“Let’s get together to change the world, Turning it Around with Raini”

Raini was featured in the first-ever music edition of the Turning Point Dialogue series by United Nations SDG Action Campaign

On September 17, with the vision of driving collective actions, mobilizing sectors to drive change, and reminding world leaders the Global Week to #Act4SDGs was launched.  As Sri Lanka’s global convening partner, “The Road to Rights” launched a campaign to create one million actions from Sri Lanka as part of the Global Week to #Act4SDGs.

The Road to Rights is a youth-led international voluntary organization that was founded in 2009 and received the United Nations SDG Action Award in 2018. In order to make this Global Week a success, the Road to Rights implemented four major projects which gained individual support from all parts of the country.

During the Global Week, millions of people demonstrated that there is hope beyond the pandemic by taking action around the world and contributing to a healthy, just, and green recovery that leaves no one behind.

“Tree for Life,” to plant one million trees in Sri Lanka, “Un – Plastic Week,” to encourage the country’s zero use of plastic, “Change a Life,” to spread kindness and love, and “Frontline Heroes,” to feature the stories of inspiring people who are sacrificing their lives for the service of others during this horrifying pandemic; are the main initiatives conducted marking Sri Lanka in the global map with Million Actions.

Raini Charuka Goonatillake, a popular Sri Lankan singer, recording artist, actress, and voice trainer for young and upcoming singers, was featured in the first-ever music edition of the Turning Point Dialogue series, which was launched as part of the Global Week to #Act4SDGs. She is the Celebrity Ambassador of The Road to Rights representing SDG Goal 06 and the first ever Sri Lankan Musician who got the opportunity to be featured during the UN General Assembly week.

At the closing ceremony Raini was interviewed by the Director of the UN SDG Action Campaign, Ms. Marina Ponti and she expressed her gratitude for the opportunity to work with her and the Founder of The Road to Rights, Mr. Ashan Perera.

Raini responded to Marina’s first question by saying that the tree-planting campaign, which aimed to plant one million trees in Sri Lanka during Global Week, inspired her the most, and that, in her opinion, it is an amazing achievement for the country and a great deal for the world. She also mentioned that digital cleanups and beach cleanups are two other projects that she strongly supports. Raini also agreed with Marina’s tree-planting sentiments, saying, “Planting trees is such a beautiful action that inspires people to reconnect with the future and also to look at nature.”

As this is the first music edition of the Turning Point Dialogue series, she spoke about the power of music stating that music is a global language that can reach people in ways that we cannot reach people in other ways.

She used a lovely example to demonstrate this. Music is like water, and it bends accordingly. If we are a box, water transforms into a box and instructs you, and if we are a circle, water enters the circle and changes accordingly. As she explained, music teaches us how to behave in different situations. Music, in her opinion, can inspire people, tell stories, give people visual imaginations, and teach people to shift their minds in a positive direction.

The SDG 6, Clean Water and Sanitation Ambassador of the Road to Rights Sri Lanka, Raini concluded the Global Week to #Act4SDGs with her mesmerizing performance on September 28th. It was truly a moment of pride and awe for Sri Lanka. Her outstanding performance was broadcasted on UN web TV, and the entire world witnessed it.

Ms. Marina then thanked the millions of people who took action around the world and helped make the Global Week to #Act4SDGs a success. She thanked everyone for sending a very clear and valuable message to world leaders: “if there was ever a time to truly turn things around, to imagine and create a better word, to turn apathy into action, fear into hope, and division into togetherness, that time has come.”

As a concluding remark; Raini invited everyone to join her and millions of others around the world in demonstrating what change looks like and working together to transform the way we live our lives by prioritizing the needs of others and the planet!

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