Rotaract Arts 23/24 : A Year in Review

Rotaract Arts 23/24 : A Year in Review

“All good things come to an end” or whatever corny thing they said about endings and new beginnings… RotaractArts has seen the end of yet another term and what better way to celebrate if not to revisit the highlights of our year? So, here we go!

June

As the first project of the year, the co-directors of the Professional Development Avenue conducted the ‘Into the Future’ session, which was organized by Unilever SPARKS of University of Colombo in collaboration with the Rotaract Club of the University of Colombo Faculty of Arts and the Career Guidance Unit of the University of Colombo Faculty of Arts. It was held on the 18th of July at university premises and was an informative session on artificial intelligence and technology in the future of work. Overall, we could confidently say it was a big success and an amazing kick-start to our year!

The Editorial also launched The Love Gazette which was a series where the authors looked at love in all its shapes and forms. This project went on for a good three months and amassed around twenty-five articles! We explored sibling bonds, romantic love, self-love, and even parental love! A big success if you ask us!

August

The inaugural project of Club Service Avenue,  ‘Sweet Grass’, by the Rotaract Club of the University of Colombo, Faculty of Arts, was held at Viharamahadevi Park on August 19, 2023, the event was a remarkable success. The park transformed into a vibrant hub of engaging activities, showcasing the club members’ dedication and organizational skills. From interactive games to artistic stalls,  ‘Sweet Grass’; brought the community together in a memorable way. Kudos to the club for this fantastic initiative!

The very first project of the community service avenue took place on the 17th August 2023 at Arawwala Dharmapala Vidyalaya. Project ‘Pruthuvi’ sought to distribute plants to rural schools with the aim of addressing climate action ( SDG 13). They got 25 plants from Department of Ayuruweda and distributed them to above mentioned school. The resource person was climate change and sustainability specialist, Ms. Dona Avishka Shamindry Sendanayake. With whose support they conducted an awareness session for students about importance of tree planting, how it can help to address climate action and other related SDG goals and finally rotaractors together with the school children planted the herbal plants Props to their project chairs: Mandeera Premaratne & Dulasha Thanuli, who did a splendid job!

The Environmental Service Avenue concluded the ‘Tree Plantation project,’ also recognized as project “pruthuwi,” in collaboration with the Community Service Avenue. Our special thanks goes to the staff of ‘Erewwala Dharmapala Vidyalaya, Pannipitiya,’ and express our gratitude towards Ms. Avishka Sendanayaka, who served as our Climate and Sustainability specialist and played a crucial role in this initiative. Additionally, we’d like to show appreciation to our chair, Dulasha Thanuli Rajarathna, for her participation in this endeavour.

September

 The month of September was exceptional for all the Rotaractors since the 14th installation ceremony was scheduled to be ceremonially done. The new board was ceremonially installed into their respective positions! You can read all about this on the Installation post made by the editors!

November

The environmental service organized its project “Sobaru” which was a visit to the Baddegana Wetland Park on the 11th of November. We would like to extend our thanks to our two amazing co-directors, the chairs of the project and all our participants for their support and cooperation.

The most awaited sports showdown became a success with all enthusiastic sportiers’ active engagement. The Rotaract Champions League was held for two days in November. The sports fiesta consisted of a varitey of sports such as Athletics, Swimming, Cricket, Badminton, Table Tennis, Basketball, and various other indoor and outdoor sports.  All sportiers manifested their spirit, resilience, and determination in the field for the ultimate aim of gaining victory. It was such a moment for all the sportiers to get together and manifest their true colors and skills. And the good news is, the avenue is looking forward to more sports events like this in the future!!

December

The professional development avenue kept busy during December as they successfully carried out the writing clinic for the 4th consecutive time. This year, it was held at Royal College Wayamba, on the 5th of December. The volunteers from the University took to sharing their knowledge and to no one’s surprise, the feedback was incredible. RotaractArts was invited to hold further sessions by the kids, which is now at the discretion of our upcoming board!

The International Service Avenue, in collaboration with the Rotaract Club of the Faculty of Medicine, partnered with the Rotaract Club of Bahauddin Zakariya University in Pakistan to organize “SEE WELL TO BE WELL” a free color vision session. The event, which successfully concluded on the 13th of December at the Faculty of Arts, aimed to raise awareness about color vision and its impact on overall well-being.

The club service avenue ended the year with an absolute blast! O’Santa 2023 was held on the 2nd of December in collaboration with the Leo Club of University of Colombo. It was a fun-filled evening filled with Christmas sleigh, dance, music, and good food!

January

The Editorial announced our new project, “Cinematic Narrative,” where we explored the diverse tastes of our members through their reviews of movies, TV series, and other productions. This project, co-chaired by Rtr. Barani Imasha and Rtr. Chamodi Peduruarachchi, officially started on January 22nd, marking the beginning of another exciting chapter in our editorial endeavours. It concluded in March with 17 articles!

In January, the club reached new heights with the triumphant execution of the third project of Club Service Avenue, “Baila Night,” in collaboration with the Rotaract Club of Cinnamon Gardens. The event, held on January 26, was masterfully led by co-chairs Vibhavee Sarathchandra and Dulanya Dewnethmi. As they bask in the success of this vibrant celebration, their sights are set on the future.

With the dawn of a brand-new year, the International Service Avenue has extended its global reach on behalf of our Rotaract Club by successfully exchanging letterheads with the esteemed Rotaract Clubs of Manipal International University (MILA University) in Malaysia and Anna University in India.

The Membership Development Avenue’s project, ‘Ambalame Thaala’ was a great success, with many Rotaractors and university undergraduates joining to celebrate the joys of music on the 16th of January. The organising committee, led by Rtr. Mandeera Premarathne and Rtr. Dinushika Fernando, outdid themselves with this project, as we were able to marvel and embrace the spirit of happiness while basking in the evening sun. This project not only promoted the Rotaract Club of the University of Colombo, Faculty of Arts, but it also brought together students from all years for fellowship.

The Environmental Service Avenue began the year with its first-ever project for 2024, titled ‘Blue Horizon.’ This project featured two phases; the first of which involved an exhibition on the theme ‘Discover the tales etched by Sand and Waves’ featuring many of our talented undergraduates and their artwork. This exhibition successfully took place on the 12th of January at the University of Colombo. Phase two took us to the ‘Sea Turtle Farm and Hatchery’ in Koggala on January 20th, where we embarked on a mission to safely guide baby turtles to the sea. In addition, we were able to donate multiple items to support the farm’s crucial mission of protecting these endangered species. A big thank you to all who contributed in making this project a resounding success!

February

The Public Relations Avenue completed two projects during the month of February. The first project was called‘LinkedIn Launch’, and for this project, PR Avenue created a series of posts to hype up, publicize, and launch the newly opened account of the Rotaract Club of the University of Colombo Faculty of Arts in the LinkedIn application. The account was created by the PR team in hopes of panning out career opportunities for undergraduates and postgraduates alike, and the “LinkedIn Launch’ posts relayed this message. The second project was called“Wise Toons”and this project took place for almost two weeks. ‘Wise Toons’ was done with the aim of increasing inspiration among the community by posting a quote each day by popular and well-loved cartoon characters. The PR team created the quotes, which were then posted to our social media accounts.

March

The Community Service Avenue wrapped up yet another one of their projects, Sparklean, on March 24. The project was to clean our Arts faculty’s premises, but of course, it went beyond that. They not only picked up trash from the Awula area (you know that spot!) but also donated a brand new compost bin to the university cleaning service to help them keep things eco-friendly. Sustainability for the win, we say!

It wasn’t all work and no play, though. To celebrate a job well done, we ended the day with some fun games. A big shoutout goes to the EXCO/board members and the awesome volunteers who came out to lend a hand!

Club Service Avenue played a key role in the celebration of our 14th Charter Day on March 26. That’s right, our club turned 14 this year! Rotaracters gathered for the celebration, and it was an afternoon full of camaraderie, some delicious refreshments, and a shared love for service.

The festivities were capped off with a heartwarming song segment, uniting all present in a harmonious celebration. The event solidified the enduring spirit of fellowship and dedication to service that defines our club and its dedicated members

The Professional Development was abuzz with activity as we embarked on an empowering journey through three remarkable projects: “Beyond the Labels,” “පුරවර කථිකාවත”, and “Prospecto ’24.”

  • Phase 1 of “Beyond the Labels”: Inspiring Interviews

The avenue kicked off the month by delving into the stories of remarkable women who have conquered the professional world. Through insightful interviews, conducted jointly by the Rotaract Club of the Faculty of Arts and the Rotaract Club of KDU Southern Campus, we gained valuable perspectives on the challenges they faced and the paths they took to success.  Their stories served as beacons of inspiration for all.

  • Phase 2 of “Beyond the Labels”: Enlightening Webinar

Continuing our commitment to professional growth, we hosted an engaging webinar featuring a distinguished guest speaker. Dr. Kaushalya Perera, Senior Lecturer at the Department of English, University of Colombo, Sri Lanka, graced us with her wisdom on women’s empowerment and provided insight into how female undergraduates can overcome challenges in the university.

  • All-Island Inter-School Debating Competition

In addition to our empowering initiatives, the Avenue organized an all-island inter-school debating competition, namely පුරවර කථිකාවත,” bringing together 40 schools from across six provinces and 11 districts. The quarter-finals and semi-finals, also known as the “Super 8 phase,” were held on March 30th. As we congratulate the winning teams, we advise you to brace yourselves as we gear up for the grand finale, where the best of the best teams will compete for the ultimate title.

  • Prospecto ’24: Career Guidance Seminar

Continuing our commitment to professional growth, the organizing committee of “Prospecto ’24” hosted a valuable seminar featuring guest speaker Mr. Priyanga Wijewardana, the Strategy Planning Manager at Sri Lankan Airlines Ltd. Mr. Wijewardana provided insightful guidance on aligning one’s passion with their prospective career, inspiring participants to pursue their dreams with purpose. 

March was an eventful month for the International Service Avenue, marked by several significant activities. The avenue facilitated another letterhead exchange with the Rotaract Club of RVCE University, India, bolstering cross-national connections. Additionally, the avenue participated actively in the Cultural Holidays Online Meetup, which was jointly arranged by the Rotaract Club of Pakistan’s Bahauddin Zakariya University and a few other clubs. This virtual gathering, which took place on the 10th of March, provided a platform to celebrate cultural diversity, promoting understanding and appreciation of different heritages.

Moreover, on March 28th, the avenue hosted the highly anticipated Forensic Inquest project in collaboration with the Rotaract Club of Anna University, India. The event delved into forensic investigation, featuring esteemed guest speaker Prof. Muditha Vidanapathirana, Professor of Forensic Medicine and Dean of the Medical Faculty at Uwa Wellassa University.

April

The most exciting event of the season, Rota Awurudu, was held on April 10 at the University of Colombo Grounds. It was held as an initiative of the Rotaract clubs of the Faculty of  Arts, Faculty of Science, Faculty of Management and Finance, and Faculty of Law. Dressed in colourful traditional attire, participants enjoyed the day to the fullest with exciting Awurudu games and activities. This was a great moment for all rotaractors to get together and embrace the value of their culture and tradition.

The Professional Development Avenue’s enriching project “Beyond the Labels” was finally concluded in April with the much-awaited Phase II of the project which was the Guest Lecture featuring Dr. Kaushalya Perera, Senior Lecturer at the Department of English, University of Colombo, on empowering women. Through an interactive and informative session, Dr. Perera gave us valuable insights into the challenges female undergraduates face at the university and the strategies they can employ to reach the pinnacle of their university life.

The International Service Avenue powered through with the project “Voices of the Inner Storm,” initiated by the Rotaract Club of the Faculty of Medicine, University of Colombo, in collaboration with our club, the Rotaract Club of the Faculty of Arts, University of Colombo, and the Rotaract Club of Benin, Nigeria. This project spanned the months of April and May. Upon the completion of poetry submissions focusing on life experiences related to mental health and poems portraying psychiatric illnesses, the project then shifted its focus to the recital of the submitted poems. Through guided video submissions, participants were given the opportunity to recite their own poems, or volunteers could recite poems. 

May

The Community Service Avenue wrapped up a successful year by collaborating alongside the Sports and Recreation Avenue on the Vesak Dansala held on May 25th, offering bread and seeni sambol to the community. This one-time event proved to be a big hit, drawing a large crowd and leaving a positive impact.

The Dansala wasn’t just about serving food; it served as a wonderful platform for club members to celebrate Vesak together. Members of both avenues showed excellent teamwork and coordination in planning and executing the event. As such, the Avenue directors extend a big thank you to the organizing committee for their hard work and dedication. They made the Vesak Dansala a huge success, marking a fitting and beautiful end to the Community Service Avenue’s projects for the year.

June

June was undoubtedly one of the busiest months the editorial has seen this year. We started our final project, “UNIverse Part II,” in which our incredible writers journaled their experiences at the University of Colombo’s Faculty of Arts. So far, we have published about 11 articles, and we are thrilled to say that they have received much love from both the writers and readers. 

Additionally, the editorial has published a series of customary “Thank You” articles by the outgoing executive and board members for the Rotaract Year 2023-2024. We sincerely hope that all of you enjoyed reading these 15 articles full of lessons, musings, and reflections from a group of people who genuinely strived to create a better community around them.

Well, what a year you may ask? It was a wonderful line up of projects that were both full of impact and fun. We would like to extend a shout out to both the board and the members who made all this a possibility. We would also like to thank the MIR team for the years 2023 – 2024 for helping us document all these wonderful memories! Hoping for more to come in the next year! Well then, that’s a wrap!

-Co-Editors Rtr. Sajani and Kusali

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