without TYO, I don’t think I would have achieved half of what I have accomplished in my life so far

The evening of November 2004 is still fresh in my mind; as per year, I attended Maaveerar Naal with my family. One thing I am very grateful for is my upbringing. My parents always made sure I didn’t take life for granted and taught me to stay close to my culture and educated me about the struggles our people faced to get us to where we are today. I was always kept well informed of our Homeland and the decades of discrimination we faced as Tamils, but never really understood how I could help or contribute to Tamil Eelam as a student.

The colours black, yellow and red filled the arena and there in front of me stood two girls in sarees representing our Eelam colours. Little did I know that one of them would be one of my dearest and closest friends today! As well as opening horizons, TYO has brought a lot of its members close together to work as one close knit family!

TYO is like a family, they are family! I’m sure my fellow TYO members can relate to this when I say, without TYO, I don’t think I would have achieved half of what I have accomplished in my life so far. Not just academically, but for helping me develop as a person. Most of those skills listed on my CV would not exist if it weren’t for TYO providing us with the platform to learn and enhance professional life skills. TYO too has definitely come a very long way since it opened doors to the youth back in 2004. Project after project, I don’t recall there ever being a real break. If it wasn’t trying to organise a gardening project or show, it was a boycott or Twitter campaign. With the expanding knowledge, they are still coming up with fresh and new ideas! Yes there have been those obstructions that would try and delay the path we’re taking, but standing and working together has seen TYO jump those hurdles to get to where they are today.

Reflecting on the past ten years brings tears of joy and pain. I know pain will remain embedded deep within our hearts, thinking about all the lives that were sacrificed along the way, but I also know that every one of our members can lift their chin up high and vow they will continue to fight until our Maaveerar’s dreams are fulfilled!!