“Knowledge is power only when shared”
For the 5th consecutive year “Akhanakhara”, two underdeveloped schools located in the Kegalle district were selected to encourage the students by presenting with the right morale to access better and quality education, which they truly deserve.
On the 27th in the month of April we left from Colombo early in the morning to reach Ilipangamuwa Mahena Kanishta Vidyalaya located in the Tholangamuwa, Warakapola area. From the Panane junction, we found ourselves cramped up in a tiny bus enjoying the scenic beauty of that surrounding greenery while we continued our journey. At around 9.30 am we reached the school where we were warmly welcomed by the Principal and the staff of teachers.
First off the agenda was a Motivation Programme for the school children conducted by Rtr. Pranith and Rtr. Thilini emphasizing on the importance of education. The Rotaractors shared their experiences with the students showing them the correct path of reaching for a better future. It was startling to see the happiness and the eagerness on their faces at that moment.
Later, Arts and Essay competitions were conducted under the following age groups;
Grades 1-3 : Art – “සිංහල හා හින්දු අලුත් අවුරුද්ද”
Grades 4-5: Art – “වෙසක් මංගල්යය”
Grades 6-9: Essay – “පරිසරය සුරකිමු”
Grades 10-11: Essay – “සාමය හා සහජීවනය”.
After having lunch, the winners of the competitions and Vesak greeting cards nicely created by the students were selected by our very own qualified panel of judges Kithmee, Shalika, Kasun D., Nadeeshani, Sachini, Pooja, Nethmi and Thilini. While all of this were taking place, a bunch of Rotaractors led by our very own Miss Vice President were going in circles around the village trying to find the school.
Along with these events, the task of paving the toilet area of the school and making the cement slab that can be used by the junior students, came to end.
In the evening, the Prize giving Ceremony was held with the participation of all the students, parents, the Principal and the staff. The winners of the arts and essay competitions and Vesak greeting cards competition were awarded with essential school equipments.
Then began the most enthusiastic event of the day, “The Magic Show” conducted by the Chemical Society of University of Colombo. All the participants without any age restrictions enjoyed the mighty tricks of Chemistry.
As twilight hit the horizon, all could see the beautifully decorated Vesak lanterns lighting up the school painted with all colours of the spectrum. Under the supervision of Rtr. Harith the Vesak lanterns were arranged into three zones as ‘Sila’, ‘Samadi’ and ‘Pragna’. The responsibility of selecting the best Vesak zone and presenting the rewards to the competitors was bestowed upon our esteemed panel of Rotaractors Dammajith, Madhuka, Bhagya, Charitha, Merrica and Praveen.
After that event, even though it was raining cats and dogs, we held our main item the “Star Observation Night Camp” with the utmost effort of the students of Astronomical Society of Nalanda College, Colombo 10. The mysteries of aliens and UFOs seemed to capture the audience and kept the young hyperactive students glued to their chairs. This marked the the end of the first day’s programme.
At midnight we enjoyed a bath from the “පීල්ල” which was nearby the school. I’m pretty sure that the residents who near the “පීල්ල”, were far away from sleeping through the whole night, because of Rtr. Madhuka’s (Jayantha) and Kasun’s (Sepa) screaming 😀
The following early morning we set off to Yatalathissa Kanishta Vidyalaya which is situated in the Yattogoda area in the Kandy-Colombo road. At that moment, first year Rotaractors’ bus which left the University of Colombo premises in the dawn reached the school.
With no hesitation, the Rotaractors hurriedly got into painting the main hall which was 130ft long. Admist all the hard work, the usual question of Rtr. Anuka, “At what time are we going to have lunch?” recurred in the air multiple times. Also Rtr. Devinda’s specific one man show was going on which the new comers to the club were graciously welcomed to watch it free of charge. While some were painting the building, some of them were being painted by others for the thrill.
To the astonishment of the Principal, we were able to finish painting the building before 5 pm. At the end of painting there was a huge demand for “Kerosene oil” and “Thinner”. With great appreciation from the Principal we set off to leave the school, back to Colombo.
With that Akhankhara Phase II came to an end giving a meaning to its main purpose of helping students with financial difficulties to achieve academic excellence while uplifting the lifestyles of the underprivileged.
~ Written by Rtr. Navishka Kularathna ~
Link to Photo Albums:
Day 01 – https://goo.gl/XbznCz
Day 02 – https://goo.gl/fD1H2i