The 11th Chapter of RACUSJ

May 30, 2023 | Backstage, Membership Development | 1 comment

“When you finally close the cover, the characters have told their story, and you start up with another book, complete with new characters and adventures…” -Nicholas Sparks

A novel is a gateway to a different world. Whether the pages are old or smell fresh, they do not fail to tell us a story that can inspire us in many ways. Just like a novel, life offers us different chapters to love, help, and appreciate those around us. Yet, these chapters have their own beginning and the end, so we do have to learn to live amidst their four walls. Time moves faster, and here unfolding is the 11th chapter of the Rotaract Club of University of Sri Jayewardenepura. Join me as I turn over the pages of this incredible story and see what the 11th chapter has to offer us. 

The story of the Rotaract Club of University of Sri Jayewardenepura started 11 years ago. Since the initiation of the club, we have seen it reach greater heights and excel in every aspect. Amidst all the challenges, a deadly pandemic, and a major social crisis our country was facing, Rtr. Minushi De Silva and her team took the wheel with great aspirations to make another memorable year in the Rotaract journey of the University of Sri Jayewardenepura. She and her team radiated how belief, commitment, support, and guidance should be the reason behind every step we take.

The Executive Committee and the Board of Directors for the RI Year 2021–22

Executive Committee

PresidentRtr. Minushi De Silva

Immediate Past PresidentRtn. Rtr. Past president Amasha Sirimanna

Vice presidents Rtr. Thapodha Fernando, Rtr. Keshan Hapuarachchi

SecretaryRtr. Rukshini Gomis

TreasurerRtr. Hiruni Imalsha

EditorRtr. Nethmi Wimalasena

Sergeant-at-ArmsRtr. Bhagya Ranasinghe

Board of Directors

Club Service AvenueRtr. Jayani Yasara, Rtr. Upuli Wickramasinghe

Community Service AvenueRtr. Yasindu Nanayakkara, Rtr. Nipuni Rajapakshe

International Services AvenueRtr. Nelufa Sariffodeen, Rtr. Dulmi Guneratna

Professional Development AvenueRtr. Hasini Wijayasantha, Rtr. Oshan Brahmanage

Environmental Service AvenueRtr. Bhagya Wijerathna

Finance CommitteeRtr. Thuwarakan Thumakandan, Rtr. Sathsarani Weerasinghe

Membership Development CommitteeRtr. Surani Hewage, Rtr. Malki Dissanayake

Public Relations Committee Rtr. Manuja Kariyawasam, Rtr. Chamika Liyanage

Sports and Recreational Activities Avenue Rtr. Uvani Abeywardene, Rtr. Srinath Udayachandran

Under the theme “Together to Sustain Life on Earth Through Unity,” RACUSJ focused on sustaining the environment we are living in, in its 11th year. The year plan was made primarily focusing on the above-mentioned theme, and a mini-project series called “First Step” was introduced to further entertain this purpose. Each month, an awareness session was conducted, especially at the Monthly Gathering, and one was held at a selected school on preventing the rapid spread of dengue within the community. Also, on “Eco Day,” an awareness session on biodiversity and wetland conservation was organized at the Diyasaru Park, Thalawathugoda, prioritizing wildlife and plant species as a means of raising awareness and promoting sustainability on Earth.

The six avenues and the three committees of the Rotaract Club of USJ, Club Service Avenue, Community Service Avenue, International Service Avenue, Professional Development Avenue, Finance Committee, Environmental Service Avenue, Membership Development Committee, Public Relations Committee, and Sports and Recreational Activities Avenue, committed themselves to many impactful projects with the support of the members of RACUSJ, who were the main force behind the outcomes of these successful projects. 

Here’s a sneak peek into the 11th chapter of RACUSJ. 

Starting with the Club Service Avenue, it offered the members a whole package of interesting events, including A Memorable December 2.0, පැදුර’22, Rollin’ Action, and I’m a Rotaractor. Each of these projects paved the way for all the members to become their best selves while having fun and also enhancing fellowship by way of creating strong bonds. A Memorable December 2.0, as always, brought forth a colourful yuletide by giving the members a night to enjoy and mingle with the sweetest voices of exceptionally talented singers. Not to mention, පැදුර’22 was the ideal event for all our traditional music enthusiasts, while Rollin’ Action was specifically designed for all movie lovers. I’m a Rotaractor, the annual induction program is the highlight of this avenue. It was carried out during the first and last quarters of the year, virtually and physically, to welcome new members and offer them a better understanding of the club and the movement.

Next is the Community Service Avenue, the avenue that is solely dedicated to serving those who need our support and taking measures to uplift their lives. The projects carried out by this Avenue were For Them to Blossom 4.0, දිවියට දිවියක්, පෙරමග 2.0, Animalia 2.0, Rise Up Sri Lanka 2.0, and Beyond Prevention. All of these projects covered the marginalized societies in the community as well as the animal community and the general public. Animalia 2.0 was able to provide a voice for the voiceless by raising awareness and debunking myths surrounding animals and supporting a wildlife centre and a domestic animal shelter. In its 4th effectuate year, For Them to Blossom 4.0 was able to spread the wings of love to the ones who needed it the most and took steps to enhance the English literacy of the students. දිවියට දිවියක් which was introduced as a novel initiative, took the spotlight as it came forward to improve the healthcare facilities and sanitary facilities needed for expecting mothers and babies. The Rotaractors themselves engaged in renovating a maternal clinic, and essential baby products were given to the expecting mothers at the end of the awareness session. පෙරමග 2.0 on the other hand, focused on creating a COVID-free Sri Lanka in line with the “Stop The Spread – Beyond COVID-19” Initiative by Rotaract in RID 3220. Not forgetting about peacebuilding and conflict resolution, Rise Up Sri Lanka 2.0 was executed to embrace the different ethnic groups residing in Sri Lanka and enhance peace among them. Lastly, another new project was introduced, Beyond Prevention, to promote oral health among schoolchildren and diabetes patients. Afraid of losing teeth in your old age? Then be aware of how to protect your teeth by following the mini-video series published under Beyond Prevention. 

The International Service Avenue is always the one to connect the members of RACUSJ with those who live beyond our territory. Yes, this avenue was able to form friendly bonds with Rotaractors around the globe through letterhead and cultural exchanges and by initiating projects such as Heal the World, as a major mode of promoting global peace; Health a Plenty, to encourage people to live in ways that promote a healthy world; and finally, Literato Chapter 4, to enhance literary skills and ensure that education is effectively addressed for our future generations worldwide. The Joint Bulletin published under this avenue included the thoughts and views of Rotaractors around the world, not to mention that this avenue has opened paths to enjoy various cultures around the globe and learn their customs and traditions. 

As undergraduates who will be entering society in a few years’ time, you should be professionally developed and possess skills and proper etiquette that would define your personality. The Professional Development Avenue of RACUSJ thus invented various measures to achieve the above purpose through STRIVE, Scholastic Coach, Be Professionally Equipped 4.0, LEAD, and YES’ 22 (Youth Entrepreneurship Summit 22). Each of these projects moulded the youth in every aspect of their lives, from educating them on further studies to the skills they should develop. The Youth Entrepreneurship Summit 22, which was held on a grand scale, took the spotlight, creating a platform for all the young entrepreneurs to pitch their businesses to potential investors and also providing training sessions on how to take their businesses to society. 

If it is about achieving the financial goals and objectives of the club, the Finance Committee of RACUSJ is always ahead. If not for the Finance Committee, the club won’t be able to meet the intended financial requirements, especially during the tough phase faced by Sri Lankans. Finsight 2.0, The Respawn 2.0, and ITEX’ 22—a novel initiative introduced by the committee—included educational sessions on how to develop financial skills, raise awareness on digital marketing and safe investments, develop saving habits to eradicate poverty, and especially enhance knowledge on Information Technology. A two-day Advanced Excel Course and Laptop and Mobile Clinic are the highlights of the novel initiative, ITEX’ 22. 

The Environmental Service Avenue always strives forward in protecting the environment and implementing sustainable modes to preserve the environment for future generations. Accordingly, Animalia 2.0, Aquatica Wave 2, Growing Green 3.0, and a novel initiative called Echo for Eco were introduced to achieve the above purpose. Aquatica Wave 2 was carried out to restore and rehabilitate marine life and the aquatic environment. The project was conducted in five phases: publishing a mini-video series on tragedies faced by aquatic animals; an awareness session and idea pitching competition at Anula Vidyalaya Nugegoda; Nurdle Clean-up at the Negombo beach; placing eco-brick dustbins made by our own volunteers; developing a website for the Induruwa Sea Turtle Conservation Center; and a volunteering day at the said centre. Through Growing Green 3.0, it was able to do a tree planting program at Yagirala Forest, where 1000 saplings were planted, and a quiz competition and carbon footprint calculation survey were also conducted. The novel initiative Echo for Eco was intended to create a world without waste by having proper knowledge of waste management. 

Walking down the memory lane of the Membership Development Committee, the 11th Installation Ceremony, Splendour’22, I’m a Rotaractor, Viva la Rotaract, and the Charter Day Celebration are the key projects and events organized under this Committee. MD has never failed to give unforgettable memories for the members while appreciating their commitment to society as well as the club and celebrating special moments of the club. Viva la Rotaract, the novel initiative, captured the eye of our members by way of an entertaining night filled with fun activities commemorating World Rotaract Week. 

The Public Relations Committee is the creative force behind all the public relations materials that everyone sees on all the RACUSJ social media platforms. Someone’s Daughter Vol. 4, Design Warrior 2.0 are the key projects initiated under this committee that have become the talk of the town and have won the hearts of many. Out of all the projects, Someone’s Daughter holds a special place as it has gained a prominent place within the Rotaract Movement in addressing violence against women effectively and in a broader sense. Apart from the podcast series, quote series, and publication of the 3rd edition of the E-magazine, a short film competition called “The Tale Untold” was organized to voice gender-based violence in artistic reels. Further, a panel discussion was conducted in line with Women’s Day, with the presence of three female personalities on the topic “Cultural and social norms that support violence against women”. 

Lastly, the Sports and Recreational Activities Avenue is the Avenue that recognizes the sporty members of our club and provides them with the opportunity to participate in major events such as the Rotaract Champions League. The project Sports Insights was initiated focussing on all sports enthusiasts to tread on their journey of sports by encouraging and showing them opportunities to develop themselves while 4 Score 4.0 focussed on establishing relationships between the clubs at the university and offering a great opportunity for all cricket lovers to develop their sportsmanship. 

If you were with me till the end of the story, then you are someone who has truly loved their journey within RACUSJ in its 11th year. The 11th year of RACUSJ had its own story. We had our own tremendous worlds inside of us that became a reality and we continued fulfilling our duties as responsible youth. Thus, the 11th chapter of RACUSJ proves that more than a club, it strived towards creating a positive and lasting change in the community as one family.

Written by: Rtr. Malithi Damiththrika Fernando 

Graphic design by: Rtr. Tharushi Nadunika & Rtr. Rashmika Budunwela

1 Comment

  1. Hasini Wijayasantha

    Good ol’ days

    Reply

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