Rotaract Mora A Legacy of 15 years


By Sandamali Devadithya

1995 was a remarkable year for the Rotaract movement. Sponsored by the Rotary Club of Colombo West, Rotaract Club of University of Moratuwa was founded with just 16 members and it was the first institution based Rotaract Club in the history of Sri Lanka. And a new chapter started. It is indeed remarkable how the club gradually grew into what it is today. Today the club has grown into a dynamic organization with more than 120 enthusiastic and dedicated members. The Club’s reputation as a responsible and professional student body is well known among the university community, the rotary family as well as the cooperate world.

The projects we deploy are always with a high quality and they spreads over a large area including community service, professional development, international understanding. And in recognition of their virtues the club has earned much public and international attention. The last year itself, our main community service project, "HandZ" was selected as the "Rotaract Outstanding Projects: South Asia Districts Winner" by the Rotary International. This was a huge achievement not only for the club, but for the University of Moratuwa as well as the Rotaract movement in Sri Lanka. Undoubtedly the Rotaract Club of University of Moratuwa is a leading Rotaract club in the Rotary District 3220, which was evident with the nine awards we were able to bag at the recently concluded Rotaract District Assembly. This was the highest number of awards a club took home. The awards included, Rotaract District Citation, RI Presidential Citation, Overall Best Rotaract Project "HandZ", Best Community Service Project "Hand in Hand", Best Reporting Club, Best News Bulletin, Recognition of International Understanding Project ‘Building Communities - Bridging Cultures’, Recognition of Professional Development Project ‘Are You Ready? 2011’. Furthermore the Rotaract Club of University of Moratuwa was selected as the Best University Based Rotaract Club.

Never had we worked for the sake of awards, recognition or in search for glory, but they always follow the Rotaract Club of University of Moratuwa.

The Club has always been in the forefront of Community Services. "HandZ" is the main strength of Community Services and it was the outstanding project not just in the district but in South Asia as well. Even though HandZ is a community service project, HandZ does not believe in material donations. HandZ was formed with the primary aim of harvesting the knowledge and skills within us to serve the community to provide sustainable and feasible solutions. Through HandZ we expected to merge financial and technical resources to upgrade the living standard of people in need. One of the most effective yet inexpensive methods that we found to address the quality of life is to uplift the education levels of the community through focusing on the next generation; children of schooling age. One such event is the seminar sessions organized regularly. At the seminar sessions undergraduates go and teach the students at underprivileged schools and guide them for O/L and A/L examinations, the hurdles of school life. This is such a prodigious effort taken by the Rotaractors to make the students in rural areas aware about the new educational standards and also to give them an insight about their future under the prevailing status of the country.

Hand In Hand is novel project initiated last year with the aim of helping the children at the Cancer Hospital. During the last festive season, the club printed greeting cards and distributed them island wide to raise the funds and we were able to donate medical and surgical equipment for the children’s ward of a great value. The specialty of the cards was that the designs were creations of those innocent souls residing at the ward. Having shared a day with the kids, it is not possible to let them fight this battle alone and therefore this year also we will be carrying on with the project. This December again, the bookshops will be filled with Hand In Hand greeting cards.

A major strength of the club is professional development. The project "Are You Ready" carried out by the club annually has been the Best Professional Development project in the Rotary district 3220 for more than ten years. Are You Ready is the official careers fair at the University of Moratuwa and most of the undergraduates secure their future through "Are You Ready". Since its inception in 1998, "Are You Ready" has been a major attract with the university students as well as the co-operate world. Its success lies behind the brand name that has been created for "Are you ready?" The project with its humble beginning of less than 10 companies and 140 students have become a venture of over 50 companies and 500 students from all faculties of University of Moratuwa. This year’s programme, "Are You Ready? 2011" was appreciated by all as the best in the history of Are You Ready?

‘Building Communities - Bridging Cultures’ was a fruit of the International understanding efforts of the club. Last year we hosted 16 rotaractors from Rotaract Club of Kowloon Golden Mile, Hong Kong. Many projects were carried out in collaboration with our overseas friends and the experience we gained was immense. We showed them Sri Lanka, our culture, our history. Back at home, they would have shared Sri Lanka with their friends and colleagues. This was the beginning of a new chapter for the club. The things we learnt from them and the things they learnt from us are indeed valuable and the journey will not stop here.

These are just a few projects we are proud of. But what we do is not limited. "During the last year we have carried out over 40 quality projects including 16 Community Service projects. This is unprecedented not only in Rotaract Mora’s history but probably Rotaract Sri Lanka’s history. We have carried major projects in all avenues of services. The strength of the club has been its members. I must thank all of them for the wonderful contribution made to the club and my Board of Directors for supporting me throughout the year. They have brought this club into whole new level." These were the parting words of the last year’s president, Rtr. Dilina Fernando.

We will be starting another Rotaract Year with the 16th Installation on this September under the guidance of the newly appointed president Rtr. Benura Vithana. The installation with full of glamour and elegance will undoubtedly mark another year of success and glory. For the Rotaract Club of University of Moratuwa is the result of dedication and hard work of the undergraduates and they have always abided by and will continue to stand up to the slogan, "Fellowship Through Service".

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