07 Jun “ප්රතිරාව” – An Endless Echo of Empowerment
Living in a country where the field of education remains inaccessible to most areas, we believe that by extending our support we could make a remarkable impact and bring about the change we wished to see. Especially, as undergraduates reaping the benefits of higher education, we strongly felt the need to take a step forward and contribute towards shaping up the future of not just ours but of the others who’re being surrounded by certain unfair boundaries in society. And we believe that Project “ප්රතිරාව” (Prathiraawa) was an initiative which liberated a bunch of enthusiastic kids from the social space they were confined to, at least for a while.
This Community Service initiative was a priceless journey embarked on by us at RACUOCFMF to create an endless echo of empowerment by sharing what we knew! Our aim was to enhance the English knowledge of the playful and enthusiastic souls schooling at Dedigamuwa Kanishta Vidyalaya, Ranala. It took us through a heart-warming passage of service as we found this bunch of children between ages 13-16 who were naturally inclined to learn new things, eagerly waiting for knowledge to come their way. Sadly, they did not have access to English language education facilities for months before we visited them. Even though they were deprived from such privileges owing to a multitude of reasons, the passion within them to grasp new knowledge was truly astounding.
Even though the project was planned to be conducted as a series of English seminars over a period of 3 months ending with organizing their English Day, due to COVID-19, we were reluctantly forced to amend our plans. Having successfully completed a few seminars based on grammar lessons, oral lessons and dictation activities, the remaining lessons that we were unable to teach, were converted to a study pack which included a set of practice questions and answers.
On all the days we visited the school, we were warmly welcomed by the students, their parents and teachers with their mouthwatering home-made sweets and warm smiles of-course! These little things lit our moods and refreshed us, for the sessions that followed, since we had to travel while getting caught to school traffic every day, after morning to noon lectures. As much as these students enjoyed learning with us, we enjoyed the time spent with them too.
It took us down the memory lane of our school days. Each day we would come home with so much self-fulfillment and happiness gained through the heart warming words and actions of these children who had become our students by the end of Day 01 itself. Sharing our knowledge with them and seeing how they improved each day was an experience so worthwhile that we wouldn't trade it for anything else.
As a candle loses nothing by lighting another candle, "Prathiraawa! transformed us, in expanding the horizons and empowering the future of these children schooling at Dedigamuwa Kanishta Vidyalaya. Having tasted a bit of their silent battles, we realized how fortunate we were despite our constant complaints!
We were glad that we were fortunate enough, to be able to nurture a seed of hope in their lives as well. The few hours spent with them every Friday over a period of one and half months, added value and glamour to our entire week. It awakened us, as we understood that like how a single pebble when dropped into the water could create multiple ripples, our little actions and steps taken out of empathy could have a lifelong impact on someone's life.
( Co-Director Community Service – 2019/20 )