‘Leaf of Friendship’ is a humble initiation of Rotaract Club of University of Moratuwa and Rotaract Club of Nallur Heritage to reach out to communities from all over the island and unite as one to embrace mother nature. ‘Connecting Children with nature’ was the catchphrase of this project which was centered around Children’s Day 2017. Rotaract Mora and RAC Nallur Heritage joined hands and redefined friendships by lending their warmth of friendship to children of Jaffna. The main event of the project was a tree planting Ceremony where 1000 trees were planted in various locations in Jaffna with the participation of over 120 Rotaractors and Interactors.
35 Rotaractors from Rotaract Mora and 2 Interactors from Royal Institute and Mahanama College joined in their journey to lend their hands to friends in Jaffna, all the way from Colombo. The active participation of RAC Chullipuram also aided to elevate this humble initiative to a project to remember. ‘Leaf of Friendship- Camp Fire’ was held in the night of 31st September in Jaffna. All boundaries of race, religion and language was set aside as Rotaractors and Interactors from the North and the South sang to the tunes of both Tamil and Sinhalese songs and played fun games, rejoicing the light of the camp fire.
The 1st of October 2017 was indeed a day to remember for all the participants of ‘Leaf of Friendship’. The awards ceremony of the essay, art and poetry competition of ‘Leaf of Friendship’ was held at Tilko City Hotel, Jaffna where certificates and plants were given away as a memorable prize to students from 10 schools in Jaffna who competed in competitions under 3 age categories.
The tree planting ceremony commenced by planting the first plant at the Jaffna Public Library. 1000 other plants were planted at various locations in Jaffna including Jaffna Central College symbolizing the friendship with nature. The trees were held with care and watered by the Rotaractors and Interactors emphasizing on the importance of creating harmony between mother nature and them. Interactors of St John College, Jaffna Central College, Jaffna Hindu Ladies College, Jaffna Holy Family Convent, Mahanama College and Royal Institute participated in the tree planting ceremony and celebrated Children’s Day with nature. The shade and fresh breath provided by the trees planted as they grow to be glorious shady trees will indeed leave a reminder of the friendships made.
As the evening dawned, Rotaractors were still packed with energy and were looking forward to “The Leaf of Friendship – Cricket Match” which was held at the Jaffna Central College Grounds among the fellow Rotaract clubs. The match further strengthened the bond between the Rotaract clubs, while they enjoyed a good game of cricket under the gleaming Jaffna sun. The match marked the end of the project “Leaf of Friendship” but marked the beginning of budding friendships between Rotaract Clubs of North and the South.
Rotaract Mora and RAC Nallur Heritage is deeply thankful to Mr. Ralph Gunawardena without whom this project would not have become a reality. Mr. Ralph was a guiding light throughout the developments of the project from its conceptual stage till its successful closure. They also extend their sincere gratitude to the ‘Peter Duncan Foundation’ for the generous donation of 1000 trees for the children of Jaffna. The insight and guidance of its chairman, Mr. Dammika Liyanage was indeed a ray of sunshine for the friendships made with nature and our brothers and sisters in Jaffna.
Rotaract Mora lived up to the club’s theme for the year 17/18, “Roots Evoking Spring” and proved that together with RAC Nallur Heritage they indeed were the roots to evoke spring in our beloved country.
Kudos for the new friendships made!