunanayake speaks about herself

I’m a final year student at Sri Lanka Law College. I studied at Girl’s High School Kandy. I hold a B.Sc. in Human Resource Management and Leadership from the University of Northumbria and am a diplomate in Diplomacy and Global Affairs. My aspirations are in the field of diplomacy and international relations. I am a passionate volunteer. Currently I am volunteering for IVolunteer International, Without Borders and H3 Foundation which are youth driven organizations. Furthermore, they strive to change the status quo and help the less privileged.

2. What is your involvement with IVolunteer International?

I’ve been an ambassador of IVolunteer International since December, 2016 . IVolunteer is a youth nonprofit organisation with a vision to elevate the quality of human life across the globe. As a result, the organisation and its founders have shown me the countless possibilities to contribute to society. The purpose is to create a culture of global contribution through volunteerism by inspiring individuals to volunteer for causes they care about, whenever they are free. It has been a great privilege to have been able to not only volunteer but connect volunteers to a variety of projects. Consequently, IVolunteer has been a strength in my journey through out.

3. Which projects are you currently involved in?

I am most fascinated with the Changing Classrooms project done by Without Borders which I’m currently involved in. Since February, 2017, I’ve been teaching sixth graders Spoken English in a fun, creative and effective way at Dehiowita National School. The project will expand further in the future.

4. Why UNYD?

The UN Youth Delegate programme is the best opportunity a young change maker could get to represent the youth of Sri Lanka. The youth amount to 25% of the island’s population, the highest possible level. The UNYD being the messenger and facilitator, who bridges the decision making world leaders and the youth is a huge responsibility and a challenging task.

The very first United Nations youth delegate of Sri Lanka, Jayathma Wickremanayake is today the United Nations Secretary General’s Envoy on Youth. She is a true example for us all.

5. What inspires you?

Inspiration comes in all sorts of ways. The efforts made by many youth leaders across the world and the amazing results that they bring about with minimum resources and multiple challenges always triggers hope. In addition the sense of satisfaction in being able to positively touch lives of others also, drives me to do more.

6. Any message for the youth?

Shamilka KarunanayakeWe are fortunate to live in an era with the largest youth population this world has ever seen. Also, imagine the democratic and demographic significance this embeds! Youth is a high power engine. In addition, they generate quality imagination with a strong will to inspire the good and change the bad. Therefore, what they can do is beyond imagination.

Resolution 2250 on Youth, Peace and Security brought into life by the UN Security Council empowers the youth to legitimize their peace building efforts. Since, Sri Lanka is a supporter of this resolution, identifies the power of youth.

Finally, it is my opinion that one must not wait to be told or to be empowered. Instead start doing something small with no expectations in return, because the little efforts of every single person matters.


“If you ever think you are too small to be effective, you’ve never been in bed with a mosquito!”

Youth Activist Wendy Schaetzel Lesko

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