‘ඇහැරුණු අකුරු’ is a community service project concept of Rotaract Club of Alumni of University of Moratuwa, initiated with the aim of uplifting the literature standard among school children in underprivileged areas. The first phase of the project was carried out in September 2017, at the Colombo International Book Fair 2017.
After a month, it was the time for us to witness the reward for some hard work. We traveled through the partly damaged roads to the school named ‘Kammandaluwa Bilingual Kanishta Vidyalaya’, which has both Sinhala and Tamil medium classes. The school is a lighthouse for around three hundred students to guide through their primary education, helping them to face Grade 5 Scholarship exam victoriously. But Kammandaluwa Bilingual Kanishta Vidyalaya didn’t have a library until that day. With high hopes to fulfill what they need the most, we came to the entrance of the school.
School children representing different communities greeted us with a sheaf of betel leaves. Though they did not have a band to welcome us, it was lovely and heart-warming to see how they escorted us with the principal Mr. Balasooriya to their main hall, which transforms into classrooms on any ordinary day.
The Principal warmly welcomed us. The newly built school library was ceremoniously declared open by the principal of the school, Mr. Balasooriya and our president Rtr. Himantha Alahakoon, alongside the community service director Rtr. Poorna Rajawasam. The new library has been equipped with new furniture and steel cupboards to store books.
The courageous and talented children showed us that they can do anything if they are provided with more resources. They performed beautiful musicals using Sinhala & Tamil songs. Our president Rtr. Himantha then addressed the gathering, highlighting the importance of books and the real value of having a library. He then presented the pack of books to the Principal ceremonially, portraying the donation of thousand books. At the end of the session, an academic staff member delivered the vote of thanks.
We then gathered all the books to the library with inventory. We spent some more time with the children to take photographs, making memorable moments with them.
By Rtr. Sachindra Weerasooriya