At the age of just 12, she has won awards in Europe, has been named a youth ambassador,and continues to excel academically at school. She credits her parents for the successes she’s achieved so far.
“If I were to compare the two countries, I would say Sri Lanka is my mother, and Oman is my father,” says Binara Yenuli, by way of introduction. “Yes, Sri Lanka is my motherland, it is where I am from,but Oman has been like my father, in that this country has given me the opportunity to succeed and learn all of these achievements.”
“When I grow up, I want to help contribute to the development of others…I want to primarily help the people in these two countries,” added the 12-year-old. “I don’t know what it is I exactly want to do when I am bigger, as I am still very young right now, but I know that whatever I do, I would like to contribute to Oman and Sri Lanka.”
Successes for Binara – who studies at Sri Lankan School Muscat – have already come thick and fast.
In February this year, she was invited to take part in the HundrED Youth Ambassador Programme for 2021.She is now one of 100 young people in school who have been selected to inspire change in others through research projects, global surveys, and community events. She is also this year’s youngest youth ambassador.
To encourage people to take more interest in the world around us, she composed, sang and designed the music for her self-titled song, ‘Wake up Mom’, which asks all of us to contribute more actively to saving the planet and its environment. That song won her a five-star commended award in the Singer and Songwriting category at the UK Song Writing Competition 2020, where she competed among 9,000 contestants from 84 countries. Amazingly, that song apparently only took her a few minutes to come up with.
“The way we are going right now, we will never be able to preserve our environment for future generations,” says Binara, candidly. “If we want the world to be beautiful, then we must protect our environment and help every child get a good education. That means poor children, orphans, disabled children, and all the others who cannot go to school. Specifically, I hope to help move forward while encouraging other talented children to innovate.”
Her award in the UK is not the only one she’s earned for her singing talents: she won the Special Jury Award at the Europop Singing Competition in Berlin, and finished first runner-up and was given the Best Audience Performer Award at the I-sing competition in Stockholm.
Her capabilities with words don’t just stop at singing either: Binara won the first runner-up award at the Oman Gavel Club public speaking competition. She then scored 95 percent in a public speaking course at Harvard University. The young girl’s achievements have seen her honoured by OL Ameer Ajwad, the ambassador of Sri Lanka to Oman, who was among the first to receive a copy of her song.
“Our ambassador has been very supportive towards nurturing the talent of his countrymen in Oman, and I want to thank him for his encouragement,” says Binara. “I am also most grateful to all my teachers, who have guided me, as well my parents, who have given me their utmost support.”
Her father, Prashan Rasanjaya, provides some insight into her successes, which have also extended to her academics.“Whatever she has wanted to do, we have encouraged her to follow,” he admits. “In all of these activities, she takes after my wife. She is a very selfless, caring person who always sees the good in others, and our daughter wants to be just like her. It is her mother who has encouraged her to take up singing and public speaking.
“We have never forced her into any activity…on the contrary, she has come and told us of the things she wants to pursue,” added Prashan. “We are so happy to see our child do so well. If there is anything she wants to do in future, and it is something she enjoys doing, she will definitely have our support."