Akshika and friends after the Google Summer of Code Introductory Session at University of Moratuwa

Akshika Wijesundara, while studying in the University of Moratuwa received the opportunity to work as a student ambassador for Google. There he was able to learn about innovative Google products and programmes and act as a liaison between Google and the university conducting sessions about various products.

Sustainable Education Foundation (SEF) is the brain child of Akshika Wijesundara, which he formed with his friends in order to conduct island-wide sessions about Google products including Google Summer of Code.

As the founder of SEF, Akshika Wijesundara says that the sessions conducted by the foundation are mostly aimed at university students. The foundation provides free educational content for everyone.

“Our aim is to make this foundation a platform for providing free, quality education for every Sri Lankan,” Wijesundara elaborated on the goal of the foundation. According to him the foundation invites high achievers in universities island-wide, to conduct sessions. At the same time inspirational sessions are conducted by various personalities from different disciplines.

Other than conducting sessions about Google products the foundation contributes in many ways to make the education process more successful by conducting sessions about start-ups for business purposes, how to apply for a PhD, contribution of women for technology and preparing students for Advanced Level.

“At the beginning we conducted sessions at the university premises. But when the university is far from the capital it is more time consuming travel to these universities to conduct the sessions,” says Wijesundara. Consequently, now they have moved from physical forums to virtual using Facebook Live, the most commonly used live platform. “Our live sessions can be accessed via Facebook @sustainableeducationfoundation,” informed Wijesundara.

Hosting virtual sessions has broadened their audience as anyone from anywhere can participate. Virtual sessions are also more effective as videos can be saved to be accessed by anyone anytime.

High achievers from universities, professionals from various disciplines and personalities with inspirational ideas are invited to host live sessions. According to Wijesundara, anyone who wishes to conduct a live session with SEF has to follow a set of guidelines provided by the foundation. In order to ensure the quality of live sessions speakers are expected to conduct a trial session in the presence of a member of the foundation.

“Though it’s been only six months since we started hosting sessions via Facebook Live we have a gradually increasing audience and the number of reaches for the sessions increases day by day,” explained Wijesundara.

According to Wijesundara, although the crowd tuning into live sessions varied according to subject matter dealt with in the sessions, they receive positive feedback as the audience opine that the sessions are thought provoking and inspirational.

“In order to get the sessions to reach a wider audience we hire student ambassadors from universities to create awareness among the students, added Wijesundara. Oshani Weerakoon, Dinuka De Silva and Sasika Silva are among the volunteers who joined SEF to assist with marketing and PR.

If anyone wishes to get inspired by professionals of various disciplines, seek advice for start-ups, meet achievers from universities, receive tips regarding matters related to education, then SEF is the best platform that meets all these needs.

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