The Youth Empowerment Grant winners will have the opportunity to improve their communities by meeting the goals of these projects, but also to help build the capacity of these respective organizations as they succeed and expand.The U.S. Embassy says it is proud to fund such a diverse range of creative projects from the Youth Empowerment Grant recipients; this is the fourth year the Embassy has held this program, and the U.S. Embassy has contributed a total $661,326 (around SLR 86 million) for 57 projects since this program began. “We are supporting groups by empowering youth to address gender based violence, increase information technology use, address socially-critical issues through the arts, and empower the hearing-impaired – just to name a few,” Ambassador Sison said. “These projects are happening in Monaragala, Hambantota, Matale, Anuradhapura, Colombo, Kilinochchi, Trincomalee, Puttalam, Galle, Polonnaruwa and Jaffna, which points to the diversity and reach of these proposals.” Chosen from an extremely competitive pool of proposals, the 18 winning recipients were awarded for creative ideas that will benefit local communities and make a difference through youth leadership. The United States, through the US Embassy in Colombo, is to help Sri Lanka fight gender based violence and address socially-critical issues.U.S. Ambassador to Sri Lanka Michele Sison awarded $173,481 (approximately SLR 22.5 million) to 18 Youth Empowerment Grant winners whose projects will help enhance their local communities, the US Embassy in Colombo said today.