Photo courtesy of AllAsia Publications

Today is International Youth Day

Last year saw a record number of passports issued – nearly 875,000; they were not for people going on holiday but for workers escaping an economic meltdown and an unstable future.

According to figures released by the Foreign Employment Bureau, more than 310,000 people left the country for jobs overseas in 2022, the highest in history. From January to March this year, another 73,000 left.

Many of those who are leaving are skilled young people with children they need to support and educate. The lack of proper educational facilities, poor entrepreneurial development training and political instability have left many with no choice but to look for better opportunities abroad.

But some are staying to fight including advocates and enterprising innovators who have risen despite the challenges.

Their stories highlight the resilience, aspiration and action of a generation determined to shape a thriving future in their own country.

Click here to view the photo story based on interviews conducted by Groundviews with young Sri Lankans to mark International Youth Day on Adobe Spark or scroll below.

Building a Future: the Young People who Chose to Stay

Photos courtesy Anjalee Wanduragala and Shanaz Samseer