2013 Focus Magazine - Message From The President

It gives me great pleasure and pride to write this message as the President of the Association of Srilankan Graudates of Canada to the Association's annual publication "Focus" magazine which is to be released at the annual dinner. The ASGC has successfully completed another year of community services successfullywith the dedicated services of the members of executive committee and I would like to express my sincere gratitude for their passion and commitment for servicing the community on behalf of the Association. The annual dinner and release of Focus magazine has always been a reminder to our members that the current term of the executive committee is about to come to an end and time for a fresh start again with new ideas and vision for our continued community services.

Association of Srilankan Graduates of Canada was established as non-profit organization in 1989 by the unversity graduates of Srilankan origin from various universities to create a common forum to connect their common history to foster friendship and strengthen their relationship among them to share their knowledge, experience, expertise and connections, for the common benefit of all to settle down in the adopted land and to improve the profile of our community in the mainstream community of Canada. Initially, the main objectives of the association was to help foreign qualified graduates of different disciplines to get accreditation of their qualifications with various profession bodies and universities to gain profession memberships and pursue higher studies in their fields of education, through organizing workshops, seminars and networking. In addition to being a local forum in Canada for the betterment of its members fellow graduates, our association provided help and support for the Northern and Eastern Universities within its limited resources

As the need for the initial objective diminished, the focus of our assocaiton changed more towards improving the education and professional needs of our younger generation through organizing Job Fair for young graduates and career counseling (Guidance For Higher Studies) workshop for Highschool students. We have been organizing career counselling workshop for more than a decade to provide guidance for higer studies for highschool children, to help them make well informed decision about their higher education to achieve the best to suit their potential with good prospect, leading to a rewarding career and fulfilling future irrespective of their backgroud and economic situation. This year our "Guidance For Higher Studies Workshop" was attended by more than three hundred students and parents and those attended appreciated the way it was professionally organized and the valuable information they received. This was facilitated by the continuing support we received from our younger generation of graduates who have recently passed out from the Canadian Universities and working in various professions. They not only selfishly shared their experience of the path of higher education they followed to achieve their qualitification in their budding professional career and in fact they were an inspiration to the highschool student who attended the workshop.

The vision of our mission has always been to improve the educational and professional profile of our community not only in the main stream life of Canada, but also to support our brother and sisters to lead a better life back at home. We are operating mainly with an annual budget of less than ten thousand dollars, and could achieve so much over the year, in the life of many students, we could contribute more towards our community if we could recieve support and participation from the community and our members. Over the past many years, participation of members has been steadily coming down and need to be revived to continue our community services. We are not discouraged by the lack of participation but encouraged by the fact we still continue serve our community with the support of hard core members, and call up on all our members to back and join force with us to increase our membership to build our Association great and possible as a think tank of our community.

Wish you all a happy and prosperous new year. Thank you.

P.Balendran B.Sc.Eng., P.Eng.
Consulting Engineer,
President, ASGC