“Gift a Smile 18.2” - Giving them a reason to smile
As written by Rtr. Thishani Wijayaratne
Happiness is the greatest wealth one can own, and a smile is the reflection of that wealth. This year, on the 26th of August, Rotaract Club of University of Moratuwa, along with the support of MAS Active Linea Intimo (Private) Limited and Rotaract Club of University of Sri Jayewardenepura, set out on an endeavor with the children of Sucharithodaya Children’s Home, Maharagama to gift each of these little hearts that wealth.
The day started off at the National Museum in Colombo and the children were extremely enthusiastic to see all the fascinating historical artifacts and most of them made it a point to read all the descriptions attached with them. Although some of the children were too young to understand the historical importance of the sights before them, they thoroughly enjoyed the view and liked to be outside their home. The enthusiasm shown by these little kids running from each exhibit to the other showed that they enjoyed this rare experience to the fullest.
The next location on our list was Viharamahadevi Park, where they had their lunch. Despite the fact that they have been deprived of the love of a family to call their own, these children displayed so much love, compassion, unity and friendship, especially while having their lunch. It was nice to see how the older kids always looked out for the younger ones. Indeed, they were all brothers and sisters belonging to one big family.
Next, we boarded the bus and headed towards the Planetarium. While it was an educational visit, the kids greatly enjoyed travelling to outer space and walking on the moon through the eye of the video shown there.
Finally, to conclude the day with some fun, we set our route towards the Mount Lavinia beach, where fun games were organized for the kids. However, they were far more thrilled to play around in the waves until the sun had set and all their clothes were soaking wet. We all made sure to hold on to them while they were in the water to make sure those little ones didn’t get knocked off balance by the clashing tides. One of the kids said, “We have never been out on a trip like this before,” and, when it was time to leave they cried, “Please let us stay a while longer, because we won’t get to go out on a day like this again”.
At the end of the day, when the time had come for the children to return to their home, they told us that the day had been an enthralling experience which they had never had before. Indeed, this event was quite a remarkable experience for both the Rotaractors and the children to go on a day out and have so much fun while making so many beautiful memories.
Last but not least, as we departed, I recall they said they hoped that we would continue this event in the years to come without leaving out a single detail, as they enjoyed it all very much. These innocent children have very little in their lives to make them smile, and at the end of the day, we were all very happy that we were able to give them a reason to smile.