As told by
Rtr. Kashuni Kariyawasam,
Gift a smile, a major project under the community service avenue of Rotaract Club of University of Moratuwa is one that focuses mainly on the upliftment of the living standards of children in children’s homes around the island. The 17.1 phase of this project which was funded by the generous hearts whose birthdays fell in the months of January, February and March concluded successfully in collaboration with Rotaract Club of Colombo West and Interact Club of Wycherley International School, under the chairpersonship of Rtr. Dhanuka Perera and Rtr. Kasun Chathuranga on the 11th of March 2017 at the Sanhinda Children’s Development Center, Watareka, Padukka, where 14 kids in their early teens who had been deprived of parental love and care are spending a monotonous life. The main focus of this worthy cause was to bring a spark of happiness to their lives and upgrade their living standards from the current status.
The day started around 10 am with an introductory session by two of our crew members Shamal Jayakody and Hiranya Panawenna, where each child was encouraged to introduce them to the crowd, and was followed by a round of refreshments after which they were seen to have gained a new energy. Although the youngsters were a bit nervous at the beginning to be the centre of attraction, after some time they bit the bullet and started to get along pretty well. Then, everyone joined hands around Jayathra, Oshara and Vinuri who provided music to enjoy by singing songs.
Next up was a very valuable interactive session conducted by Rtr. Tharuka Dilshan where he pointed out that the children were not at all alone in the world and inspired the young minds to improve their studies, refrain from bad habits, follow their dreams and serve the society to their fullest.
Then the children teamed up with the Rotaractors in a game of Sudoku which provided them not only entertainment, but also a chance to improve their intellectual and team working skills. After having a scrumptious lunch, the kids were invited outdoors to enjoy themselves in some games organized by our very own crew consisting of Binod, Imalka, Iroshan, Sahan, Shenali and Vishwa. The Rotaractors also actively took part in these events with them, which included passing water balloons, filling water to a bottle by cupping hands and passing goods via a sack, a Volleyball match and this was a blithesome moment full of laughter, happiness and love.
Sadly, as the time was passing by without anybody even noticing, although everyone including the kids was having such a good time, the evening session was started to bring to a conclusion by distributing gifts. Here, apart from the individual gifts, some essential items such as educational materials, stationery, sports equipment and household appliances which had been identified prior to the visit as unfulfilled necessities at Sanhinda, were donated. Even though the Rotaractors and Interactors left the premises after offering tea and taking part in another musical session, they as well as the youngsters at Sanhinda, are sure to keep the nice memories of the day in a special place in their hearts.