Our Rotaract Story – 2016/17

As the Rotaract term 2016/17 comes to an end, our club has a lot it can look back at with immense pride and gratitude.


How much can be achieved when a group of people who share the same passion come together is evident from our Rotaract year, where we led the year under the theme ‘Teamwork makes the Dream work.


As the Secretary of RACUOCFMF 2016/17, it was a rewarding experience to keep track of all our projects and achievements and witness first-hand the progress we made as a club. It was not a smooth road nor was it an easy one for all our club members, but together with everyone’s creativity, hard work and dedication we managed to make it a fun journey; learning new things, learning from mistakes and divulging ourselves in a world of knowledge, experience and incredible exposure.

The team that led the club in 2016/17; Our Board of Directors

Before I touch on the key milestones and projects there are key individuals we are immensely grateful for, for the support and guidance they have given us in successfully achieving our own dreams. From the University of Colombo Faculty of Management and Finance itself Dr. R. Senathiraja, Dean of the Faculty, Dr. Arosha Adikaram, Faculty Advisor, all of our incredibly supportive past members and from the Rotaract District, the District Rotaract Representative Rtr. PP. Mohamed Husni and the District Committee 2016/17 and our Guide Club Director for the year Rtr. PP. Krishan Balaji. A special mention should be given to our sponsoring Rotary Club, the Rotary Club of Colombo Mid-Town and the entire Mid-Town Family and all other Rotaract Clubs in District 3220 for always supporting us.


We are also thankful to all the other organizations who partnered with us in collaborating our efforts to do impactful projects as well as our media partners, financial and technical partners and all other partners who helped us to uplift the quality of our projects.

Key Achievements for the year
  • Award of Recognition for the Cluster Project – Most Innovative Approach: This was a multi-phase project inspired by the commitments brought forward by the United Nations Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development (Habitat III)
  • Project vConnect placed 3rd at Rotaract South Asian People’s Choice Award for International Service
  • First Runner Up of the Overall Championship of the Rotaract Champions League 2017
  • President of the month – September 
  • Semi-Finalists of the TRR Rajan Memorial Cricket Tournament and Rtr. Charith Kumarasinghe awarded Best Bowler of the Tournament
  • Completed 45 projects covering over 7 SDG goals
  • Reached more than 90000 blog views and published more than 190 blog articles.
  • Club membership grew by 156%
  • Champions of the Game On – Hand-Ball Tournament
  • Rtr. Harindi Jayasuriya became Winner of “Write out Loud” Essay Competition and Rotaract Category of the “The Comic Artist” Competition
  • 3rd place and 4th place at R-Evolution OPs.8.0 international round held in Pune India, organized by the Rotaract Club of DYPVP
  • 2nd Runner Up- The Inter Club Annual Quiz Tournament by Rotary Club of Cinnamon Gardens
  • Finalist of the SPARK – The Ultimate English Public Speaking Contest
Semi Finalists at the TRR Rajan Memorial Cricket Tournament 

Projects for the Year

Keeping in line with the Rotaract District 3220 theme for the year ‘Vision to Action’, we decided to align our club projects with the Sustainable Development Goals as well. Overall, we completed over 45 projects for the year.

District Projects Hosted

 

  • Rotaract Champions League 2017
  • Nil Ahase Wasanthaya, National Kite Festival
  • Rotaract for Trail
  • District Council Meeting March

 

Club Service

The key difference of 2016/17 under the Club Service Avenue was the introduction of the Membership Development Avenue and the formation of the ‘Dream Team’.


Dream Team
The project Dream Team is the signature project for the avenue of club service for the year 2016/17. During the appraisal of learning’s from last year, a couple of important points were brought to our attention. The existence of a significant gap between the number of members in the club and number of active member, lack of bond among the club members, low member engagement were some of the areas that were highlighted. Therefore, Project Dream Team was designed with the main objectives of addressing the above areas of concern and to improve and develop the membership of the club. 

Our Dream Team!

Initiation of Membership Development Avenue (Phase I) 
As one of the main initiatives for this year and as the first phase of the project Dream Team, the Member Development Avenue was launched at the first general meeting. During the meeting, the members were given a clear idea about the importance of the Member Development Avenue, benefits of being an active member/Rotaractor as well as the Active Member Recognition Criteria to be recognized as an “Active member of RACUOCFMF”. The membership development directors are responsible for promoting member engagement and membership growth of the club and also assist in developing a strategic plan for the growth and retention of members.  


Member Day
On this day, a total of 97 club members comprising of three batches of new and old members alike, came together to share knowledge about Rotaract as well as have to fun and create many unforgettable memories.  A descriptive introductory session to the Rotaract movement and its avenues was conducted by our Club Guide Director and District Member Development Director, Rtr. PP Krishan Balaji and the District Club Service Director, Rtr. PP Punith Gunasekara. Then the members were divided into teams and were given the task of planning and presenting a project for a given Sustainability Development Goal using the material provided. This was followed by a series of fun team activities.

Rotaraction 2016 
Rotaraction 2016, an event filled with sportsmanship, fellowship and limited enjoyment was our signature club service project carried out throughout the months of November and December 2016 with the main objective of building the cohesiveness of the ever-growing member count of the club and to act as a platform for the newly joined members from the 1st year batch to create bonds with the seniors of the club. This was the very first time a project of this nature and scale was organized under the avenue of club Service. 

This project helped the club to create a friendly competition between the members while providing the members with the field of opportunities to showcase the talent and build on teamwork. At the end, this project was able to successfully surpassed the expectations and bring all 200+ members together making a substantial impact on improving the active member participation of the club.


Summary of projects under this avenue included:

  • Club Service
  • Board Induction
  • Initiation of Membership Development Avenue
  • Know Our Board
  • Joint Meeting and Kitchen Challenge
  • Installation Ceremony
  • Orientation Day
  • Dream Team: Member Day
  • Roataraction
  • Club Party 2017
  • Secret Valentine
  • Rotaract Champions League
  • District Council Meeting
  • Sandtastic 2.0
  • SLAM 2017
Community Service 

Hero In You
 “Hero in You” was a community service project organized by our club, mainly focusing on the children’s ward of the National Cancer Institute, Maharagama. This project holds a very special place in our heart as we were able to help children undergoing treatment for cancer, to find the hidden hero within themselves in order to keep fighting and to never give up. We came up with a programme consisting of three phases, which we believe gave strength and hope to the little heroes and their respective caregivers in order to liven up their fading dreams.
 
The first phase of the project was a counseling program conducted by Dr. Kumaranayake, a Child Psychiatrist of the Psychology Life Centre, Kohuwala. This phase was done targeting the parents of terminal cancer patients with the aim of guiding them to cope up with the hardships they are facing and to equip them with some tips to make their child’s life meaningful and better. 
 
The second phase of the project was a spend-the-day session. Reflecting the main objective of our project, we tried to give those children the opportunity to bond and interact and eventually to bring out the hero that is hidden within them.
 
The final phase of the project, the “Make a wish program” was a small attempt to fulfill the children’s wishes, where we selected around 65 children and helped them achieve what they desire the most. We collected details as to what those children would like to have or what they wish for, during the first two phases of our project and published them through social media thereby giving the club members, fellow Rotaractors and the general public an opportunity to sponsor the wishes. 
 
“Nil Ahase Wasanthaya 2016”- Kite Fest
With the partnership of the Rotary family, Kite Sri Lanka Organization and the Presidential Task Force on Drug Prevention, the National Kite Festival for the year 2016; ‘Nil Ahase Wasanthaya’ was held on the 28th of August, at the Negombo Beach Park. The event was held under the theme “A Drug Free Country” and thus, the event commenced with a “Drug Awareness Walk” with the participation of many Rotarians, Rotaractors and Interactors. The walk was then followed by the Kite fest where participants had the opportunity to create and fly their own kites and gather unforgettable memories. 
RACUOCFMFers at Nil Ahase Wasanthaya

Summary of projects under this avenue included:

  • Reach Out Phase 2 
  • Clothing and Toy Drive 2016
  • Nil Ahase Wasanthaya – Natuonal Kite Festival
  • Hero In You
  • Blind Walk
  • Rotaract For Trail
  • HOPE.ACTION. CHANGE Cluster 02
  • Happy Street Pooch
  • Happy Hope Bag
  • I to Eye

Green Life

In keeping with the Dream Team, the ‘Green Dream’ was launched using the Green Life Avenue under Community Service.


Green Dream 
Having been introduced only last year, the avenue of Green Life has been immensely successful, with the introduction of several green projects that aim to reduce the environment footprint and enhance the environmental awareness of our club. 

Green Dream is the signature green life project that was initiated for the year 2016/17 with the main objective of a more sustainable and environmentally friendly approach to all club activities. Several projects were organized under the main roof of Project Green Dream. 

Harithalokaya 
Initiated under the motto of “Green dream – campaign towards sustainable conservation of the environment”, “Harithalokaya was an awareness campaign organized by our club. The project consisted of three phases; survey, awareness campaign and distribution of bins to 250 families residing in the coastal belt from Dehiwala to Mountlavinia. 

Summary of projects under this avenue included:

  • Green Steps
  • Thudugala Clean Up
  • Harithalokaya
  • Sand-tastic 2.0
  • Green Meetings
Professional Development

Glass Ice 2.0

Riding on the success of Glass Ice, Glass Ice 2.0 was organized as the highlight of this avenue and was conducted under the ‘Vision to Action’ theme.


Glass Ice 2.0 is an opportunity to listen, experience and divulge yourself in a wealth of knowledge. It is a platform which would enable participants to interact with some of the most recognized personalities in the corporate sector as well as industry professionals and learn their insights on leadership, career progression, work-life balance, and personality enhancement. 

The main objective of Glass Ice 2.0 was to offer a forum of high quality at an affordable price for the target market enabling all the interested parties to develop their skills and abilities up to their utmost potential and identify all considered variables in transforming an ordinary individual into the perfect entrepreneur.
  

Glass Ice 2.0 and Inclusive Youth Development   
One of the primary objectives of Glass Ice 2.0 is to focus on a more inclusive approach to youth development.   


All proceeds generated from Glass Ice 2.0 will be directed towards our signature Community Services project “Future for Us‟ under the roof of Education and literacy. Through this, Glass Ice 2.0 will be targeted to address the sustainable development goal for “inclusive and quality education” ensuring and promoting lifelong education for all.   


The project “Future for Us”, under the avenue of community services, is an annual project carried out by the Club along with the Palana Maha Vidyalaya, Hatharaliyadda. Future For us will be seeing its fourth year with this year’s project. During the past three years, we have been carrying out projects with the school focusing on the emotional as well as the academic development of the students.   


Summary of projects under this avenue included:
  • Dream Team- IT Workshop
  • One Youth One Nation Peace Campaign
  • Glass Ice 2.0
  • Discover Yourself
  • President of the Month
International Services

It was indeed a remarkable year for the international services avenue with the club members making its first ever trip to an outside district under Project R-evolution and also by working in collaboration with international clubs of numerous districts which won project vConnect the 3rd place at the South Asian awards as well.

Our club members in India

Summary of projects under this avenue included:

  • Diwali Celebration – Mid-Town Family
  • R-Evolution
  • Inter Club Youth Exchange
  • Dancepiration
  • vConnect
  • Festive Giggles
 
Finance

King Spin

The key highlight is the execution of the first ever Bowling Tournament ‘King Spin’ for the entire Rotary Family of 3220. This exciting project was able to bring about a massive turnout of over 200 participants including Interactors, Rotaractors, Rotarians and the general public at large, and give everyone truly an incredible and an unforgettable experience of bowling. 

Summary of projects under this avenue included:

  • King Spin
  • Launch of Club T-shirt
  • Wash for a Cause 2017
  • Bake Sale
Public Relations

With no doubt, the highlight of the year was the execution of project vConnect with RID 3220.

V-Connect with RID 3220
vConnect is a significant milestone in the history of Rotary International District 3220, as it brings together the movements of Rotary, Rotaract and Interact on a digital platform for the first time ever. 


The project was an initiative organized by the Rotary District Public Relations arm in collaboration with our club, in celebration of the Centennial year of Rotary International and to boost the public relations of RI District 3220. 


The website “vConnect” aims to increase awareness and broaden the knowledge of the larger community on the services rendered by Rotary, Rotaract and Interact clubs in the RI District 3220, through developing a single web platform which brings together all three movements. 


A special press conference was organized on the 26th of April, at Hotel Galadari with the objective of launching the website vConnect and communicating the good work done by the RI District 3220 of Sri Lankan and Maldives to the general public.

Press conference at which the website was launched

Joint Projects with Rotary

  • Nil Ahase Wasanthaya, National Kite Festival – Rotary District 3220
  • Colombo Blind Walk – Rotary Club of Colombo Mid Town
  • Diwali Celebrations – Rotary Club of Colombo Mid Town
  • Health Camp and Dansala at Adam’s Peak – Rotary Satellite Club of Colombo Mid-Town
  • vConnect with RID 3220- Rotary District 3220
BLOG

Having won the Gold Award for the Best Blog for the year 2015/16 at the 26th Rotaract District Assembly, our blog continued to make strides in its groundbreaking success this year as well. We were able to publish a staggering 90+ blog posts and surpass 90,000 blog views in just a span of 12 months! 


Milestones
Blog Re-launch
  – As we continually strive to offer the best to our readers, we re-launched our blog with a completely new and easy-to-navigate look that will give them a seamless and sophisticated blog experience. 

Re-launching the Blog 

50,000+ blog views
  – We were also able to surpass the 50,000 view count during the month of February and as of now we have over 85,000 blog views! We are extremely proud and honored to have such a great reach, with readers from across the world.

As we complete yet another successful year of our blog journey, we would like to extend our heartiest gratitude to all our club members for their remarkable support and never hesitating to write articles. 


Lastly, we would like to appreciate all our blog readers for the continuous enthusiasm and motivation, without which we would not have been able to reach these achievements and success!

 

In conclusion…
Finally, on a concluding note, I am grateful for the opportunity received to give my support to the club as its secretary for 2016/17 and immensely thankful for the Executive Board headed by Rtr. President Hiruni Perera, the Board of Directors and all our club members for the friendships we have created and the memories we shall cherish. It has truly been an honour working with all of these individuals and RACUOCFMF is definitely the best part of my life at the University of Colombo.



I wish the best of luck to President-elect Rtr. Akhila Adishwara and Secretary-elect Rtr. Manahari Singarchchi, for a fabulous year ahead under the guidance of DRRE Rtr. PP  Anuradha Senanayake. It will definitely be an incredible experience!


Viva La Rotaract!


Written By-

photo Rtr. Thilini Leeniyagolla
Secretary 2016/17 

  
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