Another milestone for Rotaract Colombo | Sunday Observer

Another milestone for Rotaract Colombo

Celebrating 50 years of Rotaract in Sri Lanka, the official website for Rotaract Sri Lanka (http://www.rotaract3220.org) was launched last week. In celebration of this special occasion for Rotaract, a commemorative stamp was also launched.

District Rotaract Representative RTR. Krishan Balaji, District Rotaract Representative Elect RTR. Kasun Sigera and Senior Rotaractor RTR. Nuzrath Farook were present at this event.

Rotary International was first founded in 1905 and since then has evolved into a global community which brings over 1.2 million people from across the globe together to bring about a lasting change. Recognising the importance of youth engagement in their activities to provide services to the public, Rotary commenced its youth arm, which is known as Rotaract, in 1968 for the individuals between 18 - 30 years. Currently, there are approximately 11,000 Rotaract Clubs worldwide with over 250,000 registered Rotaractors.

One year after the inception of Rotaract, on September 9, 1969, Sri Lanka went on to start its first Rotaract Club; the Rotaract Club of Colombo and has since had a glorious 50 years of service.

There are 70 active clubs with a voluntary membership of over 4000 youth locally, as “the Rotary International District 3220 | Sri Lanka and the Maldives”, celebrates this milestone.

Based on the requirements of the country and the world, the strategies are curated and followed through. In doing so, Rotaract in Sri Lanka, recognising the importance of “Quality Education for All”, “Combating Climate Change”, “Peace and Justice” as global initiatives, which are also recognised as priorities in the Global Sustainable Development Agenda, will be focusing more on education, environmental sustainability and peace building in its Golden Jubilee year.

Rotaract is an all-inclusive movement, which brings young individuals of different genders, religions, races, ethnicities, geographical backgrounds together to take part in a “larger-than-life” service.

The responsibility of the Rotaractors to be Ambassadors of Peace in Sri Lanka is understood by members and many initiatives are undertaken at the club level as well as the District 3220 as a whole, to promote peace and reconciliation in these trying times.

Rotaract celebrates all the religious festivals in Sri Lanka together, respecting each other with the intention of continuing the same in the upcoming year as well.

The calibre of the clubs are noted with great pride as the Rotaract Clubs in Sri Lanka managed to win many Rotary International Awards in the past 03 years for the projects, while securing the Rotaract outstanding project award - World consecutively for Gramaprabhodaya - a full renovation of a village in Monaragala by the Rotaract Club of the University of Moratuwa and Project Dream Store - a self- employment initiative for women with HIV AIDS by the Rotaract Club of Edulink International Campus.

The Rotaractors were also recognised for their contributions made to the region by winning the Rotaract outstanding project award – South Asia for the project Zooxantalle - artificial establishment of a coral reef in Rumassala using steel structures by the Rotaract Club of the University of Moratuwa and project e-Mithudama - creating a platform on Information Technology for the students in rural parts of Sri Lanka by the Rotaract Club of Informatics Institute of Technology, was recognised as the best service project at the Rotaract South Asia MDIO Awards.

Given the diverse membership of youth from all walks of life - professionals, undergraduates, and graduates from state and private universities, from the hill country and Colombo,, from the North and South, the quality of the projects and the uniqueness of approach that Rotaract in Sri Lanka takes is evident.

During this year, with a view to celebrate 50 years of strength, the reach of Rotaract will be expanded to the North Central and Eastern Provinces of Sri Lanka. Rotaract has also partnered with many government and non-government organisations to give more opportunity to youth while fulfilling their civic duty as responsible citizens.

The 70 clubs along with the Rotaract District will implement a series of projects on Environmental Protection, Education and Peace Building. Recognising the prevailing need, the strength in numbers and the presence in regions, Rotaract will complete 50 beach clean-ups which have already commenced. Understanding the the responsibility of going beyond the clean-ups, use of reusable alternatives and effective methods of polythene disposals are encouraged among the membership with the hope of a ripple effect.

The Project Serve is also another initiative of the District 3220 to develop a set of secondary schools situated in the outer suburbs of Sri Lanka. The development will focus on water and sanitation, disease prevention and control, education and literacy, economic and community development along with peace and conflict resolution in different phases. Rotaract intends to address the income and resource inequalities while providing sustainable solutions to educational sector.

These are in addition to the average of 2500 projects done in total by individual clubs annually.

Celebrations are set to be conducted to mark the special milestone in March of 2020.

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