Kindred Kidneys is a project, initiated by the Rotaract Club of Alumni of University of Moratuwa in the year 2018 as an international service initiative with the Rotaract Club of KairósXalapa (District 4185). This year Rotaract Alumni Mora has planned to extend its scope by collaborating it with the community service avenue as well. The main objectives of this project are to increase awareness regarding Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) and helping the innocent people who suffered from CKD. The project is done in collaboration with the Samastha Lanka Kidney Patients Association (SLKPA).
On the 17th of January 2022, the first phase of Kindred Kidneys took place at Kelaniya Raja MahaViharaya. Our Rotaractors from Rotaract Alumni Mora together with members of the Samastha Lanka Kidney Patients Association engaged in selling their quarterly publication ‘Wakugaduwa’ which is the first kidney-related newspaper published in Sri Lanka. It is a newspaper rich in articles that educate about chronic disease. Many of the devotees visiting Kelaniya Raja MahaViharaya extended their helping hand in buying the informative newspaper. It was our pleasure to enhance the efforts put in by the SLKPA and to create awareness among the public regarding the seriousness of kidney diseases.
Rotaract Alumni Mora is excited to shape up Kindred Kidneys more vividly and frequently. The next phase is planned to roll out very soon, and we hope to see you all there, contributing towards this worthy cause!
“The fantastic advances in the field of electronic communication constitute a greater danger to the privacy of the individual.” – Earl Warren.
We are a generation who are known to be “Experts” when it comes to social media. Yet. there is one side on which, many of us are not really experts. That is the privacy concerns in social media platforms.
Privacy concerns with social networking services is a subset of data privacy. It involves the right of using personal privacy concerning storing, re-purposing, provision to third parties, and displaying of information pertaining to oneself via the Internet. Social network security and privacy issues result from the large amounts of information these sites process each day.
Brainstorming together on a much-needed topic
“Together as One”, a novel effort by Rotaract Club of Alumni of University of Moratuwa, is a series of friendly discussions on the focus area of Peace and Conflict Resolution centering on our communities and localities.
The first of the series was conducted with the participation of the fellow members of Rotaract clubs of Katugastota Region and Ratnapura based on the theme “Privacy concerns in social media platforms” on 20th of February 2021 via Zoom.
It is all about your data
The discussion with the fellow Rotaractors was based on quite interesting topics which covered the areas of;
The value of Privacy
Individual Data Privacy Protection
How it helps to manage the boundaries of people
Open discussion of the issue of WhatsApp vs Signal
The participants also got an idea of data privacy and information privacy. This is a part of the data protection area that deals with the proper handling of data giving focus on compliance with data protection laws. The points covering the importance of data privacy such as data protection laws around the world gave the participants proper control over their data. This surely, empowered them to know how their data is used, by whom and why, giving them control over how their personal data is processed and used.
WhatsApp or Signal?
We also could discuss a topic that went viral during the past months among social media users. That is the usage of Signal, a messaging service platform. Here our participants got the chance to have a meaningful discussion on the benefits of using Signal. Well, the discussion took an interesting turn as the participants put their ideas and info on the table such as; benefits that Signal has with its features which are similar to the ones that you are used to on WhatsApp, such as stickers and emojis, how both WhatsApp and Signal provide “disappearing messages” feature for additional privacy with their end-to-end encryption services, their major differences such as how each app is funded. All in all, most of them agreed that WhatsApp is important because everyone has got very familiar with it.
Yet, who knows what the future holds? It could WhatsApp, Signal or any other that is still in the making. But the concern on privacy would never die out. It would rather emerge to be prominent in the days to come.
While expressing our heartiest thanks to all the Rotaractors who joined the day to reap out the best in the topic, we hope that our participants got an insight as to what really hides behind those three simple words; “Yes, I agree”.
Education is for improving the lives of others and for leaving your community and world better than you found it.
Marian Wright Edelman.
“Nena Pahana” is an initiative of the Rotaract Club of Alumni of University of Moratuwa towards that better world that we dream for the future generation. The project was launched with the prime objective of improving basic education and literacy of the young generation of the country. “Nena Pahana” mainly consists of a seminar series for O/L students in Mathematics and Science subjects.
Digitalizing education for new normal
This year we chose Diyalagoda Maha Vidyalaya – Maggona to conduct the seminar series and past paper discussion targeting the O/L examination of the students. With the pandemic situation in the country, we had to plan and initiate the project with much care. Yet, the team did not fail in bringing its content to the students in an effective manner.
Next level coordination
Initially, we had a problem with having the session through digital means. Yet, with the support given by the Principal of Diyalagoda Maha Vidyalaya by creating a group of students based on the resources, our team was able to push through those hurdles. The project chairperson, Rtr. Nipuna Peiris initially contacted the Principal of the school and identified the requirements of them. We also managed to contact resource persons earlier to make the project more effective. With these strenuous efforts of the team, the sessions were completed according to a constructive plan. Above all, our prime objective of sharpening the Maths and Science knowledge of our youngsters was realised.
Meet the standards carefully
Initially, we had a discussion with the school to get an understanding of the students and their level of expectation. With the given input, we designed a paper discussion session covering the theoretical parts of the subjects. Two days prior to the session, we sent them the question paper which we expected to discuss. We wanted them to try and prepare for the questions before the session as it would necessarily enhance their confidence.
Completion of 20+ sessions
With strong and stable guidance, we were able to complete 20+ sessions for the students of Diyalagoda Maha Vidyalaya. In this successful journey, I would like to express my sincere gratitude for the resource persons who did a tremendous job to make it successful. Their guidance and teaching skills was a boost for the students to reach higher levels. Undoubtedly their selfless dedication became a blessing for the outstanding results.
Free education is the highway to the change in the future that you and I foresee. From solving problems such as environmental pollution, wide-spreading diseases, global disputes, and wars, threats to humanity, to the most advanced concepts that we like to try out for the betterment of the world, education lays down the foundation to create the most brainy minds on the Earth. We, being Rotaractors, always value the free education that nourished us to conquer the world that we relish now. Thus, it is our duty to guide the young generation of our country to become the best harvest of free education.
Being diagnosed with kidney disease can be a huge challenge, both for the patient and their family members. Its diagnosis and management, particularly in advanced stages of kidney disease, impact severely upon their lives. For instance, it reduces their and that of family and friends ability to participate in everyday activities like work, travel, and socializing whilst causing numerous problematic side effects.
Being a strength to the warriors of life…
Accordingly, ‘සුව සවි’ is an initiative organized by Rotaract Club of Alumni of University of Moratuwa under the signature project, Kindred Kidneys. With the pandemic, we held this to donate masks and sanitizers to Samastha Lanka Kidney Patients Association (SLKPA). It was a great opportunity to be a strength for those warriors who are battered with suffering, dialysis, and transplants with regard to their kidney problems.
We initiated the project with the objective of celebrating World Kidney Day which was on the 11th of March. The World Kidney Day Steering Committee has declared 2021, as the year of “Living Well with Kidney Disease”. Their aim is to increase both education and awareness about effective symptom management and patient empowerment. Eventually, the ultimate goal is to encourage life participation.
We stand for the empowerment,
Whilst effective measures to prevent kidney disease and its progression are important, patients with kidney disease – including those who depend on dialysis and transplantation – and their care-partners should also feel supported. Especially during pandemics and other challenging periods, the concerted efforts of kidney care communities are essential. In addition, along with Suwa Sawi, we set a PR post series on 7 Golden rules of Kidney Disease Prevention. Check these posts which we have attached here at the end and make yourself aware!!
In collaboration with Eco Life…
Eco Life, a Sri Lankan-based eco-friendly cleaning solution provider offered their generous hand as the healthcare partner of ‘සුව සවි’. Finally, the donation session of ‘සුව සවි’ was successfully held on 6th March at the Samastha Lanka Kidney Patients Association. Along with the support of the team at Eco Life, we could donate sanitizer liquid (5L), disinfectants (10L), and face masks (200).
We extend our heartfelt gratitude to Eco Life, and all the generous souls who extended their helping hand in making this endeavor a success. We, Rotaract Alumni Mora strived to continue our service towards the empowerment of lives and the prevention of Kidney disease. Together, we can build a blessed nation free of Kidney diseases !.
No doubt that it is a question that we all always ask secretively from ourselves during these difficult times. Yet, we all know that the answer will be vague. One year has almost passed and the count from here onwards depends on the school of thought we choose to believe. either we overlook the risk thinking that nothing will change and never will since it is already one year, or we try a bit harder while going on with our lives believing that we will escape it very soon.
All in all, we know the latter will save many lives and will be the most sensible choice to save us. But constant self-discipline and the self-awareness of the best practises such as washing hands, using face protection, and maintaining distance play a major role in this trail.
Safety precautions will save us alone!?
As Ignaz Semmelweis said
“It only takes as long to wash your hands well as it takes twice to sing “Happy Birthday”
Washing hands has become one of the famous topics during this pandemic time. Everyone is encouraged to wash their hands to stop the dangerous spread.
For over a year we have been adhering to these practices for the sake of the safety of our nation. Though these were brought to notice with massive effort through awareness campaigns, it is now a part of our normal routine. Yet, in this day and age there lies a question of whether those best practises alone would be sufficient. The uninterrupted provision of necessary facilities to follow these practices, in the long run, is another aspect that needs our concern.
For a healthier tomorrow – Project Suwa Diriya
We as Rotaractors thought to address this with another step of our initiative “De-COVID”. Intending to provide adequate facilities to wash hands such as paddle sinks, especially in hospitals which are allocated to COVID-19 patients, the community service team of the Rotaract Club of Alumni of University of Moratuwa initiated a novel project by the name “Suwa Diriya” under the theme ‘For a healthier tomorrow’.
After careful consideration, Colombo East Base Hospital Mulleriyawa was chosen for the project after discussions with the hospital officials. Funding for the sinks was collected through donations from the public. A flyer series was shared informing about the project details and to collect donations. With the kind contribution of the many, we were able to build paddle sinks that were to be donated to the hospital. The donation session was conducted on the 20th February 2021, with the participation of the Deputy Director of the hospital and our fellow Rotaractors Rtr. Sudara, Rtr. Matheesha and Rtr. Malitha.
Project ‘Suwa Diriya’ was indeed a great step to stop the virus spread. The main reason behind the success of this project was the contribution of our beloved Rotaractors, their friends and family members. Thus, we extend our sincere gratitude to all those generous hands for making this endeavour a success.
Let us all strengthen our nation in this humanitarian battle to have a world free from COVID!
Wondering what these percentages in Sri Lanka reveal?
Well, it’s not just some ordinary statistics that you and I hear daily these days. Yet, some numbers which highly need our concern!
The above demographic representation shows the percentage of households in the relevant districts with at least one member with Chronic Kidney Disease between the years 2009 – 2018 as shown in research published in 2019.
Kidneys are as precious as your life…
As per the view of the many, our two kidneys may seem to be just two small bean-shaped organs that are there to pass waste and toxins from our body. Yet, that small function interrelates numerous other activities that keep our body balanced. A bit of a self-research on these two small organs will be truly worth it and would make you more conscious of the healthiness of your kidneys.
Kidney disease is defined as any damage that occurs to the kidneys which affect its operation to keep our body healthy. It is mainly categorized as short-term (acute kidney injury) and lifelong (chronic) kidney disease. Acute kidney disease is a temporary loss of kidney function that would last only a few months and would cause no long term effects on the body. Meanwhile, Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) which has become one of the major health concerns relates to progressive kidney damage that could not be reversed most of the time. The most concerning fact about this disease in the current situation is that 10% of the world population is affected by CKD, and millions of people pass away each year due to the unaffordability of the treatments.
Sri Lanka in the face of CKD…
In Sri Lanka, the first CKD case was reported back in the ’90s and was recorded to be due to an unknown etymology which simply defines the cause to be a mystery. Few of the normal causes of CKD include diabetes, hypertension, kidney inflammation. Yet, ever since the past, Sri Lanka has been known for an unidentified cause of CKD. This has set the rate of CKD cases reported in the country in the rising trend over the years. Although in the past, North Central province was the epicentre of CKD, it has now been distributed over North-Western, Southern, Eastern and Uva Provinces as per the research findings. Since its past records, studies were conducted to find the possible causes behind this. Accordingly, various measures such as providing clean drinking water facilities, control measurers on pesticides, clinical check-ups and fundings for the rural areas are being planned by both governmental and non-governmantal entities.
‘Living well with Kidney Disease’
Today, we celebrate World Kidney Day 2021 under the theme “Living well with Kidney Disease”. With proper medication in place, a person suffering from CKD can lead a normal life. But, the challenges faced during this period, by patients and their care partners are immense. As much as they like to lead a normal life, the medication process can be overwhelming for them to bear along with their day to day activites. International Society of Nephrology (ISN) and the International Federation of Kidney Foundations (IFKF), the pioneers behind the World Kindey Day, have come up with this theme to give prominence to patient empowerment, partnership and improved communications to strengthen those affected by CKD and thus build the faith that they can live well with CKD.
Rotaract Alumni Mora in action…
Kindred Kidneys, the signature project by Rotaract Alumni Mora, is an effort in support of these kidney patients all around Sri Lanka. Throughout the years, the project has focused on raising awareness and supporting rural communities to overcome this disease. The first phase of the project for the year 2021 was launched as a series of videos raising awareness on kidney disease by joining hands with Samastha Lanka Kidney Patients Association.
Further, the project “Suwa Sawi” a sub-project under this massive effort was conducted on 6th March in celebration of World Kidney Day. The project aimed in supporting Samastha Lanka Kidney Patients Association in combatting the recent COVID – 19 pandemic by donating necessary sanitisation items and face masks. We at Rotaract Alumni Mora is ready to keep the next step of this worthy endeavour forward to reach out to rural communities and be a support mechanism for the lives of those suffering from CKD.
As we celebrate this day in support of all those fighting CKD around the globe, let’s not forget that as much as we ponder about a future without CKD, it’s time to think through the ways and means to support those who have already been victimised. Let’s strive together to care for CKD patients as they get cured to lead the life they’ve always wanted!
Demographic statistics on the percentage of households in the relevant districts with at least one member with Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) between the years 2009 – 2018 – Kafle, K., Balasubramanya, S., & Horbulyk, T. (2019). Prevalence of chronic kidney disease in Sri Lanka: A profile of affected districts reliant on groundwater. Science of The Total Environment, 694, 133767. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2019.133767
Ranasinghe, A.V., Kumara, G.W.G.P., Karunarathna, R.H. et al. The incidence, prevalence and trends of Chronic Kidney Disease and Chronic Kidney Disease of uncertain aetiology (CKDu) in the North Central Province of Sri Lanka: an analysis of 30,566 patients. BMC Nephrol20, 338 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12882-019-1501-0
The value of a man resides in what he gives and not in what he is capable of receiving.
We all have special days in our lives that we would like to celebrate with our close ones to share the joy. It may be a birthday, graduation day, wedding day or even the day you became a parent. No matter what, we all prefer to receive surprises, gifts and parties to remind the value of ourselves in our loved ones’ hearts.
What if we make someone happy on that special day and celebrate it with them? Or in other words, what if we become the sunshine in someone’s rainy day?
This was the thought that drove us towards having the series ‘Share the Joy’ as we, Rotaractors of Alumni of University of Moratuwa, perpetually attempt to make a difference in someone’s life. In other words, this is an opportunity to celebrate our birthdays by helping some innocent souls to gather beautiful memories in their lives and bring smiles on their innocent faces.
Service considers no barriers…
The current pandemic situation could not deter this meritorious endeavour that we do annually. As in previous years, we didn’t have the privilege to interact with children to share our joy and experience. Hence the team decided to organise this year’s Share the Joy with a different touch in its execution.
Thus, as the initial stage, we contacted several child protection centers to approach centers with requirements that are needed to be fulfilled. Accordingly, we chose Nutrition Centre for Infants – Sarvodaya Suwasetha Sewa Society, which is home to 25 babies under 3 years of age and provides them with medical care, clinical services and nutrition, to conduct Share the Joy 20.1.
We went to the place and discussed with them regarding the requirements of the infants. One of their main requirements was mattresses for the infants. This time we invited all the Rotaractors who celebrated their birthdays in July, August, September and October to be a part of this generous act. We emphasized to them the importance and speciality of this meritorious act as this was a different kind of a donation in Share the Joy history compared to previous phases.
A coming together of generous souls…
We managed to collect a significant monetary donation and other materialistic donations for this from the members for a worthy cause. Our plan was to buy 7 mattresses and buy Rexine covers for those mattresses considering the durability. We donated those 15 customized mattresses for babies on 18th of December at Sarvodaya Suwasetha Sewa Society Moratuwa.
Rotaract Alumni Mora expresses our sincere gratitude for all the members who helped us to make this phase a great success. We sincerely hope that we will receive the same earnest support from all generous souls for the future phases of this noble endeavour.
If you are planning for a year, sow rice; if you are planning for a decade, plant trees; if you are planning for a lifetime, educate people – Chinese Proverb
“Nena Pahana” is an initiative of the Rotaract Club of Alumni of University of Moratuwa. We launched it with the prime objective of improving basic education and literacy of the young generation of the country. “Nena Pahana” mainly consists of a seminar series for O/L students in Mathematics and Science subjects.
A virtual seminar series during the pandemic
This year we selected “Diyalagoda Maha Vidyalaya – Maggona” to conduct the seminar series targeting the O/L examination of the students. With the pandemic situation in the country, we had to plan and initiate the project in diligent care. Most importantly, as the schools were closed for a long time period, this session series became a necessity more than ever. The project chairperson, Rtr. Nipuna Peiris initially contacted the Principal of the school and identified the requirements of them. Then we planned to conduct the sessions in a virtual platform (via ZOOM) as it is the safest and convenient way amid this pandemic. Moreover, we came up with a constructive plan to conduct the sessions more effectively. Above all, what we want is to sharpen the Maths and Science knowledge of our youngsters.
Carefully designed to meet the standards
The dearest teachers at the school were well familiar with their students. Therefore, we had a discussion with them to get an understanding about the students and their level of expectation. With the given input, we designed a paper discussion session covering the theoretical parts of the subjects. Two days prior to the session, we sent them the question paper which we expected to discuss. We wanted them to try and prepare for the questions before the session.
Finally, we launched our first session, on 5th and 13th of December. Rtr. Matheesha Abeysekara and Rtr. Shenith Dilshan contributed as the resource persons to the session.
This is how it went, Nena Pahana phase 1
Rtr. Matheesha Abeysekara started the session by giving them a motivational insight into learning and development. We were lucky to witness how the little ones being received a good learning experience through our session. Rtr. Matheesha explained to them about the overall structure and the level of expectancy in the O/ L Maths paper. Furthermore, he taught them the tricks and techniques which would be useful to construct answers easily at the examination. Rtr. Senith conducted the second session. His main focus was to guide them through managing the time appropriately during the first paper. Moreover, he explained the theoretical aspects relevant to some questions in the paper.
We, being Rotaractors always value the free education that nourished us to conquer the world that we relish now. And it is our duty to guide the young generation of our country to become the best harvest of the free education. Therefore, we hope to conduct more sessions for Grade 10 and Grade 11 students in the future as well.
Content byRtr. Kavinda Senarathne (Edited by Rtr. Odatha Bandara)
The signs of another community spread are emerging. Hence it is necessary and proactive to have proper preventive practices. With this intention, we, Rotaract Club of Alumni of University of Moratuwa initiated COVID Combat, as a sub project of De-COVID. The main objective was to promote safety precautions within the society regarding COVID-19.
A fun challenge to be a responsible citizen..
We organized it as a fun challenge where participants need to promote awareness regarding COVID- 19 preventive measures. The guidelines of this game were as follows.
Participants need to send photos/videos regarding any COVID-19 preventive measure to our FB page “De-COVID”.
And from our side, we will post them on our FB page based on their relevancy to the project objective.
The participants need to get likes and shares for the original post we have posted.
The points criteria are as follows.
1 like – 1 mark, 1 share – 3 marks
And the most exciting part is that the winners stand a chance to win vouchers worth Rs. 4000 from The Sizzle Colombo.
A combat to promote awareness.
The week became more competitive as we got entries from several participants who are representing several Rotaract Clubs. They all actively participated in the game by sharing their posts to get marks. On the other hand, it became helpful to spread awareness about preventive methods of COVID-19 which is essential to build up a safe environment for all of us.
We want everyone to be a winner, a life free from COVID.
After one week the winners were announced and the winner of COVID Combat is Rtr. Udeshika Ravihari with 770 total marks. The second and third places were won by Rtr. Dinu Induwara and Rtr. Enuri Edirisinghe.
Although the winners were selected, the ultimate goal was to promote a safe and healthier lifestyle within the community. That is to make each and every one of us a winner in the presence of COVID combat.
Rotaract Club of Alumni of University of Moratuwa presented the subproject of DeCovid, ‘The Impact’, a motivational session targeting undergraduates aiding them to have a fresh start after COVID-19 crisis. The session was held online on 16th of September, Wednesday via Google Meet. The resource person for the event was Dr. Sumudu Herath, a lecturer at Civil Engineering Department at University of Moratuwa , he was PhD researcher at the University of Cambridge, UK and also an active member of Rotaract Club of Alumni of University of Moratuwa.
The need for a motivational session arose due to many difficulties faced by undergraduates in their academics due to the pandemic situation. Due to lack of facilities in home environments some undergrads have to cover all the lessons after returning back to the university, some have not attended online lectures and do not have enough time to refer to those lessons now, whilst most struggle with managing time due to piled up practical sessions. Dr Sumudu Herath shared his opinion and remedies that the students can follow concisely during his session.
The summary of the session contents are as follows:
Tips for managing work and being productive
The use of Trello boards, To-do applications manages the productivity in online work schedules which was the main thing in pandemic era. On the other hand, a person must have a good healthy life with a good sleep to maintain productivity in their day to day life
Coping with team dynamics
During undergrad time most of the situations in group projects and final year projects the team has to work together to achieve their goal. To achieve that target team has to understand each of the member’s skill set which can be helpful in different manner.
Emotional regulation and stress management
Stress becomes the most common thing when it comes to exams, final presentations, viva etc. In this situation smart learning is concept which is way better than hard working before deadlines. In this concept, we only need to focus on what we need, what are the things the examiners evaluate and how to present it in a pleasant manner.
Improve of Self-study / Self Learning
Due to the pandemic situation most of the online courses offer discounts and gives opportunity to do courses free of charge. This becomes a major strength for all the undergrads to improve self-learning by doing courses offered from well-known universities in Sri Lanka.
Based on the overall session our resource person, Dr Sumudu Herath shared his experience on time management, productivity and the way to become a smart learner who can manage extra-curricular activities along with academics. He focused on team management which is more important in group projects and final year projects. He described the online tools which can be used to enhance productivity in studying or in project management. The event concluded with a handful of tips for undergrads and grads to embrace change with courage!