Journey Through Rotaract – Rtr. Thilini Alahakoon

Ms. Thilini is one of the charter members of our club and went on to serve the District as an Editor. After graduating from our university she continues as a Lecturer supporting every student when they reach out to her and still continues to support our club in every way possible. We learn more about Ms. Thilni on her ‘Journey Through Rotaract’

What made you join Rotaract?
The honest answer would be… friends! I was one of the Charter Members of our club and was not familiar within the movement when I first heard about it. So friends were the reason I joined Rotaract. However, what kept me in Rotaract afterwards was the idea of being part of an amazing movement where young people were striving to make a positive change. 

How did Rotaract influence you to become the person you are today? 
Rotaract is one of the most self-fulfilling things I have done. It brought out many skills in me I didn’t know existed and provided me a lot of opportunities to display those skills. 

As for your opinion how can Rotaract help an undergraduate to develop themselves?
The degree will soon become the basic qualification needed to do even a basic job – this is actually the situation in foreign countries already. In this situation, employers would want to know and see evidence of differentiation, which is, how undergraduates demonstrate skills like time management, flexibility, leadership skills and teamwork. I see movements like Rotaract as “the” solution for this issue as it will help undergraduates develop and perfect the skills employers expect. 
What changes can a Rotaractor make in the society compared to an ordinary person?
A Rotaractor is a youth volunteer. As youth volunteers, Rotaractors usually stand up for causes that are worth fighting for and lend a helping hand to those who need it. This is what the society needs today and Rotaractors can help initiate and carry on changes down those lines.     

What is your most memorable or treasured experience being a Rotaractor?
Being the District Co-chairperson of World Down Syndrome Day Celebrations 2013 was undoubtedly the most treasured experience. It was a gigantic task I undertook with Rtr. Minoli Ranasinghe and it gave me a huge sense of achievement at the end.  

Were you able to give something out to the society as a Rotaractor, or was it more towards self-development?
I feel that both of these are like the two sides of the same coin that cannot be separated. The more I engaged myself in different projects the better I became as a person not only in terms of self development but also in terms of self fulfillment. Even though I did my best during my time in Rotaract, there is much more I could have done to the society. 

What do you think about the position of the club as at now?
I remember the club getting the award for the Best Upcoming Rotaract Club of the Year in our very first Rotaract District Assembly. It was a proud moment for all of us. The club receiving the Best Rotaract Club of the Year in the Rotary District Assembly 2016 recently is proof of its journey and success. I am proud of all it has achieved within the past few years and I feel like it’s exactly where it’s supposed to be in terms of performance. 

Why would you recommend someone to join Rotaract?
Rotaract is a great platform for people to explore their skills, contribute positively to the society they live in, network with different people from all over the world and simply have fun. 

What advice would you give the new members to make the most of being a Rotaractor?
Be resilient to tough times. Get actively involved in Club activities. Collect as many memories as possible because it’s all going to be worth at the end. 

What do you feel about your journey as a Rotaractor?
I am happy I joined Rotaract, delighted about the things I have achieved and sad that I am not a part of it as a Rotaractor anymore. However, as I am still at the Faculty, I don’t feel like my journey has ended and it’s a pleasure seeing my students achieving greater heights than I did as a Rotaractor. 

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