All good things come to an end, but the next experience awaits! In such spirit, this article is aimed to catch three birds in one stone (strictly metaphorical): we want to say thank you, look back at the progress made and give our newbies some exclusive intel as to how the club works, how they can contribute and what kind of work to look forward to in the year to come, so, here we go!
Here goes the first bird! (Yes, metaphorical) The past year was, to put it simply, remarkably momentous. From the most lively dance parties to the most charitable of events, we truly did it all as a club, and none of this would be possible had it not been for the amazing team behind it all. Starting from our president Rtr. Gethmi Adikari who always looks like she’s having a good day for some mysterious reason, the exco and the board of Directors were simply amazing. Our secretary Rtr. Tharushika Peelikumbura, deserves her own shoutout, she was omnipresent and somehow made it to every meeting, every project and every event at least for a few minutes, and was still very approachable every time we needed advice. Our co-vice-presidents too are very deserving of a few lines here, if there was an event, you could definitely count on Rtr. Yohan Soyza to be there for all kinds of support but most importantly, he’s sure to have taken more photographs than the official photographer, and Rtr. Kavindi Gunawardena we would say is so full of energy, who is always motivating us with her “you can do this!” She’s also a drama queen who makes jokes but would also be quite firm if it comes to that. Our Treasurer, Rtr. Dinithi Athulathmudali is responsible for coming up with a rather cool fundraising project featuring a very fashionable t-shirt amidst her very important role managing all finances. Very much behind the scenes yet fundamental to the progress made by the club, Rtr. Udani Jayalat, and Rtr. Heshani Dharmapala our co-assistant secretaries and of course, Rtr. Ranmali Fernando who was tasked with making sure we stay disciplined, great job! All of you!
Coming in sharp for that second bird (metaphor, we promise) we thought we would line up some of the most outstanding projects we carried out last year, emphasis on ‘most outstanding’. Starting off strong with the Community Service Avenue, led by one of the sweetest (and consistent) people you will meet, Rtr. Buddhimali Parindya did a phenomenal job conducting multiple community based projects. We thought we would let you know all about the project ‘Mau Diriya’, a nutrition promotion program among pregnant mothers which took place in the MOH office in Aralganwila Polonnaruwa. During the 1st session of this project, a nutrition awareness program for the participants was held which was then followed by distribution of essential rations. This project was continued on for a second phase which was held on the 17th of February and encompassed a field visit to Aralganwila where they met five pregnant mothers to discuss their issues to then seek sustainable solutions. A second distribution of dry rations was done here as well. If you haven’t noticed people, this is truly where service meets fun and fellowship! Aside from ‘Mau Diriya’, a honorable mention goes to the project Yaluwa, a collaborative effort catering to children with Down Syndrome.
Moving on to the International Service Avenue, the director is truly so entertaining! Rtr. Jayani Herath, regardless of the situation, always has something relevant yet amusing to say, we would also like to commend her persistence over the months. The Chosen One of the IS avenue is….. (pretend drumroll)…. Project Kuppiya 5.0! It was held on the 9th of October via Zoom. The avenue teamed up with the Rotaract Club of Bahauddin Zakarya University Multan for the project. The session, which was on “Inflation in Economy”. Phase two of Kuppiya 5.0 was equally remarkable as it was an informative session on scholarships, internships, and volunteering opportunities. The Honorable Mention in this category goes to project Nayak which was a collaborative effort aimed at building the leadership skills of Rotaractors, a three-day program of two hours.
The avenue where they claim to have the most fun, the Club Service Avenue! Rtr. Oshini Hewawaduge initially led the avenue and she sure loves to explore, have fun and travel, unfortunately, personal commitments had her move abroad. It was then led by our now president and secretary, Rtr. Jehan De Silva and Rtr. Bhagya Piyamudalige, you may have heard all about Jehan in our last publication, but if we are to elaborate on Bhagya: hardworking, creative and kind would be our choice of words. They together organized some of the most happening DJ parties at university, of which we would pick Baila Night as our favorite(is anyone surprised?)! Everything from the color scheme, dress code to décor was perfection, it was a solid 10/10. Organized for the 14th time in the rich history of Rotaract Arts, it was held on the 18th of March 2023 at Ideahell. It was a collaborative measure with the Rotaract club of the Cinnamon Gardens. The night was packed with food stalls and had a variety of fun games and dancing items that kept the guests well entertained. The beauty pageant, during which the titles of “Baila King and Queen” were crowned, was a highlight in the night’s festivities. The DJ party, which had all the guests rocking the dance floor, marked the conclusion of this rather lively night. Oh the honorable mention you ask? O’Spooky! The Halloween theme party which had us all cosplaying!
Moving on to the Professional Development Avenue, it was directed by Rtr. Sarasi Adhikari. How would we introduce her? Wholesome, optimistic and down for anything fun, creative and exciting. They were quite productive over the year and if we are to pick one, we would say project ‘Beyond the Labels’ takes the cake! It was a joint project in collaboration with the Rotaract club of University of Colombo School of Computing. The project encompassed three webinars along with a post series covering everything from bullying and harassment in the workplace to allying for diversity and inclusion. The webinars were conducted by well-known speakers in the arena including Bhoomi Harendran and Shanuki De Alwis! Project ‘Writing Clinic 3.0’, which was done in collaboration with the Interact Club of Girls’ High School Kandy too deserves a shout out. The project aimed to improve the English writing skills of G.C.E Ordinary Level and G.C.E. Advanced Level students and was a great success! It was carried out in two phases. The first phase consisted of an online session conducted by a group of volunteers, while the second was a literature workshop.
So, to let you in some of the promised intel, we did not have a Public Relations avenue until this year, yes, the new directors are doing a fantastic job this seems almost impossible to believe. But our secretary Rtr. Tharushika Peelikumbura had a mission and that was to teach us all how to go about Canva and all things design, the project had multiple phases and had sessions on Premier Pro, Lightroom, Illustrator among others. She powered through this project with such consistency and dedication and if you ask us… we would say it was one big success!
The membership development avenue was led by Rtr. Anuradhika Nethsarani and Rtr. Yasal Samarajeewa while they didn’t do projects on their own being a new avenue, they were proactive in getting people involved and increasing the membership of our club!
Of course we saved the best of the last (yes, we said it.) The Editorial last year was led by two wonderful humans, Rtr Shihara Ferdinando and Rtr. Tharini Ratwatte. (Cue a whole bunch of adjectives from talented, hardworking, creative, funny, innovative, sharp to witty and the list goes on) They did some really interesting projects and even crosswords! Of all the projects, we would say ‘The ‘UNI’verse’ bags the prize. The idea was simple, get everyone to send in articles on their personal experience of university, what made this project so special was the relatability, everyone read everyone’s articles and while the experience of anything is rather subjective, we came to see how different yet at the same time similar our experiences of university was, whether it was about homesickness, or academic stress, or in some cases even the monotonousness. While the Co-Editors and the Co-Chairs (Rtr. Kusali Rupasinghe and Rtr. Jasi Pakeerathan) had further plans for the project, our year end exams had bigger plans. (You can read all about The ‘UNI’verse here: https://rotaractarts.com/category/blog-series/ )Now for our honorable mention, you know how works of art are almost always creating vivid images in your mind? imagine that image to be straight out of a horror movie! Yes, The Ghoul Game took us through 13 mysterious locations which truly did twist our perception of each of these places. (curious to read? You can find all the articles here: https://rotaractarts.com/category/blog-series/the-ghoul-game/ )
So much said and we haven’t even gotten to the third bird(We swear guys, just a metaphor), so let us brief you on how you too can get involved in our projects and yes, the promised intel. If you’ve read so far you have an idea as to the kind of projects each avenue does, and it’s still not too late to join any of the avenues if you find their work interesting! An interesting bit of knowledge is that while we direct the avenues, it is from the members we will choose chairs for our projects, so be proactive and don’t shy away from giving them your ideas, it would be a great opportunity to enhance your leadership skills, social skills and make friends not only within the club but also outside all while having lots of fun! We also look to you get ideas for prospective projects so yes, you can call us the Aladdin’s Lamp, if you have a vision and a plan, we will be happy to provide you resources and assistance to bring it to life! (provided your vision aligns with the vision and mission of Rotary of course). The board for the year are all very proactive and approachable, you can always come to us for any related issue and share your ideas! We are always up for a challenge and would love to see your ideas worked through, as someone long time ago said, be the change you want to see in the world!
That brings us to the end of today’s article and let us sum it up as follows: a massive thank you to our past exco and board of directors, you did a fantastic job guiding us through the year and gave us lots to learn and remember. Moving on to our newbies, hope the brief outlines of projects gave you an idea as to the kind of work we do and how you can get involved, and more importantly, we hope you’re ready to join us for a year of service, fun and experience!
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