“Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors, and the most patient of teachers.” ― Charles W. Eliot
What is ‘One Book One smile’?
‘One Book One Smile’ is a joint project organized by the International Service Avenue of Rotaract Club of University of Kelaniya in collaboration with the twin club Rotaract Club of Coimbatore Spectrum of India. As we intended to conduct a physical event after all the virtual projects, we have conducted throughout term 2021/22, we wanted to do a project where the community is benefited long term. Therefore, after discussing with the twin club we finally came to an agreement to collect and give books to a school library in a remote area.
After all, as Ernest Hemingway says, “There is no friend as loyal as a book” and we decided to provide a few kids the chance to have the pleasure of reading good books, thus allowing them to befriend with several loyal friends.
Multiple books multiple smiles – The book collection process
Although the name of the project was ‘One Book One Smile’ we were responsible for collecting books that could be useful for a library. The team decided to organize a book collecting stall on the 21st of March and the 22nd of March. The book collection process was a massive success as we could collect more than 200 books, which exceeded our expectations, in fact, we didn’t have to extend the collection process further thanks to the generous contributions and acts of kindness of so many souls, which made us thoroughly believe in that fact that ‘no matter how hard and serious life becomes, the one having a big heart will always find a way to make another soul happy.’
Thus, ‘Giving is not just making a donation. It is about making a difference’, and our audience knew it quite well.
The day has finally come! – The book distribution session
26th of April 2022, the day in which the very first physical project of the International services Avenue happened, is also the day most of the avenue members got the chance to meet each other in person, indeed it was a special day for many reasons. With all good hopes, the organizing committee of the project ‘One Book One Smile’ gathered to the university premises to sort and wrap the books before taking them to the school. It was around 9.00am in the morning and the team still had time to pack the books and wrap the boxes accordingly. After collectively putting an effort towards the packing process the team headed towards the Udupila Weera Vijayaba Maha Vidyalaya, thereby hoping to strengthen their wings to fly higher in the sky of success with the extra knowledge they gain from the ocean of knowledge, books.
Prior to the books distribution ceremony Rtr. Kisal Ekanayake, President and Rtr. Osura Vindula, Co-director, International Service Avenue of Rotaract Club of University of Kelaniya conducted a session for Ordinary level students of the school where they highlighted the importance of passing exams and how to manage time, respectively. Following the fruitful session which was indeed a commendable awareness session that could enlighten the youthful souls, the books were distributed to the school.
We felt what Stephen King intended to say when he said, “Books are a uniquely portable magic” Indeed, the joy books could bring was visible in the innocent eyes filled with hopes and dreams of a magical future.
Project ‘One Book One Smile’ acclimated to make a change, a change that lasts for long, and we believe that this urge we had to paint a smile on their faces like artists who urges to see a soulful painting, is what made ‘One Book One Smile’ a successful physical project that will live in the hearts of many.