28th of May 2022 was one of the most remarkable saturday evenings for all of us, as the new
board of directors and the executive committee members of the Rotaract club of Faculty of Science, University of Colombo for the year 2022-23 were installed. My fellow rotaractor, Rtr. Supun Samarasinghe was appointed as the vice president in charge of the avenue while rotaractors, Rtr. Oshadha Gammaracchi, Rtr. Lakjaya Perera and the one and only girl, Rtr. Omethya Illeperuma, were assigned as the directors alongside with me for the Community Service (Com Serve) avenue.
Then the five of us created a small WhatsApp group along with our President, Rtr. Dihan Lakthila, which was named as “Best Avenue – Com Serve”.
The first task we had to do as the officials was to form the year plan for our avenue. Our main target was to continue the signature projects done by our avenue. Funniest memories were laid at the virtual meetings we had when we formed the year plan. Rtr. Supun and I used to argue for most of the time. Some meetings even gave out the vibe of the Sri Lankan parliament, where Rtr. Lakjaya, who remained silent for most of the time, opens his mouth to settle the two parties. At the latter part Rtr. Oshadha and Rtr. Omethya would also join the party and express their likes and dislikes for each point we argued on, which helped a lot in ending the meeting without dragging till the next morning.
We initiated the year with one of our signature projects, Akhankara which had already won awards in the previous year. It is a well-known project of our club because of the support provided by it for the students in rural areas to overcome their hardships and bloom brightly into the world. We decided to hold this project in 3 phases. For the first phase, which lasted for about 19 weeks, we visited the Ilukovita Secondary School to teach the subjects Science, Mathematics and English for the grade 11 students of that school, to support them to face their Ordinary Level Examinations which began at the end of May 2023. Volunteers from our club engaged in this project very much with great passion and commitment.
Every weekend, they came early in the morning to catch the 6 a.m. bus which took us to Ilukovita. They interacted with the students at that school with so much joy and enthusiasm. But we can never forget the way the Principal and the parents of the school treated us whenever we went to that school. They never wanted to send us with an empty stomach. They always treated us with delicious food and tea even though it was hard for them to bare such an expenditure. Phase 2, which was named We Guide, was done by the volunteers of our club in collaboration with the island wide organization Sasnaka Sansada. A past papers discussion for the Ordinary Level students of Ilukovita Secondary school was done in this phase.
As the 3rd phase, a practical seminar was conducted for the subjects, Chemistry and Physics. Akhankara was done combining 2 sub-projects, Nena Harasara and Epsilearn. Nena Harasara comprised of a prize distribution for the students at that school who passed their Ordinary Level examination last year. Rtr. Supun’s idea to encourage the current grade 11 students and to appreciate the grade 11 students of the past year by this prize distribution came to its highest success, evidently shown by the glistening eyes of everyone who witnessed the event. Epsilearn was done as a collaboration with the Delta society of
University of Colombo, to provide those students with extra knowledge in Mathematics. Project Sewana which was launched next, was another community service project conducted for the children of the Sewana Lama Nivasa. As funds were required for our main event, we organized a fund-raising project as the first phase of this project. For this, a car wash was organized near the BRC grounds, Colombo.
As the second phase which was named as Bloom Hearts, we took the children at the Sewana Lama Nivasa on a trip to the Kelaniya water park. Members of the organizing committee worked hard to make this event successful. Not only them, but also the volunteers of our club who joined with us to give the children a wonderful experience. As the final phase, a post series was shared to motivate the differently
abled, and to promote equality.
The last project for the Com-Serve year of our club was Healerz, which was done in collaboration with the Rotaract club of Faculty of Indigenous Medicine, University of Colombo. Our main intention of this project was to build awareness among plantation workers about particular illnesses and injuries they would have to face in the field, and the appropriate treatments for them.
The year 2022-23 was a year to remember filled with both hard work and happiness. Vice president,
avenue directors, organizing committee members and the volunteers were the 4 corners of this main
portrait of “success”. And at last I shall mention, that the unexpected WhatsApp group meetings at night
hosted by Rtr. Supun were never a happy sign for us. Even though he began with the line “just 5 minutes
machan..”, the meetings surely lasted for about three hours each time. But he never hesitated to appreciate the hard work of his fellow friends.
Before wrapping up, again I would say that it was a great joy for me to have a flash back to a year back through my pen, and I am so proud to be one of the directors of this avenue where I met so many wonderful souls and wonderful adventures.
By Rtr. Hirusha Munasinghe