Revisiting ‘Mithudam 2.0’
Distance education or online learning during the Covid-19 pandemic has undoubtedly deepened inequalities among the communities of Sri Lanka. The Rotaract Club of University of Colombo, Faculty of Arts together with the Leo Club of University of Colombo, Faculty of Arts focused on addressing this issue through Project Mithudam 2.0. The two clubs also approached Hype Sri Lanka as an outreach partner for better networking purposes. Our community service director, Rtr. Sithmi Edirisinghe coordinated the project with the help of the two chairpersons Rtr.Gethmi Adikari and Rtr.Oshini Hewawaduge.
With the uncertainties surrounding the complete eradication of the pandemic, distance education seemed to be the only solution for all students. Therefore, our intention was to assist a few students who were finding it difficult to carry out their education with the best possible solution at a time like this, by providing them with access to remote learning. It was decided that we would run poster campaigns through online media platforms to collect funds in order to buy one or two brand new mobile phones and distribute them to students who will be facing either the Grade 5 Scholarship examination or the G.C.E. Ordinary Levels in the coming years.
The project took an unexpected, yet pleasant surprise thanks to our generous donors who enabled us to collect enough funds to purchase five brand new Samsung Galaxy M01 Core smartphones, five headsets, and five packs of various stationery items like books, mathematical instrument boxes, and pens.
Though it seemed like the most crucial part of the project was done, the rest proved to be much more difficult considering the quarantine curfew regulations. Due to this very reason, we had to change the location we selected from a rural village in Kurunegala to a rural village in the Central hills named Meegammana.
Rtr. Sandali Rupasinghe took the responsibility of coordinating with Mr. A. R. P.Thilakaratne, Principal of Meegamanna Junior School, Wattegama, and Mrs. Kanchana Rathnayake, English Language teacher of the school to find five deserving students for the donations to be distributed among. We went the extra mile by finding students with siblings who were schooling and facing the same set of issues so that the smartphones and stationery items could be shared amongst their siblings. Ultimately, while the completion of Mithudam 2.0 took a little longer than we expected, the outcome of this project is of great value as we managed to benefit a total of nine students.
The mobile phones, headsets, and the nicely wrapped stationary packs were distributed to the students while adhering to Covid-19 guidelines on the 12th of September, 2021, and all we could witness was happy tears not only in the eyes of the young students but also in the eyes of their guardians as they showed their heartfelt gratitude.
We believe that Mithudam 2.0 gave so much hope to the future generation of our country and contributed to the students’ future endeavors. The project also incorporated two sustainable development goals – Quality Education and Reduced Inequalities. We couldn’t have been more proud and honored to be able to be a part of such a promising project and we thank each and every individual who contributed towards Project Mithudam 2.0, you all have truly changed a little one’s life and inspired so many more.
– Rtr. Sandali Rupasinghe
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