Our Rotaract Story – Celebrate Rotaract

 

It gives me immense pride to write our Rotaract story for the concluding year 2015/2016 as it has indeed been a special one, and better yet the best one. Starting the year off with our truly meaningful tagline “teamwork makes the dream work”, each and every individual in our club has worked effortlessly to their utmost potential to reach our targets, and thus, making our dreams work through our team work. As the Secretary of this very special club, I am indeed in grief that this year is coming to an end and as an institute based club we would no longer be a part of this club in the books, however in my heart the memories I created for the past four years will always be cherished.


When I was appointed as the Secretary of this club in our installation in August 2015 I always wanted to have good things to say when my year was ending and the achievements that we attained in the last year are beyond my expectations. Before I review our performance for the year I would like to extend my heartiest gratitude to each and every club member for their unrivalled effort to stand out in the Rotaract District 3220. I would also like to mention the support of our Guide Club Director Rtr. Ridwan for always attending to our queries instantaneously. Not forgetting the Rotaract District 3220 headed by DRR Rtr. Shakthi for always supporting us to reach our endeavors and all other past members of our Club, your support to come to where we are today is appreciated. I would also like to thank our Sponsoring Rotary Club, the Rotary Club of Colombo Mid Town led by Rtn. Saif Ramzi for guiding us and advising to reach our targets.


We have concluded over 30 projects for the year spending over LKR 4 Million. However I have picked a few special projects for my review from each avenue. It should be noted that each and every project done was with much effort from the respective committee and that all were in line with our predetermined year plan.

Achievements for the year
  • Best Rotaract Club for the Year – Awarded by Rotary District 3220
  • Rotaractor of the Month August – Rtr. Ruzni Faik 
  • Rotaractor of the Month September – Rtr. Dinath Federico
  • Rotaractor of the Month November – Rtr. Ruvini Nuwangi
  • President of the Month October – Rtr. Praveen Fernando 
  • Blog views with over 14,000 views and exactly 100 Blog Posts
  • Membership base increased by 160% to reach 160
  • Winning Best Design for the Official Rotaract District T-shirt
  • Winners of Ispy, Dubsmash Competition and Conquer Colombo

Hosting District Events

  • District Council Meeting for the Month of January
  • Hosting World Down Syndrome Day Celebrations
  • Organizing Club for Rotasia 2016
  • Hosting Rotaract Champions League 2016
  • Project Serve – October ‘Rotaract for Cataract’
Club Service

Installation Ceremony
Under the theme for the year 2015/2016 “Team Work Makes the Dream Work” the installation ceremony was held on the 14th of August at the Royal Skills and Union Center with a participation exceeding 180 guests. The main highlight of our installation ceremony was the attendance by Rotaract, Interact, District Officials and Rotarians in numbers. Rtr. Praveen Fernando was collared President for the year and he appointed 22 board members on this day. The members of the club worked with immense commitment to beautifully decorate the hall to add color to the graceful event. It was appreciated by all officials who attended the event. The installation ceremony started and ended on time due to accurate prior planning by the project chair. Our efforts to meet the guidelines were commended by the District. The installation ceremony concluded with immense success and it was a proud day for all of our club members. A big note of appreciation for Rtr. Mirangi Lanka Prasada and Rtr. Jude Fonseka and their respective committees for chairing this project perfectly.  

Sand-tastic 
Sand-Tastic mainly comprised of a Beach Clean-Up, Sand Castle Competition, Award ceremony and Interact-Rotaract get together. Members from the clubs who were there to participate for the Beach Clean-up were assigned to five different groups in which each group consisted of 20-30 members. The main reason as to why they were assigned to different groups was because; there will be combination of Rotaractors and Interactors in each group. This would in turn enhance the interaction between both the parties and build the fellowship. Once everyone was done with the Clean-Up, the area was opened for the Sand Castle competition which was the most popular activity among the participants. 


Winners of the Battle of the Greens were announced and awarded with cash prizes whilst sand castle winners also were awarded with food tokens. Finally Interact-Rotaract fellowship started with music and amazing fireworks where the get-together was organized to enhance the interaction between Rotaractors and Interactors and make new friends from the Rotaract family. It was a great opportunity to all of them to recreate the history since this had been the first project organized for both Interactors and Rotaractors. A big note of gratitude to the project chairs Rtr. Shalini Wijewardana, Rtr. Hiruni Perera, Rtr. Chatura Kularatne and Rtr. Kasun Mullegamgoda for organizing the biggest club service project our club has ever done. 


Other Club Service Projects 
• Club Trip
• Club Birthday
• Secret Valentine
• SLAM 
• Club orientation
• Fun Day

Professional Development

Glass Ice
A first of its kind, GlassIce 2015 was a life-defining positive opportunity to listen, experience and absorb invaluable wealth of knowledge from four renowned individuals in the corporate sector;  
1. Mr. Dananjaya Hettiarachchi (World Champion of Public Speaking 2014) 
2. Ms. Selyna Peiris (Director of Business Development of Selyn Handlooms) 
3. Mr. Dulith Herath (CEO  & Founder of Kapruka.com) 
4. Mr. Kishu Gomes (CEO/Managing Director of Chevron Lubricants Lanka PLC) 


It was a platform which enabled participants to interact productively with the panel of speakers who were ever ready to share their wisdom on  career progression , work-life balance, personality development, how to sustain your own business, good communication techniques, social entrepreneurship, finding and following your passion, building self-confidence and transforming dreams into reality  The success stories and the twists and turns they had to overcome were also shared by the speakers to further motivate and inspire the young participants who were present at GlassIce 2015. 

With an unbelievable pour of an enthusiastic crowd of more than 400 people GlassIce successfully ended on a grand note. All the participants ended the day with a positive thought. This was by far the biggest professional development project to be done by our District. Big note of appreciation to Rtr. Dinath Federio and Rtr. Ruvindi De Silva for their untiring efforts. 


Other Professional Development Projects
• Aspirar 2.0
• Voices 2015
• Workplace Psychology

Community Service 

Future for us
The project “Future for Us” commenced last year with the intention of improving the skills and attitudes of students and encouraging them to pursue education. We visited Pelena Central College in Hatharaliyadda and conducted a 2 day motivational camp for the students. In order to expand the scope of our project this year we selected few schools in Colombo Area visited them and identified their learning needs and provided them. In addition to the aforesaid we visited Hatharaliyadda School and conducted a similar educational camp with the help of experts. A summary of the project conducted in each school is given below.


Al-Hamza Vidyalaya: The project involved restructuring the layout of the primary section in terms of the arrangement of tables and chairs and creation of a learning environment by putting up posters and other forms of learning material on the walls and walkways. After the reorganization was done the principal and teachers was delighted with our efforts and we were told that the students were overwhelmed with joy to see a learning friendly environment around them.


Al-Iqbal Maha Vidyalaya, Colombo 02: This school was located in a highly urbanized area in Colombo therefore the lack of a green environment affected the education of the students. Our tree planting project assisted the current and future students of the said school. This tree planting program was a learning opportunity for the students as they actively participated in planting trees.


Pelena Central College: We visited the school along with six counselors of the Sumithrayo Foundation to conduct supportive counseling sessions to enrich the lives of the students through inspiration and motivation. The program targeted all 250 students of the school. During each discussion we shared our experiences in local universities and motivated the students to engage in education. Each program was creatively designed in a manner to encourage students to study. At the end of session we donated study material to the students. The Principal of the school was very thankful for the efforts that we took as there has been a clear difference in the mentality of the children after our visit last year, because 6 students were qualified to enter the local universities last year.


Project Hope
An innovative initiative where our club partnered with Jelly Bean Foundation and Panther Stationary to provide employment opportunities and thereby a source of income for the parents of children with special needs. When the kids with special needs are brought to the centre for educational purposes the mother during the waiting period will be given the opportunity of making files for Panther Stationary at 5/- per file. Through this each mother was able to earn money to fulfil their daily esstential requirements. 
We partnered and assisted the foundation to train the mothers to build the files and also spent some time at the foundation with the children with special needs. This will be an on going project where we end to find a donour and thus increase the price paid per file. A special thanks goes to Panther Stationeries, The Jelly Bean Foundation and Asha Trust Center for joining hand with our club to create a positive impact in the lives of these beautiful souls. The project chairs innovative ideas are much appreciated by us as this project will be undoubtadely sustainable.


Other community service projects
• Hasareli
• Helping Hand
• Clothing Drive
• Make a Wish
• Fight for their rights
• World Down Syndrome Day

Green Life

Battle of the Greens
Phase 1: As an initial step of the project, our club joined hands with the Clean up the World campaign as a member and started conducting activities in accordance with the Ethics listed and published on their website, and in line with their campaign theme for 2015 which is “Our Place-Our planet-Our responsibility”. Along with the “Clean up the World” campaign, our club organized a competition among the other Rotaract clubs and Interact clubs, for them to actively take part in conserving the environment by carrying out projects which help to make the environment greener. Best three projects was chosen and awarded cash prizes while other clubs were recognized by awarding a certificate of participation. 


Phase 2: This was conducted jointly with Sand-tastic 2015 which happened on the 17th of October 2015. Our club launched Battle of the Greens in August 2015, which entitled Interact and Rotaract clubs to conduct their own Green Life project and submit it for our competition. The winners were selected by the lecturers of the University of Colombo, Faculty of Management and Finance, thus ensuring transparency. The Rotaract Club of NSBM emerged overall champions for their project “Green Leaf”. This project was recognized as a novel concept as in recycles old mobile phones which would otherwise be disposed, thus harming the environment. University of Kelaniya emerged overall runners-up.


Phase 3; Earth Savers:Through this phase our club in conjunction with Abans set up waste papers baskets around the faculty to encourage students to dispose waste accurately. Further a comprehensive awareness program was carried through social media and by pasting posters within the faculty premises to encourage proper waste paper disposal. 



International Understanding

Kite Fest
The Kite Fest ’16 was organized to provide an opportunity for club members to explore different countries and cultures through creative designing and decorating of kites. It was held on the 30th of April, with the participation of over 60 enthusiastic individuals comprising of both our club members and non- rotaractors from our faculty. 


Kite Fest was a novel project which was able to break the traditional grounds of a kite festival, also providing an opportunity for all the participants to relive their childhood memories while flying the kites they designed at Galle Face Green. Hats off to the chairpersons Rtr. Kemitha Jayamaha and Rtr. Samith Palliyawaththa for pulling off this project with immense success. 


International Movie Week
The movie week was designed to enable university students understand and enjoy variations of theater in different countries.


Other IU Projects
• R-Dosthi


Finance

Beat
The mega finance project of our club will be held on June 10, 2016. This project will ensure that the incoming board would not face any financial difficulties when launching the intended projects. The project will be an evening filled with musical supremacy Featuring a remarkable combination of Sri Lanka’s top most artists, Daddy, La Signore, Kurumba and Tehan Perera at Ananda College Kularatne Hall. A note of appreciation for the respective committee led by Rtr. Thilini Leeniyagolla and Rtr. Nawangi Poholiyadde for taking up this challenge. 



Bake Sale
It was held on the second day of Rotasia 2016, which was on the 6th of February 2016 from 8.30 am onwards at Trace Expert City, Maradana. Project committee decided to sell Sri Lankan souvenirs as well because most of the customers were foreign Rotaractors. The items that were sold in our stall included homemade cupcakes, drinks such as black current, passion fruit and iced coffee, souvenirs such as Sri Lanka pins, key tags, handmade cards, Rotasia mugs and badges. A big thank you to Rtr. Devmini and Gayaka for chairing this project on such short notice.


Other Finance Projects
• Club Tshirt
• Car Wash

The most successful Blog in the Rotaract District 3220

Our club blog which was launched in the beginning of the Rotaract year went on to become the most viewed and successful blog in the District. This blog post itself marks a significant milestone as this is the 100th post on our blog. In addition to this the blog has over 15,000 views and has the reputation of covering projects of other Rotaract clubs, the Rotaract District as well as of non-Rotaract movements. The blog also has various interesting columns such as Center Stage- fun interviews with District officials, Journey Through Rotaract- an interview with some of our club’s past members sharing their experiences with the club. Since the launch of the blog an effort had been made to cover other Rotaract club events and we managed to publish around 50 such posts, where around 35 of them are installation ceremonies of the clubs. The pillars of success of the blog are the members themselves as they came forward with great enthusiasm to write articles for the blog. 


Finally I would like to thank our executive committee Rtr. Praveen Fernando, Rtr. Ruvindi De Silva, Rtr. Shalini Wijewardana, Rtr. Supun Walpola and Rtr. Ruzni Faik for their efforts to have the most successful year yet. As I conclude my yearly review, being the Secretary of this special club has indeed changed by life and I have learnt abundant which I use in my personal and professional life. If I look back at my University life, being appointed to this position was by far the best memory I will cherish and I am indeed overwhelmed by happiness that we did indeed make our dreams work from team work! I would like to convey my well wishes to the incoming board to take our club to bigger heights as we do possess immense capabilities and potential and I would also like to extend my gratitude to the incoming District Rotaract Representative Rtr. Husni and District Rotaract Representative Elect Rtr. Anuradha for their support towards our club. 

Written by-

photo Nilukshi Jayawardena
Secretary 2015/ 16 

  

 

 

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