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Pandemic Diaries – Rotaract Club of University of Peradeniya

COVID Free Pera by the Rotaract Club of University of Peradeniya

Rotaract Club of University of Peradeniya initiated the “Covid free Pera ” campaign. The event took place at the University and was also streamed live on Facebook, Zoom, Instagram, and YouTube. The program was mostly focused on the awareness of covid-19. The project chairs were Rtr. PP Lahiru Dissanayake, Rtr. Lavindu Mediripitiya and Rtr. Dulakshi Pabasara. Through this project, they were able to successfully complete three stages and four subprojects focused on preventing the spread of the Covid-19 virus and raising student knowledge of it.

Within the last year, the COVID-19 epidemic has rapidly expanded over the world, claiming countless lives and drastically affecting almost every country. As a consequence, the Rotaract Club of University of Peradeniya worked with the Rotary International District 3220 “Stop the Spread” movement to carry out the project “Covid Free Pera”, working with the Rotary Club of Kandy, along with Rotary Sri Lanka and the Maldives, to make the University of Peradeniya a COVID Controlled Environment. This project was launched through a social media campaign as a way to combat this problem at the university. They were able to carry out this campaign through many phases and subprojects to ensure the success of the “COVID Free Pera” initiative. The primary and exclusive goal was to prevent the virus from spreading across the institution and to make the region a Covid-free environment with sanitary measures.

Covid Awareness Workshop

This was the first physical move in the “COVID Free Pera” Project. Which was held on the 30th of July 2020, 60 volunteers participated in a Covid awareness session. The session was led by four resource professionals. The Guest Lecturer for the session was Dr Veranja Liyanapathirana (MBBS, MPhil, Ph.D.) Dept. Of Microbiology, Faculty of Medicine UOP, Chief Medical Officer of University Health Center – Dr P.M.A. Samarakkody, Deputy Medical Officer of University Health Center and Public Health Inspector of University.

As a result, they were able to effectively conclude this awareness workshop by exploring how we should move ahead with the project and how each person would benefit throughout this project and overall achieving the objective of making the University of Peradeniya a COVID protected environment.

Covid-19 Prevention Poster Campaign

COVID-19 Prevention Poster Campaign was the next subproject, where they were required to produce posters and raise consciousness about the consequences of COVID-19 as well as safety measures that could be taken, these posters were printed and placed in public places as well as inside the university’s premises. The primary aim of this poster campaign was to raise consciousness among students. This kind of measure will be able to prevent the spreading of the pandemic.

 Online Awareness Programme

The online awareness campaigns that we conducted were the most important methods we used during the “COVID Free Pera” project. This online campaign was initiated through Social Media Platforms. The ultimate purpose of the online awareness program is to ensure the community’s protection by limiting the transmission of the Coronavirus and mitigating other harmful effects caused by the current pandemic.

“COVID FREE PERA” Donation Programme

With the help of the Rotary Club of Colombo, they contributed Rs. 100,000 to the campaign, they were able to install 30 handwashing stations in specific locations across the University. The aim of contributing and building handwashing facilities was to provide a service to allow students to wash their hands on all occasions in order to reduce the spread of Covid-19.

“WEAR A MASK” Challenge

This is yet was another move that was taken by them to ensure the continuation of the “COVID Free Pera” initiative. The key goal of the “WEAR A MASK” initiative was to secure ourselves and others from infectious diseases. This phase was initiated to notify everyone about the importance of strictly adhering to protocols during the second wave of the pandemic.

Hand Sanitizer Donation Programme and Awareness – Schools

The Rotaract Club of the University of Peradeniya initiated a signature project named “Prathibhana,” in which ordinary level sessions are held for an underprivileged school whereas infrastructure was constructed at the same time. The project was carried out at Wattappola Central College in Pilimathalawa throughout the time when schools reopened in February and March. This program raised awareness of Covid-19 and suggested health activities among school children. School children would be able to remain healthy while learning if they are mindful of the guidelines. 

“ABHIPRERANA” Phase I – A Motivational Webinar Series

The “ABHIPRERANA” inspiring webinar program was another phase of the “Covid Free Pera” community service project organized by the Rotaract Club of the University of Peradeniya. This event took place on the 27th of December 2020, and it gathered a large audience. This program was held to inspire and empower students who were returning to university after the first wave of the pandemic as universities reopened. Mr. Tissa Jananayake, a famous lecturer in Advanced level Biology, counselor, and motivational speaker, conducted a one-day webinar session for the students. The main goal of the webinar was to develop students’ mindsets in order to better prepare them for the upcoming Ordinary level examination. Aside from inspiration, this was a roadmap for the students to reconcile their lives and work on how to face the problems in society.

“Abhiprerana” Phase II – A Motivational Webinar Series

The second phase of “Abhiprerana”. This was initiated for undergraduates who required the opportunity to learn and to prepare for examinations. Phase 2’s goals are similar to some of Abhiprerana Phase 1, with the exception that the second phase was planned mainly for undergraduates from different universities across the country. Mr. Hasintha Hewawasam, a popular motivational speaker and counselor who is also an undergraduate of the University of Colombo, was the guest speaker for the one-day webinar for undergraduates. The event took place on the 5th of March 2021, with an enthusiastic audience. During the webinar, participants were encouraged to share their opinions, thoughts, and also were able to ask questions from the guest speaker.

Mr. Hewawasam discussed the subconscious mind’s ability to profoundly affect our lives based on our often ingrained thoughts. In order to be competitive, he emphasized the significance of having a good attitude at all times. In order to understand the effect of the mind on reality, he also discussed several personal experiences. Finally, after thanking the guest speaker, the webinar was successfully concluded.

Written by Salman

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