Celebrating International Women’s Day in March, Cargills International Women’s Day Festival – The Changemakers will be held at Taru Villas – Lake Lodge in Colombo over four Mondays in the month of March. Designed to celebrate women who are championing change, and thought leaders who prompt dialogue through their work, impacts and actions, the Festival upholds women’s ability to transform, adapt and be the change, while also stimulating debate, building knowledge, expanding networks of champions and advocating gender equality. The Festival is a collaboration between online digital programme Kaleidoscope with Savithri Rodrigo and Table by Taru at Lake Lodge, a small luxury boutique hotel in the heart of the city. Each day begins with dialogue and discussion and concludes with apéritifs and canapés.
Socially conscious corporate steward Cargills is the Festival Title partner, while the UNFPA comes on board the Event Partner. In addition, the Beverage Partner is Wineworld, Healing Island is Wellness Partner, Exclusive Radio Partner is Lite 87 and Official Digital Media Partners are Hi Online, Daily Mirror Online and Daily Mirror Weekend Online.
The Festival will be held across the four Mondays of 1st, 8th, 15th and 22nd March, featuring curated panels of Change Makers and moderated by host, director and executive producer of Kaleidoscope, Savithri Rodrigo.
“Renowned for her unusual and innovative events, Taru hopes that this will be the genesis of an annual event in breaking new ground with the focus of inspire, empower and connect,” says Brand Communications Specialist for Taru Management Mahika Chandrasena. “This is why we have collaborated with Kaleidoscope with Savithri Rodrigo and these festival partners, as they share the same philosophy with a focus on helping forge a more gender equal world.”
Savithri adds, “From its inception, Kaleidoscope has highlighted achievers, pioneers, disruptors, peace builders and entrepreneurs, placing the spotlight primarily on women, as the focus on women’s achievements, their determination and commitment to instigate change is rarely spotlighted in the media. In this collaboration with Taru, Cargills and our partners coming in to support us, we are augmenting our focus on that singular mission of showcasing the important roles women have played and continue to play in this country.”
Day 1 – March 1st – The Peace Prompters: Features women activists who have been fighting to advance peace, reconciliation and nation building. Panelists are Author and Researcher – Peacebuilding and Reconciliation Sarah Kabir, Writer, Researcher and Activist Amalini De Sayrah and Director for Legal and Advocacy NCEASL Yamini Ravindran.
Day 2 – March 8th – The Pioneers: Features women who have chosen to challenge conventional career paths and now lead their disciplines with tenacity and purpose. Panelists are Triad Joint Managing Director Varuni Amunugama Fernando, Hemas Holdings Group CEO Kasturi Chellarajah Wilson and Sri Lanka’s first hip hop artiste Ashanthi de Alwis.
Day 3 – March 15th – The Creative Forces: This session celebrates who have revolutionized the creative arts. Panelists are Author and Publisher Ameena Hussein, inter-disciplinary artist and Pro Helvetia awardee Layla Gonaduwa and Principal Dancer of the Chitrasena Dance Company Thaji Dias.
Day 4 – March 22nd – The Disruptors: This concluding day will be the finale with two sessions and a networking event. The Session 1 panelists are Co-Founder/CEO of GoodLife Accelerator, Director and former CEO of Hatch Works Randhula De Silva, Founder of Ape and Co-Founder and COO of COLLAB and Co-Founder of Good Market Achala Samaradivakara.
Session 2 brings through an unusual discussion with two young people who truly disrupted the comedy realm, Gehan Blok and Dino Corera. Their discussion on the portrayal of women in disruptive comedy guarantees the prompting of lively discussion.
An extract of each discussion will also be featured in the “Let’s Talk” segment on Kaleidoscope with Savithri Rodrigo that week.