WERC celebrated the life of one of its founders, Bernadeen Silva through an art competition that invited young artists between the ages of sixteen and nineteen to express their thoughts on the theme ‘Creating a Better Working World for Women.’ Approximately 100 art works were on display at the exhibition held on the 8th and 9th of October at the J.D. A Perera Gallery, Colombo 7.
The competition which encouraged young artists to recognise the immense contribution women make to the economy of their countries through paid and unpaid work, saw an overwhelming participation of school children from Colombo, Jaffna, Vavunia, Trincomalee, Batticaloa and Chillaw. Their artwork depicted the need for strict law enforcement, education and lobbying by women’s activists groups as actions that need to be taken in Sri Lanka to create a better working world for women.
A professional panel of judges selected the best submissions and accordingly K. Christina Gray of Good Shepherd Convent, Kandy received the first prize of Rs. 50,000. The second prize of Rs. 30,000 was won by Irosh Sampath while the 3rd Prize of Rs. 20,000 was won by Pasindu Laksara Fernando of St. Thomas College, Mt. Lavinia.
In the Special Needs category, H.H.A. Uthpala Chandimal from Sevana Home for the Differently Abled won the first prize. While the second and third prizes were won by Kumodani Dehiwattage and Sisura Ransika of Daya Mina Special Centre in Nugegoda.
The Canadian High Commissioner Designate to Sri Lanka, David McKinnon was the chief guest at the opening ceremony which was held on the 8th of October. Kuniyoshi Ito, Second Secretary (Political Sector), Embassy of Japan and Governing Council Members of WERC – Prof. Camena Gunarathne, Dr. Vagisha Gunasekara and Mrs. Dinali Fernando, also graced the occasion. The exhibition was widely publicized in the print, television, radio and electronic media.