• Last Update 2024-06-13 18:08:00

Sri Lankan-Italian on a humanitarian mission for a better Sri Lanka

Opinion

Miss. Christina Githmy - Legal Consultant, Founder of “Passionate Hand” and CEO at Messiah Group

Today, as adversities and challenges multiply, certain people stand out for their courage, compassion, and commitment to society’s well-being.

Christina Githmy, a Sri Lankan based in Italy, is an inspiring example of a woman who has embraced the humanitarian cause with passion and dedication. Unfolding herewith is her story highlighting her motivation, challenges and the positive impact she seeks to generate through her actions.

Christina presents herself as a passionate humanitarian. Over the past three years, she has tirelessly dedicated herself to improving the quality of life in her community.

Determined to make a difference, Christina, formed “Passionate Hand” a non-profit organization registered under the Italian Government that works to uplift the most vulnerable in society in situations of poverty, disease, social injustice, illiteracy with the help of various Italian entities that strive to improve the living conditions of individuals and communities bringing back hope and light, a place where she could make a meaningful impact.

Being a Political Activist, Christina also serves as a Legal Consultant specialized in Human Rights at the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights representing in matters involving human rights abuses in areas of human trafficking and unlawful detention of refugees who migrate to Europe and Africa and providing legal assistance to Italian nationals and immigrants.

Christina’s story is influenced by the context of the Sri Lankan community in Italy. She was a 23-year-old candidate in Milan’s October 2021 municipal council election. Being the youngest candidate representing all immigrants in Italy’s Milan, she witnessed the challenges confronted by migrants during her campaign for city council elections.

“Alarmingly, the least integrated community in Italy is the Sri Lankan community. The majority work in low-paying employment. Most of them are ignorant about the nation’s legal system. Language barriers were prevalent, causing significant challenges in their jobs and everyday lives,” Christina said.

Although many in the younger generation are progressive, they have a fairly low political participation rate, she added. In an effort to reduce inequities, the largest opposition party in Italy has been advocating for them through workshops, where Christina is also an active participant.

Christina works directly with the community, primarily addressing domestic violence as most young women experience abuse at the hands of their spouses, and girls being tormented by their own fathers.  

Assisting all the communities, not only the Sri Lankan immigrant community, love, focus and determination drive Christina on her humanitarian journey. She finds strength in the fact that her actions bring happiness and fundamental change to those who need it the most.

Her resilience and passion keep her steadfast in her mission, shielding her from the distractions and obstacles that may arise.

She also mentioned the unity that surrounds her in this. “Together, we all work. My efforts to improve society are supported not just by the Italian-Sri Lankan community but also by everyone around.

Being back in her motherland, Christina focuses on increasing awareness of the need for youth participation in politics and for citizens to be conscious of their surroundings.

 

Zero political interest among the Sri Lankan youth is a concerning issue that underscores the importance of political participation, she stressed.

She further intends to conduct talks emphasizing the importance of political participation of the Lankan youth.

Her approaches include developing her “Passionate Hand” foundation in Sri Lanka as a commitment to social justice benefiting the Sri Lankan community as a whole.

In addition, she has the goal to establish “Messiah” in Sri Lanka, an academic institution registered under the Italian Government that endeavours to provide top quality education to children and bring about innovative solutions in the field of private education and child development.

Adding that she further outlined, “We’ve jumped ahead several centuries. It is evident that we are regressing despite the establishment of numerous international bodies to address global challenges. The question remains whether we have done justice and if world leaders are doing enough.”

“I do not believe that we will be moving into a promising future but the third world war if the youth does not act accordingly,” she noted.

After five years away, Christina returns to Sri Lanka and believes there is still much work to be done since the country is in a stagnant position compared to when she was last here, where it was thriving.

Adding that she said, close-knit relationships with developed nations are a major concern for Sri Lanka. “As a Sri Lankan, it saddens me to remark that, Lankan Envoys, despite their greater capabilities are not contributing to their share,” she further noted.

“Every sector in Lanka requires improvement. Authorities should prioritize humanity and consider the broader context, rather than solely focusing on their benefits. Sri Lanka needs reforms in laws to improve its legal framework, particularly in protecting children and women's rights, as they are being systematically snatched away,” being a Legal Consultant, Christina pointed out. 

Christina is an inspiring example of how an individual can positively impact the lives of others through compassionate and dedicated action. Her story reminds us of the role of citizens in nation-building.  

Her appeal to society is a call to collective responsibility of each Lankan into taking a step towards the country’s development, discouraging corruption, striving for common goals with self-assertion.

Her words remind us that we all have the potential to make a difference, whether through moral, spiritual, psychological or practical support.

All in all, Christina’s message was clear: helping one another is an act that enriches us all and creates a more empathetic and caring world.

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