Message from Ajith Weerasinghe, District Governor 2020-21
As we step into a new Rotary year, “Business as usual” is no longer exists and we as Rotarians, I believe we need to think in novel and creative ways about how we will re-introduce ourselves to the communities, address and reinforce community relationships. Priorities will evolve and we will see many changes in Rotary with all the individual clubs finding ways to maintain membership engagement during a time we have had to stop in-person meetings. We need to learn how to manage projects under these circumstances and serve our communities with the same commitment and zeal, whilst adopting to the New Normal. Overall, I trust we need to right now work towards creating a New Rotary Normal in and around us.
I am happy to say that the “challenge of change” has been well adopted by our Rotary Clubs and Rotarians, who have been resilient, determined and carried out lots of humanitarian activities during this pandemic period.
We had our very first virtual Rotary District Assembly that had all Rotarians putting their time aside to log on and spend a day towards Rotary. We had our Membership Development seminar and the Grants Management seminar both virtually, showcasing record numbers of participation, all of which confirmed the commitment and passion of our Rotarians, where I observe not only the active involvement but also the enthusiasm, they showed throughout the programme. Highest quality of speakers including the RI President Holger Knaack himself attending the event together with our own PRIP Ravi, both the Directors in our region Dr. Bharat Pandya and Kamal Sanghvi, Directors Elect, TRF Trustee and many more added the colour to our programmes and that was really a rare opportunity! Each of the events were designed to inspire Rotarians who have taken up leadership roles in their respective clubs and to motivate them towards moving forward and taking the brave steps in their Rotary journey.
I have also seen clubs launching impressive projects that are geared in contributing immensely towards managing and overcoming the pandemic and serving the whole nation whilst extending their helping hands for those who needed assistance during the lockdown.
Sighting all this dazzling projects, it has given me a great confidence that I can count on each of you and look forward to a fabulous Rotary year where my Brave Titans, The Comrades in Service will continue to serve their communities for it's betterment following MOH guidelines to prevent you, your loved ones and the whole society from this deadly virus.
So let us keep adapting and moving forward and not wait for opportunities to knock, but create the opportunities instead, where we make a move and transform the community around us. The doors are now open, come in, let us together make this world a better place!
About our Rotary District
The first Rotary Club in Sri Lanka was formed in Colombo in 1929. Currently there are 71 Rotary Clubs in Sri Lanka, with more than 2,000 Rotarians.
Sri Lanka became the first country in South Asia to become Polio Free with a funding of US$ 2,5 MILLION from the Rotary network. Rotary Sri Lanka also takes pride in rebuilding 23 Tsunami affected Government schools in Sri Lanka at a cost over Rs 1 billion.
Rotary was founded on principles that remain at the heart of the organization today. These principles reflect our core values — integrity, diversity, service, leadership, and fellowship, or friendship. Our core values emerge as themes in our guiding principles.
The Object of Rotary is to encourage and foster the ideal of service as a basis of worthy enterprise and, in particular, to encourage and foster:
- FIRST. The development of acquaintance as an opportunity for service;
- SECOND. High ethical standards in business and professions; the recognition of the worthiness of all useful occupations; and the dignifying of each Rotarian's occupation as an opportunity to serve society;
- THIRD. The application of the ideal of service in each Rotarian's personal, business, and community life;
- FOURTH. The advancement of international understanding, goodwill, and peace through a world fellowship of business and professional persons united in the ideal of service.
The test, which has been translated into more than 100 languages, asks the following questions:
Of the things we think, say or do
- Is it the TRUTH?
- Is it FAIR to all concerned?
- Will it build GOODWILL and BETTER FRIENDSHIPS?
- Will it be BENEFICIAL to all concerned?