Briona Nic Dhiarmada, Katie Brennan
Fighting For A New Generation Of Peace Builders
Growing up in the midst of a decades-long civil war, Prashan de Visser witnessed the allure of violence, how people were willing to commit extreme acts in the name of their cultural identity. But even as a young man, he knew peace would bring about a more lasting change.
De Visser founded “Sri Lanka Unites”, a youth movement to educate young people, unite them across ethnic and religious divides, and show them how peace, not war, will best preserve their country, their communities and their culture. While the group was impressively successful, he wanted to do more.
Attracted to Father Hesburgh’s vision for a new generation of peace builders who could incite change, Prashan came to Notre Dame’s Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies to earn his master’s degree. In the spring of 2015, he graduated from Notre Dame, but not before expanding Sri Lanka Unites and extending its outreach. He founded “Global Unites” with the help of fellow classmates from around the world. Its goal is to stomp out terrorism and extremism by giving young people options for peace in countries like Congo, Myanmar, Pakistan, Kenya, Uganda, Afghanistan, Somalia, Nepal, South Sudan, Cambodia, Sierra Leone and Egypt.