SEVA

Cultures, traditions and religions are what defines our country. Some may think this causes us to divide but they are wrong as it gives us reasons to be unique from one another. The International Service (IS) avenue of RACIIT is a very important part of the club because through that we get recognized globally. This time we initiated “SEVA”. It is one of the biggest projects done by Rotaract Club of IIT on this avenue. We hosted 8 wonderful Australians from various Rotaract Clubs in Western Australia. Why we initiated this project was to give them an idea of how beautiful our country is and how much people are missing from not visiting here along with the serving to the core goal of doing Community service. The amazing part was that not only did they get to know about our cultures but staying with them helped us experience their culture as well. We organized an event for each day of their stay to give them a better experience. It started off with them arriving to this beautiful island we call Sri Lanka.

Our very first project with them was done at the Indira Trust Fund which was found in honor of Indira Jayasuriya who was a victim of Breast cancer. Dr. Lanka Jayasuriya gave a deep insight of all types of cancers that are common in Sri Lanka and how they are doing their absolute best to provide better health care to the victims of this disastrous illness. We were taken to the Maharagama Cancer Hospital to explain more about the topic and the atmosphere of the hospital is so amazing and so peaceful that the patients feel relaxed and wouldn’t get affected by the typical hospital feeling. They gave us a full tour on the hospital and it was very emotional to see the youth of our country suffering from this illness. After the Cancer Hospital visit our team went to help out with the Car Wash that was held to fund this project. With the help of our fellow Australian Rotaractors we were able to gather decent amount of donations from at the end of the car wash.

The next project we had with them was the Community service game, Game of Life where they formed into teams and completed a list of community service tasks around Colombo and helped the helpless in the area.

Our guests were very lucky to be a part of the Ballroom Dancing project we initiated called “Center Stage” where they learnt the art of Salsa dancing. It was a night full of fun memories and the perfect opportunity for both clubs to bond and enjoy a little.

Afterwards we had the Nutrition camp and seminar to achieve the main focus of SEVA, an awareness campaign. We conducted this camp in Udahamulle Sri Siddhartha Vidyalaya for the teachers and students present in there. Our Australian Rotaractors lead this program well as some of them were professional medical personnels and taught the participants about various health issues. They conducted sessions on personal hygiene, CPR, BMI calculation and nutritional food practices. The students were given the knowledge of various other useful information about their body and how they should take care of it. We donated educational material on nutrition, fire hazards and burn remedies, proper conduct of hygiene etc. as well as toothbrushes and toothpaste for each student, milk packets of nutritional value to students and teachers, and charts to show their calculated results.

Rotaractors from Australia had the chance to witness one of our RACIIT General Meetings and the infamous “This is RACIIT” initiation, which is a challenge to perform various viral challenges on social media where we can have fun as a club. We had the new intake prospective and new members also got the chance to witness this special general meeting.

After a few days into the SEVA project we went to the children’s home – Prithipura Communities in Wattala. We arrived at the children’s home with our hands filled with nutritious food, educational materials and most of all, toys for the kids to play with on their leisure time all are generous donations from the Rotaractors of Rotaract Clubs of Western Australia. Afterwards we had a fun musical session with them where we played classical Sinhala songs that we all know and love and we sang along with the kids and played with them. It was a beautiful sight to see after getting to know the rough conditions they had to go through.

Our bond with the clubs strengthened through all the project collaborations we did and after all the projects were successfully concluded we had a cultural exchange where the Australian Rotaractors visited various Religious places that Sri Lanka have. Namely Gangaramaya Temple, St.Anthony’s Church, Sri Ponnampalam Rameshwaran Kovil as well as the Independence Square. We also engaged in different games from both backgrounds where we made some great memories that we all will cherish for the rest of our lives.

At the end we had to say our farewells to these wonderful individuals who came to our country to make a small difference which we can proudly say that they successfully did. We as a club were very happy to have hosted them and make beautiful memories with them that’ll last a lifetime. We are looking forward to make many more memories with them in future.

 

Written by – Rtr. Mahen Dunusinghe

 

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