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We RAC Colombo Mid Town wanted to end year 2019 in a high note appreciating every human being that supports us irrespective of their job, religion, ethnicity, etc. This thought paved path to the Community Service project ‘Apema Kenek’. We decided to end the year by putting a smile on the faces of a group of people who work day and night to make our cities and the country clean. We wanted to appreciate this group of people who are often mistreated and looked down by the society as an inferior group.

As the first step of the project Rtr. Baisth Sameer worked hard to coordinate with the supervisor of the Wellawatta cleaning unit of CleanTech by the Abans Group.  We coordinated with them to identify the number of workers in the unit and to most importantly to collect information about their kids who are schooling. Under project ‘Apema Kenek’ we not only wanted to donate something for the cleaning staff, but we also wanted to put a smile on the faces of their kids by providing them with school supplies to start their new year in school on a happy note.  We chose 31st of December 2019 to have the project as we really wanted to ensure that people of the Abans cleaning group could start their New Year on a high and happy note.

With the help of very generous donors, both Rotaract and Non-Rotaract we were able to collect material and cash donations worth more that Rs.150,000. With the use of the donations received we made a pack of dry rations for each family along with all stationary requirements of the kids in each family. The good were packed into boxes and the boxes were marked with the service ID number of each employee ensuring smooth distribution of the packs once they were sealed off.

All the donations received from donors and material bought by cash donations were collected at the Mid Towns president’s house and packing of the boxes were done the day before the event. It was one long night, but every minute of the hard work put into the task was worth the effort as we knew it would put a smile on the faces of the people receiving them the next day.  The packing tasks got two more helping hands; Rtr. Duleesha from RAC SLIIT and Rtr. Methmi from RAC ICBT. We are very grateful for the help given by them to complete our task on time.

The day of the event arrived, 31st December 2019. We chose the Roxy ground in Wellawate as the distribution location. Members of Mid Town arrived at the project venue in numbers and all boxes was brought to the venue in a small lorry from President’s house. All Mid Towners helped the unloading of the boxes at the venue and it was then arranged nicely to be distributed to the deserving group of people.

Once the cleaning unit staff arrived at the location, the packs were distributed to each family and it was a heartwarming moment to witness. The smile on their faces said it all and many of them were mixed with happy tears as well. When it was said the box also has stationary packs for all their kids, the smile on their faces further broaden and their hands came together to say thank you to us. The CleanTech staff were beaming with excitement and happiness and we could see the relief on their faces thinking they could send their kids to school with the required books and other stationary items they could not have afforded otherwise.

I would say project “Apema Kenek’ was one of the most satisfying community service project that I witnessed in the club. The box we gave might have looked small, but I am sure the impact made on the lives of these people and the happiness created in their hearts were hundred thousand more times heavier than the box they received. On this day I realized the true meaning of being a Rotaractor and I urge everyone to do their part in the society to make it a beautiful place that accepts all human beings as one without any discrimination.

By Rtr. Kaizer Majid | Email:

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