Journey Through Rotaract – Rtr. Praveen Fernando

He is someone who does not require a lengthy introduction. Possessed with remarkable leadership skills and social charm, he is someone who has been instrumental in bringing the club to where it is today. He is none other than our Immediate Past President Rtr. Praveen Fernando! To know the secret formula to his great success we invited him to share his Journey Through Rotaract.

What made you join Rotaract? 
As a result of the shining career I had in Interact I joined Rotaract. Also, it was a great place to spend my valuable time while I was studying in the University. 

How did Rotaract influence you to become the person you are today? 
Through the participation in many projects organized by my club and other clubs, I acquired so much knowledge and it eventually made me think and developed my thinking process related to the things we see around the world today. Having received the best training through organizing many projects, I was able to develop many skills which I never imagined I had. Also, the learnings from the incredible people I met through Rotaract was absolutely amazing.

What are some of the most important decisions that you had to make as the president of the club?

23rd District Conference
( Image Sourec- YK Photoghrphy)

Definitely Glass Ice. It was the first signature project in the Professional Development avenue of the club, which involved getting world class speakers on one stage to inspire the youth of Sri Lanka at an affordable price. A secret which all of you are not aware of, is that we were not able to sell a few tickets even until the day before the event and we had to make a call whether to keep the event or cancel it or even to postpone it. The final decision was not to give up as it was for a great cause and at the day of the event sharp at 6.00 pm we had a house full of audience. This decision was truly life changing and from that point on, giving up was never an option for me in whatever I do. 
We had to deal with a lot of stakeholders while managing many projects and overcoming many issues. Most of our decisions were made by our exco team after analyzing the SWOT for the club, so I believe it was a team effort.

What changes can a Rotaractor make in the society compared to an ordinary person?
Best change a Rotaractor can make is to create a change in the society without complaining. Why I say this is because if we put all those complaints into action and create a change, we would be able to fulfill our responsibility for the betterment of the world.

What is your most memorable or treasured experience being a Rotaractor?

It’s the year I was President which I treasure the most. I gathered so much experience along with the opportunity to meet world-class Presidents. I do have other big treasures, but hey let’s not get there. You would know.

Installation Ceremony 2015/16 (Image Source- XtreamYouth)

As a past president of the club, how did you maintain yours and your team’s daily motivation and inspiration despite obstacles and setbacks?
I delegated the work to the entire board and the members based on their interests. For every project, we got members to volunteer to attend the project or to organize. I rather not call myself a “President” as I made it a point to be friendly with each and every one and put a great effort to remember all 180 members of the team and out of the team as well. So, imagine.  Nevertheless, I strongly believed we should appreciate everyone in the club and thus bought many rewarding schemes such as tokens and certificates to award the chairpersons and the entire project committee. 

All in all, I tried my level best to give a chance to many members as possible to organize and participate in projects, which at the end of the day gave out promising results within and outside the club.


Conquer Colombo 2016 

What do you think about the position of the club as at now?
The club is advancing its strength to reach beyond our dream.

Is there something you wish you had done differently?
Saying ‘no’ to people, I guess. But it was truly worth it. So, I have no regrets.

What advice would you give the new members to make the most of being a Rotaractor?
My personal advice is to focus on at least one project if it creates a better impact to the society and I would say enjoy every minute, so at the end of the day, we all can say we have not lived in vain. That I believe is the objective of all of us.

What do you feel about your journey as a Rotaractor?
My journey as a Rotaractor was challenging in the beginning, yet everything fell accordingly to its place. You will learn to be patient and you need a strong level of perseverance as I had to support myself at all times. When I say “at all times” I mean EVERYDAY! 

On a personal note, I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who I have met throughout this immeasurable wonderful journey. 

26th Rotatrct District Assembly 


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