Welcome to ‘Month in Review’, where we keep you up to date on the latest events here at Rotaract Arts. Our Rotaractors had a noticeably busy schedule during the month of March, which saw the completion of six projects spanning the Professional Development, Community Service, and Club Service Avenues.
Academic Writing 101
‘Academic Writing 101’, was an educational initiative which launched for the second consecutive year through the Professional Development Avenue. The project proceeded as a series of webinars that were held on the 11th and 18th of February, with its concluding session being held on the 24th of March, 2022. The prime objective of the project was to educate the participants – mainly undergraduates – about the essentials of academic writing which are constantly called for, throughout their entire stay at the university. Therefore, the sessions covered the key areas of summarizing, paraphrasing (done on the 18th of February) and avoiding plagiarism, and following a proper referencing style (covered on the 24th of May) with an introductory session being held on the 11th of February.
The participants for these sessions were amassed through a successful PR campaign that educated the viewers about their content. The sessions were then conducted under the guidance of Ms. Sandaru Diwakara and Ms. M.N.C. Perera who are experienced lecturers from the Department of English Language Teaching (DELT) at the Faculty of Arts here at the University of Colombo. The project chairs for the project comprised of the avenue director herself – Rtr S. Mohotti, along with Rtr Yohan Soyza and Rtr Hasanjalee Adikari.
‘Udana’ was a joint project conducted alongside the Rotaract Club of Moratuwa, and chaired by Rtr Tharushika Peelikumbura and Rtr D. Thevinka. Its main focus was to cater to the physical and emotional needs of teenage mothers who form a marginalized community within the Sri Lankan society, while also assisting their home during a time of economic hardship. The project spanned from the 17th of January, 2022, to the 7th of March, 2022, and took place at ‘Ma Sevana Home For Teenage Mothers’, located in Moratuwa.
The project, through crowdfunding and personal donations, successfully collected sufficient funds to buy all items requested by the home. Ma Sevana is an institution that houses teenage mothers as young as 12 years of age, who have been victims of unfortunate circumstances including rape and incest, which have placed them in a precarious and vulnerable position within society. Often hailing from marginalized communities, these young women require care, protection, and stability, which is an endeavor this joint project certainly supported.
Fandom Fight Club 2.0
‘Fandom Fight Club 2.0’, was a joint initiative that took place through the collaboration of the Rotaract Club of University of Colombo, Faculty of Arts, and the Interact Club of St. Bridget’s College, Colombo. The project, which was a friendly debating competition, spanned from the 1st of February and extended to the dates of the debate, which fell on the 12th and 19th of March. This project was being held for the second consecutive year and focused on popular fandoms which included anime, pop music, literature, etc. The fandoms for the debates were selected through popular vote, and each debating team consisted of 2-4 members who either proposed or opposed the topic by constructing their arguments and presenting them during the debate both verbally and visually. A three-member judge panel per each fandom was appointed to analyze their argument and to deliver the verdict at the end of each debate.
The project was chaired by Rtr Shihara Ferdinando and Rtr. S. de Alwis of the Professional Development Avenue alongside the AVenue Director herself, Rtr Sayuri Mohotti, and aimed at providing a platform for the Rotaractors to debate and discuss informal topics within a healthy context. The proceedings also ensured that teamwork, debating and organizational skills, along with proper coordination were inculcated and improved within the participants.
‘Sayuru Pawura’ is a two-phased project that was launched through the collaboration of the Rotaract Clubs of the University Of Colombo.
The first phase of the project – Dive Against Debris, took place as a beach cleanup and snorkeling session through the participation of the Rotaractors. The main objective was to guide young ocean enthusiasts by promoting active participation in marine conservation efforts. The project sprang into action during a time that called for support and attention for protecting marine life, especially around the Sri Lankan coastline. And considering the fact that the island bears the right to a territorial sea spanning 510 000 sq. km and extending beyond 370 km from its coastline, the need to protect the constituent marine life is overwhelmingly present.
The beach cleanup and snorkeling session were held on the 7th of February, 2022, along with the participation of seven external candidates who were selected through an online social media challenge. They were given the chance to engage in a free course for snorkeling, afterward. The project saw the involvement of over 50 participants, and also the noted presence of two experts from the Young Zoologist’s Association – Mr. Shantha Jayaweera, and Mr. Sachinda Subhashana.
The overall event lasted for 5 hours, after which a fellowship session took place, which was a bonding session for all those involved.
The second phase of the project – Riviera, was a river bank cleanup project that happened with the sponsorship of Anton. The locale selected for the project was Bopath Ella, situated in Alagwatte, Kuruwita, of the Ratnapura district. The location is a tourist attraction, which has led to significant pollution in the vicinity. The project, therefore, managed to clean up the area, and simultaneously cover the SDG goals 11, 12, and 14.
Leading with Empathy and Spirit – Charter Day Project
The Charter Day of the club was celebrated through an online webinar, educating the Rotaractors about its history, followed by providing lunch packets to the university’s cleaning staff. Organized by the Club Service Avenue, the webinar included a video of the club members describing the Rotaract experience in one word. Afterward, Rtr Anudi Karunarathne (President), Rtr Dulari Bookoladeniya (Secretary), and Rtr Samadhi Randeni (Co-Vice President) provided food packets to 10 members of the cleaning staff at the university, on the 23rd of March – an act that the recipients were grateful for, given the contemporary economic situation. The project was chaired by our CO-Vice President Rtr Samadhi Randheni, with the prime objectives of educating the club members about the organization’s history, while also exemplifying the club’s message – ‘Leading with Empathy and Spirit’.
‘Metanoia’ was a mental health awareness project that was launched by the Club Service avenue, in two separate phases – the first of which was a series of testimonials (provided by undergraduate volunteers who remained anonymous throughout the project). The second phase of the project was a webinar focusing on the very same topic and was chaired by Rtr M.Y.N. Samarajeewa, with the main objective of raising awareness about mental health issues. The participants of the webinar were also given the chance to pose their queries to the university counselor, and involve themselves in the discussion.
The testimonials for the project were collected through an online form, which was shared on the 13th of March. Later on, the university counselors were proposed as the resource people for the project, which resulted in Dr. Rajitha Silva and Ms. Nirosha Kualsekara joining the project. The project garnered positive feedback from the participants and moved several to actually continue seeking professional assistance in the future, after realizing the importance of mental health, especially within the academic context.
- ‘Enigma’ by the Editorial (Registered under Club Service)
- ‘The SDG Roundtable’ by the Editorial (Registered under Community Service)
- ‘Forespoken’ by the Editorial (Registered under Club Service)
- ‘Kuppiya ’21’ by International Service
- ‘Seoul 2 Tokyo’ by Club Service
- ‘Sustainability Summit 2022’ by Professional Development
– The Editorial
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