Penning down my Rotaract Journey, I just realized how special Rotaract is to me. Walking down the memory lane back to where it all started, it makes me feel how fast time flew and what an amazing and memorable voyage it has been.
In the year 2021, I joined the Rotaract Club of University of Kelaniya without knowing that it was a life-changing decision. I came across Rotaractors who inspired me to join and am very grateful to every one of them forever.
The Professional Development Avenue was the main avenue I selected parallely joining two technical avenues; the Editorial Avenue due to my love and passion towards writing and the Club Relations Avenue because networking with people and building bonds was something I wanted to develop. And began the journey!
The Professional Development Avenue indeed helped me professionally develop and discover my potential. Project “Overcome” was the first Organizing Committee I joined, and I took up the challenge of playing the role of the Secretary. Project proposals, captions, and reports were not something I knew much about, but the unknown made the task interesting. During the year the Directors of the PD Avenue were Dushyantha ayya and Harsha akka who were always there to guide and appreciate the team. They have been such a motivation and inspiration throughout the year at PD which made me feel the avenue home. There were times when I doubted myself, but the appreciation gained from them kept me moving and made me go beyond my expectations. Not to forget the awesome OC members who were family. I still remember how emotional I got during the last meeting of Project Overcome, not knowing that bonds and memories built once will remain the same forever. Then I was offered the opportunity of joining project “ViewMe” as a Co-Chair, which was of a totally different dimension and this initiative gave me a glimpse of the corporate world too. I felt organizing projects was not my thing until PD brought me out of my comfort zone. I was able to work as a Secretary, Co-chair, Caption Writer, Moderator, and Coordinator and was also selected as the Team Leader of the Professional Development Avenue for the year 2021-22. PD definitely made me realize that online projects are also fun and do create the best memories when you’ve got the best team with you.
The Club Relations Avenue was a totally new experience for me, not having an idea what was happening, I joined the avenue. I learned the importance of creating bonds not only with members of the club but also strengthening and supporting fellow Rotaractors of other clubs was also a duty of a Rotaractor. It was fascinating to learn about the Newsroom, the other club project participations, the records maintained, and all the backend work that went on to maintain and excel in engagement and interaction with fellow clubs.
The Editorial Avenue! While writing this down this very moment, I’m diving deep into the very word which is now beyond a word or avenue; Editorial. The very first meeting of the Editorial, I attended as a member still strives strongly in my mind, recalling the moments of it. On the very first day itself, I did learn quite a lot. Importance of a caption, translation, adherence to the content, comprehensiveness than complexity, all the backend work and many more. The year with the Editorial was full of learnings for me where I developed my writing and in fact, started believing in myself again. I never knew I was able to do translations and gained immense practice with the guidance of the Editors. Yashodhya Akka, the Senior Editor of the Rotaract Club of the University of Kelaniya for the RI year 2021-22 will forever be an inspiration to me. And all the Editors too for all the invaluable learnings.
Additionally, RotaTomorrow 2.0 was a tremendous platform for me to subject myself into a leadership role again. I was able to Co-chair project Medi-Care which was based on the SDG ‘Good Health and Well-being’. I sharpened my flyer designing, caption writing, leadership, and organizing skills upon this magnificent stage.
Rotaract, the brand-new chapter of my life turned out to be even special and unique upon being appointed as the Senior Editor of the Rotaract Club of University of Kelaniya for the RI year 2022-23. EDITORIAL became something close to my heart and I guess I totally lived a blog life. I always loved idling among the articles and pages of the blog and during the year my passion, hobby, priority and everything was the Editorial. I exceeded my own expectations in flyer and featured image designing and started trying animated graphics too.
I was privileged to execute Project Click along with an amazing team and especially the co-chairs Rtr. Kandakumar Ganagadaran and Rtr. Santusha Siriwardane. We were also able to surpass the milestone of 500 blog articles within the year which was celebrated by the entire club. During my year as the Senior Editor, we were also able to successfully initiate ‘Chronicle’, the official quarterly newsletter of the Rotaract Club of University of Kelaniya. The Editorial Avenue also commenced two other initiatives, Rota Pen Pal; a collaborative endeavor with the International Service Avenue of RACUOK and Beyond; a joint project with the Rotaract Club of University of Colombo Faculty of Management and Finance which was an endeavor to spotlight Rotaractors who excelled in different professions and fields while engaging in the art of volunteerism. Working with Rotaractors beyond RACUOK added more experience to my Rotaract journey.
Rotaract was indeed overloaded with opportunities as it paved the way for me to participate in different competitions such as Build-U by RACUOK, Wordsville by RACUOCFMF, Gen Orators by RACUOC Faculty of Law and many more, helping me surpass challenges and go beyond my own expectations.
Personally, for me, the Editorial year was full of milestones. 1500+ captions and translations for proofreading, 100+ documents for proofreading, 100+ Special Day captions, translations, and articles, 60+ Creative Corner Articles, Project articles covering all the outstanding initiatives by the club, and so on goes the list including the 60+ featured images of the Creative Corner which I enjoyed creating for each and every unique article.
How can I not mention the Blog! A four-letter word that made me wonder is it’s even possible for a page within a silver screen to become so special to a person. Blog wandering is something I always enjoy, each and every article published presented me with moments of exultation. Once you upload the words and images and gain the final output, the satisfaction gained is invaluable. I was honored to overlook and work on a prestigious blog that won the bronze award for the most outstanding blog at the District Assembly 2021-22. This has forever been a motivational factor for me to strive to keep up and exceed standards.
I have to mention my dear Co-Editors; Rtr. Nuzha and Rtr. Dinithi for always supporting this gigantic journey of exceeding expectations. A big thank you to both of them for consistently being there with the ‘can do’ vibe. I also extend my gratitude to the amazing and exemplary Presidents of RACUOK who I have worked under their leadership; Kisal ayya and Manula ayya for the immense encouragement, support and guidance and also Verosha akka for motivating me to lead the Editorial. The entire Board of Directors made the RI year 2022-23 in Rotaract even more special for me with immense support and appreciation. Thank you all.
With all of these endeavors filling up the year came RotaTomorrow 3.0. From being a Co-chair I was much privileged to join as a Mentor, overlooking the project Awake & Alive which was based on the SDG ‘Drug Prevention & Rehabilitation’.
During the RI year 2022-23, I gained the opportunity to also join the District Advocates Team of the Rotaract in Rotary International District 3220, Sri Lanka and Maldives which aided me to pursue my passion further.
‘Rotaract’ is a glorious adventure that unveils potential, extends learnings, creates memories and experiences and presents forever bonds while exploring the platform of serving the community. Rotaract will always hold a special place in my life; it is where I discovered myself!