COVID- 19 Relief Force, was a project initiative taken by the District 3220, along with the 12 host clubs to support families economically suffering due to the COVID- 19 second wave in Sri Lanka. The Rotaract Clubs of Achievers Lanka Business School, CINEC Campus, Colombo Mid City, Colombo Mid Town, Colombo Uptown, Colombo West, Faculty of Medicine University of Colombo, Faculty of Science University of Colombo, Kelaniya, University of Colombo Faculty of Management and Finance, University of Kelaniya and University of Moratuwa, together with the Rotaract District Steering Committee got together to bring forth the project ‘COVID 19 Relief Force’.
The plan was to donate bags of goods containing essential food items to the Sarvodaya movement, who would then distribute them to the households of selected lockdown areas. The project commenced on the 13th October 2020 and it was executed in two phase phases. The end of the both phases, 110 bags of goods were donated. In the first phase, 30 bags of goods were donated to the Sarvodaya movement on the 12th of December, 2020. The goods were distributed by them to households in Atigala and Hanwella areas. In the second phase of the project with a large monetary donation from Synopsys Sri Lanka, the project was able to donate 80 bags of goods on the 23rd of December, 2020 and the bags were distributed to households in Kochchikade and Kolonnawa.
The project aims were to utilize the strengths and capabilities of the RID 3220 and hosted Rotaract clubs along with fellow Rotaractors and to neutralize the disturbing consequences that some of the families were facing, due to the unexpected lockdown and COVID-19 virus spread, to help families overcome poverty and hunger by providing them essential food items, to reach out to families in need from across Sri Lanka instead of around Colombo, to reduce the financial burden on daily wage earners and their families.
The project was chaired by Thanuja Kotawalagedara. Sandamini Liyanage arranged the documentation of the project.
To start the initial proceedings after several informal discussions among the fellow Rotaract Clubs in the district 3220, a decision was made to initialize the concept of a COVID -19 Relief. On the 27th of October 2020, a dedicated WhatsApp group was created to gather all the host clubs to a common platform and to discuss the proceedings further.
Several fruitful discussions were carried out with the immense support by the District Rotaract
Representative Rtr. Kasun Sigera along with the District Directors.
The Coordinator – Environment & Green Life, Rtr Rashmika suggested to partner up with the
Sarvodaya Movement. A suggestion was made by the President of Rotaract Club of University
of Moratuwa, Rtr Samila Imbulana to go for a crowdfunding method where the project can
expand its reach to massive audiences to raise funds. The past ADRR Rtr PP Ridwan Shariffdeen was approached by the host clubs to initialize the fundraiser, but due to his resident country; Singapore also barring users from initiating Facebook fundraisers just prior to the set date and time his assistance could not be acquired. With the help of Rtr. Ramith Hettiarachchi, Rtr. Nimna Perera (Senior IT director and IT director of Rotaract Club of University of Moratuwa) and Rtr. Samila Imbulana, the fundraiser was set up and as Past
President of Rotaract Club of Alumni of University of Moratuwa Rtr. Chathuranga’s account was to be utilized, full transparency and smooth execution was guaranteed to him. Rtr.
Samila Imbulana worked with the PR Team of Rotaract Club of Colombo Uptown to design the relevant marketing materials and captions relevant for the fundraiser. After multiple calls with the Joint Director – Community Service Rtr. Hasitha regarding the next step and finding funds to carry on the next phases of the projects, he was able to assist with securing donations from Synopsis. While this was a collaborative effort of both Rtr Hasitha and Rtr
Rashmika in coordinating and securing the sponsorship
In the first phase of the project, funds were collected via a facebook donation campaign with a pledge- to- donate thread and via donations deposited to the bank account. In the second phase of the project synopsys Sri Lanka made the sponsorship.