Books are works of the mind that, through the variety of their contents and different forms of human expression, feed our shared intellectual heritage in all its diversity. They are instruments of exceptional creativity, that faculty which enriches every human being. They are tools for freedom: the freedom to think, to express oneself, and, providing no obstacles are in the way, to inform and to communicate in its deepest sense.
Unfortunately, these sources of wisdom are only accessible to a limited section of the population, unable to penetrate all social strata.
Taking this into account, the Rotaract Club of Faculty of Science, University of Colombo endeavored to improve the lives of disadvantaged children living in underprivileged communities overseas by empowering and emboldening them through the culture of reading.
Ralithi, initiated by the International service avenue of RACFOSUOC with the unwavering support of the International Youth Alliance for Peace (IYAP) in Sri Lanka thus took place for the second time this year.
With the purpose of improving the literacy of children living in deprivation, the project was carried out in 2 significant phases; the donation of audiobooks along with the donation of second-hand story books.
Audiobooks were created based on three stories illustrated and published by Rotaractors of team Ralithi last year.
- Life by the sea, by hand, written by Rtr. Dasith Tilakaratna and voiced over by Rtr. Mindula Perera.
- Say ayubowan to Taprobana, written by Rtr. Rashmi Leema Kurukulasuriya and narrated by Rtr. Damindri Herath, Rtr. Sanduni Kannangara, Rtr. Deshitha Jayarathne, Rtr. Jayavi Kuruppu
- Little Bindu’s Brilliance, written by Rtr. Theekshana Manujaya and narrated by Rtr.Nipuni Wanniarachchi, Rtr.Zainab Cassim, Rtr.Sanduni Theekshana , Rtr. Ruchila Wijeratne, Rtr. Jayavi Kuruppu, Rtr. Deshitha Jayarathne.
These audiobooks will reach minorities, students, and the general public of rural areas in districts Morang and Jumla in Nepal very soon.
This phase of project “Ralithi” ended as a massive success owing to Rtr. Hiroo Gamage and Rtr. Dasith Tilakaratna who took initiative in the Audio engineering process giving life to great products.
As the final phase, a used storybook donation drive was held at the university premises where club members actively took part in the donation of children’s story books they once cherished, sharing the joy of reading with blooming young minds in indigent communities of Nepal.
They say books can take you places. At Ralithi, we sent books to places, from our shelves to those much in need, sharing the magic of reading across the globe. These books will reach the deserving communities shortly.
Thus, the sails of the ship of literacy reached the coasts of yet another destination marking a milestone in its journey.
As Martin Luther King Jr. Wisely said “Everybody can be great because anybody can serve. You don’t have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. You just need a heart full of grace and a soul generated by love…”
Kudos to Team Ralithi for a fruitful dénouement and great teamwork!
Rtr. Jithaka Alexander