Interview: Hansy Paboda

Interview: Hansy Paboda

While you require no introduction to the members of the club, for those out there that may not know who Hansy Paboda is, could you please provide a small introduction about yourself?

Hi! I’m Hansy Paboda and I’m 22 years old. As some of you already may know, I’m a student at the University of Colombo, majoring in Economics. In addition to all that, I am also the International Service Director here at Rotaract Arts for the Rotaract Year 2021/2022.

For particulars, I’m known to be a simp for Neil Patrick Harris and Andy Samberg. One of the MANY interesting facts about me is that me and my younger brother share a thirteen-year age gap! My easily stressed and carefree nature, panic attacks and ambitious character (or so I’m told), is definitely not a great combination for a determined Rotaractor to have. Yet, I just managed to get through the year just fine!

You’re known to be someone who possesses a razor-sharp focus for the things you are passionate about, we are told. In that vein, what was your vision for this year’s International Service Avenue?

Is that so? Well, I believe that the audience will be the better judge of whether I happen to be a passionate person or not. But as for the vision that I possessed for this year’s International Service Avenue, it was surely a zealous one.

I wanted to complete five projects for the year including one physical project. From which we were able to complete three including the physical project. My vision was to make the members feel something special and memorable while making an everlasting impact on society. I believe that we strive as a club because of our members and it’s the most important part of our club, therefore giving them the best experience in the way I could was my responsibility.

What changes did you strive to make to distinguish the International Service Avenue of this year from previous years? Is there still a ways to go in terms of the International Service Avenue achieving its true potential?

Aha! The previous years of the International Service Avenue were indeed glorious, particularly under Sandunlakeha akki and Amilindu aiyya! The International Service Avenue was something to look up to during their respective tenures. Taking over the legacy that they have created was quite challenging.

After an amazing Rotaract year under Methmini akki, which was mostly virtual given the obvious circumstances, the challenge was to shift into a physical Rotaract year. Even with all the hardships that came our way, we managed to overcome these challenges and I am more than happy about that!

I personally believe, without a doubt, that the avenue has a long way to go and can achieve more in the coming year.

Are you content with the team that you have been given the opportunity to lead? How have they helped you propel your projects from ideas to reality?

Of course! I am both delighted and in despair about the team that I had. Delighted that I was fortunate enough to work with them and in despair as it’s now time to leave them on their own. “Mage lamai tika” will always remain in my heart forever and I would never ever forget the support they gave me to make my dreams come true as the International Service Director!

Sometimes my team was more passionate and driven towards achieving my project ideas and making them a reality than I was! I’m truly grateful for all they’ve done and would never in the world exchange them for anything else!

What are some achievements of the International Service Avenue this time around that you are the most proud of?

Shell Out!

This was the physical project organized by International Service Avenue this year. An initiative whose objective was to help sea turtles and preserve their habitats. We selected a sea turtle hatchery in Kosgoda and visited it to offer our volunteering services. Although I have to mention the hardships that the nation was going through in general and how hard it was to carry out the project. But amongst all obstacles, we did it! 

The next in line to lead the international Service Avenue this coming Rotaract Year has been announced and it is none other than our good friend Rtr. Anjalee Wanduragala. What are your thoughts on this appointment? Is there any advice that you would like to convey to her before she takes up the role?

I bet that I’m more excited for this coming year than her! Rtr. Anjalee was the first member in my team to chair a project for the International Service Avenue. This was Kuppiya Phase I and she did an absolutely fantastic job! She took things into her own hands and handled everything on her own. It goes without saying that she is a driven and passionate individual. I am extremely proud of what she has achieved and where she is today. I step down in a couple weeks as a proud predecessor and I hope my successor will achieve greater heights for the avenue in the future. As cliché as it would sound all I would like to say to her is “be yourself”. I say this because she is amazing the way she is and I will always be around to lend a helping hand if she is ever in need of absolutely anything!

As our Rotaract year comes to an end, it will no doubt be a bittersweet departure. But what would you personally like to see the International Service Avenue do in the future?

I would like to see them shine like no other in the future! I might not have been able to secure any award this year but I’m pretty sure that the club will be able to take up the “Most Outstanding International Service Initiative of the Year” in the coming future. I wish nothing but the best for the upcoming board. Strive for excellence!

– Interview conducted by Rtr. Vibhath Jayasinghe and Rtr. Janidu Wijebandara

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