Here we go!!!
If a random person came to me and asked me to define happiness in one word… I would say, happiness is a choice. As a follow-up question if they ask what Rotaract is for me, in one word... I would effortlessly say it is my happiness. If we can create a little smile in a little soul fighting for their life with cancer, if we can give hope to a rural villager by providing much-needed infrastructure, if we can share our knowledge towards building an educated younger generation, if we can support our disabled community while giving them a learning outcome; Isn’t it the real definition of happiness? Yes, it is.
Now it is time to start my story. Yes… I also started my Rotaract journey, mainly by being a part of our community service team. After getting selected to the Engineering Faculty of University of Moratuwa, my mind used to say, “Now it is time to put some weight on academics more than chilling”. The reason is I am not a big brain, relatively :(
Randomly on a weekend, I saw a message passing through our Rotaract groups regarding a project called, “Hand in Hand”. By reading the caption, I was motivated to be a part of it. From that moment onwards I started working on getting permission from my mom to visit BMICH to sell cards in the bookfair :) Also at the same time, I requested a few of my friends to join me, with the purpose of gossiping and eat කඩචෝරු with them :) Rtr. Tharindu is the one who motivated me at first to be a part of Rotaract Mora. The effort and the commitment that he had towards the project, Hand in Hand was simply amazing from my point of view. Eventually, by being a part of a few projects I became so much passionate towards the Rotaract movement.
Rotaract Mora gave me lots of "first times" in my life. In my first year as a Rotaractor, I used to visit a rural school in the Piliyandala area for the Nena Aruna project with a few of my friends. After finishing the project, we felt so tired, and it demotivated us to walk along the road to catch a bus. One of my friends had a bike and he asked me to join him. Then my mind started going all "මේකෙ යනවද.. නැද්ද.. යනවද.. නැද්ද.." Well the bitter truth was, It was my first opportunity to ride in a bike :) finally, I said yes...and it is my first and also the last bike ride of my life :)
On a random day after starting academics in the university, I got a random message from Former President Dhanuka ayya, asking whether I would be happy to be his Assistant Secretary for the Rotaract year 2019-20. It was quite a tough decision for me and the reason is that at the same time I have been nominated to the batch representative from the 18th batch of Engineering Faculty. Grabbing opportunities which are coming through my life is my thing. I just discussed it with a few individuals and decided to say yes. After being a part of the board of officials in Rotaract Mora I always tried my best to do what I was assigned. Also, I never missed a single event unless for an unavoidable reason, while giving many opportunities to many of my batchmates as well.
Time passed so fast, and the “Are You Ready? 2019” project season was yet another memorable period. Staying till late at night in the university for “Are You Ready?” duties were full of gossip sessions and beautiful memories. I was getting calls from my roommates asking, “Hii lakiii...අපි කන්න යන්නෙ, ඔයා එනවද?". And my forever reply would be "ඔයාල කන්න, මං එද්දි රෑ වෙයි. And make sure not to lock the door”. And at the same time, I was appointed as the chairperson of the flagship ceremony of the Are You Ready? 2019. If I remember correctly I went to the civil auditorium from the food court back and forth more than 50 times, on the day before the ceremony. And the next day, everything went well and poor me felt so tired but with a hopeful smile with the successful completion of the project. On the same day, all our committee had an unofficial gathering in a beachside hotel with the purpose of chilling and celebrating the completion of the project.
Day by day while collecting many memories and experiences, the first year of Rotaract came to an end. Once again, I got a random call from one of my very good friends. His call was full of excitement and happiness. He has got an offer to be a part of Samila's Board of Directors. And I wished him the best of luck and reminded him that one of my sayings which helped him through life :) Few days passed and I also got an invitation from Samila to be the Co-Director, Membership Avenue, of his term. My fellow Co-Director Sathira was quite an unfamiliar one for me at that time. But with all my heart I said yes. The main reason I fell in love with this avenue is that membership always lies with human interactions and people management while creating opportunities for the younger generation. It was quite challenging with the new normal but we somehow managed to do our best when it came to our job role.
Weekly updates in LinkR and ongoing member contributions tracking played a major role in our lives. Also, by organizing three induction ceremonies and the annual awards ceremony we made sure to recognize all the hardworking and dedicated individuals. The signature project of Membership Avenue, Rota Spark was quite a challenging project but personally, it was a great learning opportunity for me. While onboarding new faces from 20th batch intake of University of Moratuwa, we were able to reveal their creativity and innovative mindset through Rota Spark.
The project was carried out for about three months with a bunch of great leaders with our forever guidance. In the year-end survey, we found out that the Rota Spark was one of the favourite projects among our members. All the long zoom meetings, late-night calls and daily reminders from me had become something very normal for everyone who worked with me. I always tried my best to reach deadlines as soon as possible to minimize the stresses while creating the best possible outcomes. On the other hand, I am trying my best to pass on that practice to all my followers.
If somebody asks me, what is my favourite and quite memorable Rotaract day of three years of my Rotaract Journey, I will say it is the 14th of March 2021. The day that we had our presidential election for the term 2021-22. It was a super exciting day, and I personally got a great learning outcome through it. To be honest my pure intention was to motivate all the young ladies to step up forward towards the opportunities while taking a risk but with the thirst of chasing opportunities. Life is not always about winning, but it provides better learning and proper guidance to be the next best :)
As a recap of the 2020-21 Rotaract year, project Grama Prabodhaya final visit was a memorable day. The song sung by the school students had these words, "වන සිව්පාවුන් වැනි මිනිසුන් මැද... දෙවි දේවතාවුන් වැනි මිනිසුන් ඇත..." and I felt it. Also, the project Model United Nations was a new platform for me to try out public speaking skills. And it ended up with me being the best delegate of the security council of SLRMUN Conference. Finally, “Are You Ready? 2020” was something amazing we did throughout the pandemic while creating career opportunities for the final year undergraduates in our university. The company coordination job role was quite a “smile in pain”, but we somehow managed to get on board nearly 70 companies by hosting a career fair for three days via a virtual platform.
Time passed so soon with the new normal and we were able to finish off the Rotaract year 2020-21 with a high note while winning global recognition for the Project Manusath Handa and winning a bunch of district awards at the annual awards ceremony 2021. Finally, the membership roller-coaster journey for the year 2020-21 ended up with a high note with a lot more new friendships, learnings, and opportunities.
After having a little break from the Co-Director role, I got a random message from our latest president cool Bimsara, to have a little chit chat. It was an invitation to be a part of his EXCO as the senior director of membership development. Currently taking over the reins of membership, working progressively with my super cool co-directors. It is simply amazing to see the way they create outcomes by following the same path that I followed one year back. Cheers to all the long chilling chats we had and to be continued :)
In a nutshell, Rotaract was not always a comfortable place for me. Sometimes it was quite challenging or seemed hard and impossible. But the right mindset and the clear goals with the bunch of super supportive peer groups made it impossible, possible. On the other hand, if you love what you do, it becomes something super familiar and comfortable for you in making, rather than concerning it as a burden or a trouble. Also, Rotaract is a place where you can smoothen yourself with many soft skills while chasing opportunities. A happy moment where you find diversified friends for your life, who is super cool and caring. and on a different note, you will get the chance to follow some great leaders and role models in your life, who have a great mindset with a positive vibe. Finally, it creates a platform to live a life with your purpose while serving the community. Yes:) Rotaract is an all-in-one package. It is always an honour and a pleasure to be a part of this beautiful family.
Adding a little motivation to your lives:) I know...with the new normal our lives have become a little bit dull, hopeless and boring with the lack of human interactions and physical activities. But don’t break the flow. Keep learning, growing and being smart. We fall, but make sure to rise. We cry but make sure to settle and smile once again. On the other hand make sure to treat yourself, love yourself and motivate yourself. At the end of the day what really matters is how happy and satisfied we are :) also, make sure to enlighten your surroundings in the best possible way. Do what you love and love what you do. Live life with your purpose and passion:)
Signing off by adding a little thank you note to everyone who saw good in everything that I did and to everyone who motivated me towards my best <3 Wishing good luck to Rotaract Mora for making us this much improved and exceptional.
Stay safe everyone and much love <3