“Reach high, for stars lie hidden in your soul. Dream deep, for every dream lights a goal.”
Life is hard for everyone. Everyone gets hurt. Everyone gets betrayed. Everyone feels the loss. The difference is how well you respond to it. How will you make yourself strong enough to face it? What is the path you should take to overcome this situation?
Many people get depressed at one point or another throughout their life. Whether it is caused by the death of a family member or workload stress or mental illness, feelings of depression is inevitable to everyone. Unfortunately, they consider suicide as an option to escape from their emotional pain. If we take a minute and look back at the society, we witness many teenagers have become silent victims of this. As responsible citizens, we felt that we should take necessary steps to avoid this and help the young buds of our country to enhance and groom their outer and inner self to bring about a positive change to the world.
“Speak UP – Reach OUT” was a community service project organized by the Rotaract Club of University of Kelaniya on behalf of the World Children’s Day, which was held on the 16th of October 2016 at the Western Province Aesthetic Resort with the intention of enhancing the awareness on suicide prevention and motivating them to groom themselves for a better tomorrow.
Our approach in this program was mainly for the teenage crowd of Sri Lanka. Therefore, we mainly focused on girl guides, scouts and orphans representing different spheres of the country. Being the leaders in schools, girl guides and scouts have the power to make a greater impact in schools as well as in the society at large. Unlike others, the children who live in orphanages tend to be less forward in building relationships, less active in teamwork activities, etc. In other words, they do not let their full potential to be revealed. Hence the target audience was chosen to achieve our prime objectives of the event where we strongly believe that the young crowd needs to be addressed and educated in these issues for a brighter future.
The program consisted of two sessions with the contribution of two reputed speakers. The first session was about suicide prevention conducted by Mr. K.G Keerthi Prabhash, a well-known researcher and a lecturer specialized in this field. It was a very comprehensive session that addressed the minds of the youngsters. It was concluded with an interactive session at the end.
The second phase of the program was a workshop conducted by Mr. Mahesh Vipula Jayasinghe, a motivational trainer who is well-experienced in both international and local context with professional associations comprising of Toastmasters, Doctors, Engineers, Accountants, University Lecturers and Students. He made a different approach to the audience by giving an entertaining experience for the young ones. It was very inspiring and the children enjoyed it a lot. After another interactive session at the end, the program was concluded successfully.
All the parents, respective teachers in charge from the schools and matrons from child development centers were very pleased with the program we undertook for the children and the time we spent with those beautiful young minds will always be an unforgettable experience for us.
Written by : Rtr. Pasani Wickrama (Co-Director Community Service)