Sinthuja Perinparajah

Ms. Sinthuja Perinparajah is an animator at the Butterfly Peace Garden in Sri Lanka. Since 1996, the Butterfly Peace Garden has provided a sanctuary in the Batticaloa war zone. Recognized worldwide, it is a unique counseling and recreation center that provides psychological support to children traumatized by war. Most of the children who come to the center suffer from post traumatic stress disorder, depression, and anxiety.Many of these same children are missing limbs due to encounters with land mines. The counselors or animatorsʺ at the garden offer children emotional healing, ethnic reconciliation with other children, and peace probably for the first time in their young lives. Children are brought to the Butterfly Peace Garden each day from surrounding villages in groups that are mixed with respect to gender and ethnicity (e.g. children from Tamil and Muslim villages). A typical program cycle runs one day a week for nine months and involves activities drawn from a range of visual, dramatic and musical arts. Activities are conducted by adult animators skilled in one or more artistic discipline, who have in many cases experienced psychological wounds similar to those of the children who come to the Butterfly Peace Garden.  The Butterfly Peace Garden has for several years served as a model for innovative and effective programs for war‐affected children, families and communities.