Starting off with one of the favorite quotes in my life.
“Chasing dreams”, are not just two words, but a result of a struggle of many efforts and sacrifices. The depth of the sacrifice is known by only the person who does it. All thanks to Rotaract, I was fortunate enough to gain the courage and confidence to chase after my dreams no matter what.
Commencing my Rotaract journey back in 2016, I used to be that silent character who always wanted to be alone and free of responsibilities. That is how my story began, just like another story of an introverted person but with an unexpected change in mine.
I still wonder how that introverted child in me came to become the President of a Rotaract Club which was not an easy task. It was an interesting and challenging journey with many memories. Rtr. Hasitha Prashan is one of the main people who influenced my Rotaract journey as he is the individual who introduced Rotaract movement to me in 2016 making me join as a committee member for the project “Hand in Hand” organized by Rotaract Club of University of Moratuwa. I consider that as the beginning of stepping out of my comfort zone and entering a growth zone which made me find the passion to do more things within the movement.
I joined Rotaract Alumni Mora in 2019 as a Co-Director for Community Service and had incredible memories that built the motivation to do more in this movement with a bigger picture. According to Jay Shetty, “Failures are failures when we do not learn from them, when we learn from them they become lessons. Lessons become accomplishments someday if we keep our values consistent.” Finally, that is the actual beginning of mine with Rotaract Alumni Mora, where I chaired a project for the first time in Rotaract called “Kindred Kidneys” which also led to being one of the most significant projects focusing on Chronic Kidney Disease patients in Sri Lanka.
As a passionate Rotaractor, it is not just a set of projects but the beginning of a remarkable journey. That passion led me to fit the title of President of the Rotaract Alumni Mora making me realize my true potential. Accepting the presidency was also combined with a memorable story as it relates to my weekly social media usage. Even though I had to sacrifice more time for the movement by allocating half of the social media usage for Rotaract it was all worth it in the end. That is how time management comes into play when managing both a job and Rotaract.
Starting the RI year 2021-22 with a theme of “Empowering change to enrich lives”, I mainly wanted to build a positive impact in everyone’s life by making them perform beyond their comfort zone. So, I always gave my board members the freedom to live with Rotaract and enjoy the time in the movement without limiting it to another set of responsibilities they should be accountable for. That is how the passion in them grew which made it possible to face challenges by COVID, the economic crisis and many more to do wonders in the club. If at any point someone asks these questions as to “What’s the point of doing Rotaract?”, “Are you getting paid by doing Rotaract?” and “How do you perform in your job while doing Rotaract?”, the answers are always visible.
The main factor I focused on during my tenure was building the skillset of my members as we can both give and gain from Rotaract. The services being provided and gaining new skills are among the best entities we should focus on because it builds consistency in every Rotaractor. As a leader, I believe that a leader should be capable of taking action to perform in any stressful situation by maintaining the bond between team members. As a result of that, I expanded my skill set by learning event streaming, Photoshop, Lightroom, InDesign, Canva, blogging, video editing and also the skill of being present in 5 meetings simultaneously.
In this adventurous journey, I admire and extend my heartfelt gratitude to all the members who became a teacher to me and the other members in the Rotaract journey. It can be considered as an investment to boost our career paths and make a passive income by freelancing to achieve personal development.
The Board of members played a significant role by being exemplary leaders in the club. They helped each other in every avenue by not limiting their focus only to theirs. I am really happy to see members voluntarily engage without any internal agendas to achieve the goals of the club. Those are the values we can grab from a passionate Rotaractor becoming a great asset for the movement and for the community to make a great impact.
According to the Rotaract Motto “Fellowship Through Service” where fellowship occurs to be the other main reason to be in the movement. That is also the reason which made an introverted character like me step out to join life changing ventures. Joint General meetings and Joint projects are one of the best ways to develop fellowship with other clubs and their members as those would allow us to learn and have numerous experiences from others as well. Learning curves and experiences are independent of age, religion, or nationality as they are results of great humanity. Rotaract provides that opportunity to learn from others, respect other opinions and be inspired by others.
I am always grateful to my loving parents for allowing me to build the best version of myself by becoming a supportive hand in each aspect of my life. Their continuous support helps me work twenty-two hours per day sometimes even without feeling drained. Moreover, my humble gratitude goes to all my friends who helped me in numerous ways.
In this journey of Rotaract I met some amazing humble individuals. Among them, the individual who introduced me to Rotaract 6 years ago, Rtr. Hasitha Prashan is an important person who became an inspiring personality even from Grade 6. I should also mention Rtr. Anju Cheran, who helped me not only as an Immediate Past President, and a friend but also as a brother from another mother. Moreover the humble genius, Rtr. Himantha Alahakoon Ayya deserves my gratitude for being a great mentor for the past year and willing to share his knowledge anytime and anywhere possible and encouraging me in any situation to create a positive impact every time. Madam Secretary Rtr. Sithmi Lavanga, I could not ask for a better secretary and humble human being and I should thank you for all the support in planning and decision making you have done on behalf of me. I have huge respect for these important individuals who have made my Rotaract career more productive and enjoyable. Finally, I have to mention the Board of Officials and the general members of Rotaract Alumni Mora for all their immense support to make this journey successful with such a great bond and team spirit.
Finally, I could say that Rotaract is a combination of everything that would also come up with a better learning platform. It nurtures us to face any barrier in life and paves the path to becoming great human beings on Earth.
Viva La Rotaract!