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Our Planet, Our Future

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Planet Earth supports the life of more than 8.7 million species, resulting in a rich Biodiversity. However, it is sad to see how Earth is currently experiencing extreme degradation by mankind, which has led to unprecedented climate change. The main cause for this is the extensive pollution due to growing population and industrialization. Pollution is the process in which undesirable toxic contaminants such as Air, Water and Soil contaminate our environment. This has led to sudden changes in the Ecosystem such as Global warming, which directly and indirectly leaves adverse effects on the lives of human beings, animals, and plants.

The question is, ‘How are we going to overcome this tragedy?’ Since our Childhood we wrote various essays about reducing pollution and preserving our environment. But did we mean every word we mentioned? Today, as teenagers and adults, have we put all that into practice to protect mother nature? Have we set an example to the younger generation through our actions? Just as the famous saying tells us “What goes around comes around’’, if we don’t take correct action against this, we will
have to face the consequences, if not immediately, at least some time later.

“Going Green” is a term used for the conservation of energy and preservation of the environment. Facing environmental hazards of pollution like global warming, citizens from every part of the world
are doing their contributions to lessen the emissions of greenhouse gases. A world agreement like the Kyoto Protocol is one of the manifestations that show that the world is serious about preserving the environment for future generations.

How can we really make a change?

Can we make a change? The answer is yes, but needless to say we have to put in effort. It all starts small, from our own home and daily routine, extending to things like Awareness programs and simple initiatives. Single-Use plastic, Preserving Fresh water and Reducing Consumption of Animal Protein are few examples to avoid this situation. The 3R Initiative is one of the most effective and efficient ways to reduce the pollution Footprint or by simple meaning, help cut down on the amount of waste we throw away.

Reduce

The best way to manage waste is not to produce it. This can be done by shopping carefully and being aware of a few guidelines such as purchasing products as bulked items. Larger economy sizes use less packaging and usually cost less per ounce. Reducing Disposable goods and using reusable items such as Cloth napkins instead of paper napkins, and Dish Cloth instead of paper towels could be small ways to reduce wastage.

Reuse

It makes economic and environmental sense to reuse products. Sometimes it takes creativity. Similar to the concept of reducing, reusing products for the same purpose, or reusing products for different needs can reduce global harm in unexpected ways. For example, supermarkets giving a small discount for customers that bring a cloth bag instead of using plastic bag, can drastically motivates the customer to be concerned about the environment.

Recycle

Recycling is a series of steps that takes a used material and processes, re manufactures, and sells it as a new product. Begin recycling at home and work. Buy products made from recycled materials. Look for the recycling symbols or ask store managers or salesmen to help you. The recycling symbol means one of the two things; either the product is made of recycled material, or the item can be recycled.

 
Water plays an important role in ecological systems, and is an indispensable component of human lives. As open environmental spaces, rivers are more likely to be polluted. This issue has received a great deal of attention, because concentrations of heavy metals in rivers continue to rise above the regional background value under constant anthropocentric disturbances, and has caused potential impacts on human health and ecological balance. For the ocean to thrive, we must look to the sources that feed it; our rivers. Rivers are the arteries of our blue planet but are treated like open sewers. Only 14% meet good ecological status and 3 in 4 poses a serious risk to human health. We could make a change. The petition to have 200 River Bathing Waters by 2030 to help #EndSewagePollution is a timely example.

A bit on the Contrary

Did you know that Air Pollution actually helps plants to grow faster? Researches have found that pollution allows the sunlight to scatter, allowing more plants to be in the shade. As a result of this, plants absorb Carbon dioxide more efficiently under polluted skies than under clean skies. It has also been found that this polluted air blocks in coming solar radiation, making the plant temporarily cooler. The Earth would actually be 0.5 – 1.1 degrees warmer if not for the polluted gases.

A take home

However, these fun facts work only for a small percentage. If we conclude and ask if pollution is Good or Bad, the simple answer is YES, it’s bad. Air pollution specifically increases the risk of respiratory infection, heart
Diseases, strokes, Lung Cancer, and more severely affect people who are already ill. Children, elderly individuals and people in low-income neighborhoods experience disproportionate health effects from air pollution. The effects of long-term exposure to lower concentrations of air pollutants could be more damaging to public health than short-term exposure to higher concentrations. For this reason alone, local authorities should take action to assess and improve local air quality. It is not advisable to wait for an episode of severe air pollution and then try to deal with its effects.
 
In conclusion, Environmental pollution has become a big concern when talking about saving the planet. To create the clean and healthy planet that we long, we need to adapt to various measures in order to reduce environmental pollution. Some of them include planting trees, reducing the use of non-renewable resources and proper disposal of waste. It is the responsibility of every individual, you and I, to save our environment from getting polluted. It is the responsibility of every individual to be an example to the younger generation. If we do so, together we can create a greener planet, a better future.

Rtr. Saabith Sabry

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FeaturedOur Projects

SNEHA – We Rise by Lifting Others!!

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Teaching is more than imparting knowledge, it is inspiring change. Learning – is more than absorbing facts it is acquiring understanding.

William Arthur ward

Education is the most important gift a child could be presented with, and we must help underprivileged kids so that they can also acquire the necessary skills, knowledge, and intelligence and grow to become triumphant human beings.

The Rotaract Club of Achievers Lanka Business School initiated a project targeting young children of the slum area of Koombi Kale in Kirulapone. It mainly focuses on educating the underprivileged students in this area, and this project commenced in October 2019.

After I was appointed as the Community Service Director of the club, Sneha was my first project, handed over by our President Rtr. Bipash Suriyage (Rtr. Year-21/22). This project has been considered one of the signature projects of our club. I was so excited to involve myself in this project. I felt that this was a great opportunity for me to acquire and learn more skills and knowledge from these young souls and also be made aware of the area that these children were brought up in and the activities that were conducted by Reverend Ashen to support the families who lived there. Along with the support and guidance from Reverend Ashen, this project was conducted for the 4th consecutive year. 

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, we couldn’t conduct physical classes, but still, we had plans to conduct virtual classes for these kids every day. Most of our club members volunteered as mentors and teachers, and they were involved happily and helped these children in their studies. Therefore, every day each volunteer conducted classes for each student via Zoom with different time slots to provide them with the most competent teaching they can contribute. The majority of the children actively joined all the classes, and all students became favorites for our volunteers in the club.

All these students were very smart, eager to study, and punctual for all the classes. My team and I were very glad about the response and improvement reflected by our students and that motivated us to do more classes for them and help them in a small way for them to shine like stars in the future. Mathematics, Science, English, Business Studies and Accounting, Sinhala, and IT are the subjects we taught for grades 6 to 11 in all three mediums (English, Sinhala, and Tamil).

These young little hearts are also a part of a group called “Empowered Rangers”, where many exhilarating and thriving group activities take place. This was fully organized by Pastor Ashen and he commits full time to improving skills such as communication and leadership in the children and also does sessions related to mental health, etc.

      Team of Empowered Rangers

It also includes activities like campaigning, dancing, and singing, and some of these talents are showcased in a concert at the end of the year.

17th Nov 2022 was the day of my first visit to Koombi Kale in Kirulapone. On that day, a session on Mental Health was conducted by the LEADS Organization at the Koombi Kale Buddhist Temple auditorium from 5.30 pm onwards. This hall was far away from the main road, and when I entered with our teammates, the place was very dark and scary. My heart beat fast at that moment, and I realized the type of reality these children were living in. 80 parents and 20 kids participated in our 1st Mental Health session, and we ended it with fellowship and served refreshments. During that session, I met two cute little girls who helped me arrange the place, and soon, they became my friends. After a few hours, these two girls came to me and gave a flower with a card and thanked me for the help and support given to them by organizing classes. At that moment, I felt like I have achieved the greatest height in my life.

In order to expand our volunteer service to this project, we partnered up with the Foundation of Goodness for the further expansion of virtual classes. We received 25 new applications from students in grades 6 to 12 to conduct Spoken English classes via zoom. Then we faced a lack of volunteers to support new kids from the Dematagoda and Borella areas. After a few meetings, the PR directors of our club created a poster mentioning that we needed volunteers to conduct Spoken English classes via zoom. After two days, I was surprised to see the results. We got nearly 30 registrants external to our club who were willing to conduct free Spoken English classes.

Thereafter, we had a meeting with the new volunteers and started the classes according to their availability. We kept track of each and every student’s attendance by the updates mentioned in record books at the end of each class.

We were able to expand the IT Lab in Kirulapone by donating 6 computers and 10 computer desks with the help of the Foundation of Goodness in order to further conduct IT classes for students in the slum area.

It was my pleasure to have been able to chair this unique project ‘SNEHA’ which helped me in different ways to improve myself. I also learned to thank God for the blessings he has showered upon us and to share those blessings with others who are underprivileged. That action is the greatest thing we could do. We might not value the opportunities we receive regarding education enough, but kids like these are eagerly waiting for those opportunities to use them and become better versions of themselves.

“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world!”

Therefore, let us step forward, reach out to more young little hearts who might be in need, and rise by lifting others. Together we can proceed to serve by Embracing the Change!

Written by: Rtr. Lydia George

Edited by: Rtr. Hiruni Hettiarachchi

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Featured

Hopes and Dreams

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“Hope is not a dream but a way of making dreams become reality”

– Leon Joseph Suenens

 Who wouldn’t love to have money to buy all the items they love? To have a six-figure salary? Spend quality time with your favorite people? And to be the happiest every day in their life without regrets? Hoping everything goes as you wish and to achieve the dreams you have built for yourself.

According to the textbook definition, desire and expectations a person has for their future can be also known as hopes whereas a dream is a series of thoughts, imagination, or a cherished ambition.

Why do you need hopes and dreams?

“Hope is a waking dream”

– Aristotle

Life is never easy. There are many obstacles and problems one faces throughout the journey. Hope is the feeling that drives a person to get through the obstacles, the courage to find solutions to the problems. Therefore, it can be stated that people do need hope. Hope in life boosts the person to approach problems with a mindset and strategy-set suitable for success, thereby increasing the chances to truly accomplish their own goals.

Dreams are the result of the creative imagination of a child. Creative people are often dreamers. Growing up affects a person not only physically but also mentally and most importantly, social norms, cultural boundaries, and beliefs may result in shattered childhood dreams. To keep the dreams alive, one has to set goals to achieve them. This is where our hopes contribute to making our dreams come true.

Are you giving your brain hopes and dreams?

“While there’s life, there’s hope.”

– Stephen Hawking

As we grow old, our unused muscles get weaker, similarly, the parts that we do not tend to use in our brain would start to become less effective. Although many researchers suggest, a good workout, proper nutrition, and a healthy lifestyle for a healthy brain, it is vital to have hope and dreams to make our brain keep on functioning. Although the human body can go on days without food or water, we cannot survive without hope. Hope ignites the willingness to go fight through the struggles, to see the positive side in a problematic situation, and the courage to drag self towards success. It helps people to think better and ultimately influences others as well.

Do we need to have hopes and dreams for a country?

 “People create these extravagant habitats because they have a vision, love of beauty, hopes and dreams.”

– Anne Rice.

Just as much as a person needs hopes and dreams for their life, a country requires it to become stronger, successful, have a radiant future, and overcome unexpected difficulties. Without a common goal, clear vision, dreams, and hopes, a country would surely fail to exist in the current competitive world.

Even if a country is facing great difficulties, the best its citizens can do is to have faith in each other, be ambitious, and have good intentions that the country is going to surpass the hardships. Better yet, be individually stronger to win through the struggles that they had to face.

Thinking about how hopes and dreams can affect a country, Sri Lanka can be taken as a timely example of this, where people have given value to themselves as citizens, envisioning dreams for the country and encouraging hopes for all to have a better future. Encouraging people to have a positive mindset using hopes and dreams, despite many difficulties, brings people with similar ideologies closer so all of them work towards a common goal. This gives value to the people which creates so many other ripple effects in the society. Growth in the power of people to speak up is one such ripple effect. Whilst communication connects people, hopes and dreams bond the people tighter as they all expect the betterment of the country’s future.

“We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope.”

– Martin Luther King, Jr.

Written by: Rtr. Imesha Ilangasinghe

Edited by: Rtr. Loshini Gnanasambanthan

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It’s Time to Stop Deflecting and Start Reflecting

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You may have heard the words, Go to your room, a handful of times. A statement that you have probably heard your parents tell, usually after a fight with your sibling or an act of defiance.

When we get told to go to our rooms, it is to punish us, but it is also an indirect way of teaching us to be a better version of ourselves. When we do something wrong, we get sent to our rooms. Being confined in a four-walled room, without a kindred soul to chat with, without a phone to scroll through (ideally) forces us to THINK; think about what we did and what droves us into doing it and reflect on ourselves.

Reflective thinking – what it means

Reflective thinking means taking the bigger picture, analyzing every nook and cranny, and understanding all of its consequences. It does not mean that you need to write down your plans or what you have done in the past. Reflective thinking means to truly understand or at least try to understand why you did what you did, and why that is important. It often includes delving into your feelings, reactions, and emotions.

Reflective thinking is considered a hard nut to crack because we all know that it is very easy to criticize others but judging ourselves gives us the jitters. So, we consider it a trivial task and tend not to address the elephant in the room. 

Why it’s important?

Reflective thinking is important as it gives us the true perspective of a situation which leads us to follow the right path. Perfection is a social construct. Striving to be Perfect is similar to fighting a losing battle. We all make mistakes. Apologizing for your mistakes is not that easy. It takes courage to own up and say sorry. But apologies are meaningless if not followed up with self-reflection and reflective thinking. It is a form of entitlement and emotional manipulation to think that we can be ignorant and take our mistakes for granted because we can apologize repeatedly.

Reflective thinking improves our decision-making skills. It increases one’s confidence in decision-making. Even the Greatest leaders have moments of self-doubt, which comes from wondering whether a snap judgment made was the right thing or not. Therefore, clarity from our past experiences and decisions matters and could diffuse those doubts and help you improve the decisions that we make, little by little.

The art and practice of self-reflection are important for all aspects of our life. It is preferred in academics as it enables students to judge their actions and freely express their feelings. This is important from a professional standpoint because, it teaches us to be self-critical, point out our own mistakes, and find solutions. Moreover, when we know our weaknesses and strengths, it is easier to bear criticism from others.

“Nothing and no one faze me as I am, my judge, jury, and executioner”, something like that.

Being able to express ourselves objectively is a good quality that is also useful in the corporate world; it can help us stand out amongst competitors while enabling us to adapt and evolve.

How we practice it?

Reflective thinking is also not a “One size fits all” concept. The way we go about it varies from person to person and their preferences and attitudes in life.

For example, if you are a person who likes to jot everything down, you can keep a journal to write about your experiences and try to make sense of them. On the other hand, if you are not ascribed by default, you can allocate a minute or two of your day to think, reflect and improve. 

Sometimes, we are put into environments beyond our control, that require us to reflect. It can be in a class where students are instructed to write a reflective piece on what they have learned; it can be in a social situation where you are required to be a moderator or where you have to defend yourself or someone else. Reflection can also come in the form of reviews and evaluations.

For all the psych nerds out there, here are some popular theories on reflective thinking and learning.

Kolb’s Learning Cycle

This is a four-stage learning cycle published by David Kolb. Each stage supports the next stage, which includes:

  • Concrete experience (having a new experience)
  • Reflective observation (reflecting on that experience)
  • Abstract conceptualization (learning from that experience)
  • Abstract experimentation (apply what you have learned from that experience)

Schön’s model

Schön’s model of the reflective thinking process, presented in 1991, is based on the concepts of

  • Reflection-In-Action 

Quick reaction and thinking take place when we are in the middle of an activity. This allows us to look at a situation, understand why it is occurring and respond accordingly.

  • Reflection-On-Action

Takes place when we look back at an activity, in which we are more likely to think more deeply about the way we were feeling and its cause.

Conclusion

Thinking too much (Overthinking) cannot be considered a good thing. Reflective thinking is always great, but overthinking can destroy you. Everyone makes mistakes, and many of us hold regrets. The decisions we make daily are difficult. Sometimes you make a choice that differs from expectations, and that is okay. Maybe you made the right decision, and it was a close call. That is okay too. Maybe you chose a course of action which had undesirable consequences. And that is okay. 

Your choices, decisions, and course of action are all your own and never NEED to lead to regret if you have the right mindset. The mindset should focus on decision making to transverse new lands of opportunities. Stop judging yourself on the road you took to get where you are today. Overthinking happens when we fail to realize that.

Every decision made has a consequence – good or bad, and they should never be feared, but rather encouraged. Trial and error help build character. Using your past experiences as a guide to help build your future is exactly what we need, at this time and age. 

“We don’t learn from experience… we learn from reflecting on experience”.

John Dewey

Written by: Rtr. Kaveesha Jeyanthan

Edited by: Rtr. Imesha Ilangasinghe

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Featured

Rumours

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Rumours- these are mostly a currently circulating story or a report of uncertain or doubtful truth. They are often spread for fun or to create anticipation among the people in the society and sometimes spread to create hate on a person or a group of people. Accordingly, rumours are of four different types:

  1. Wish rumours
  2. Fear rumours
  3. Aggressive rumours
  4. Anticipatory rumours

Wish rumours are the type of rumours that are often spread for fun according to one person’s wish. Fear rumours are rumours that are spread out of fear of a single person or a society. Aggressive rumours are the ones that are most harmful because they are created by a person or group of people called the rumour monger(s) due to their anger on a particular person or group of people. These rumours can cause various issues, and they will be discussed later in this article. The last type of rumours is anticipatory rumours. These are concocted to create anticipation among people. All these types of rumours will affect someone in some way. Even if we create a rumour for fun, due to its characteristics, it will spread quickly among a large number of people.

The three main characteristics of rumours are, they spread fast via word of mouth, they usually provide wrong or irrelevant information about a particular, and they express or gratify the emotional needs of society.

Let us move on to the way rumours are spread. A well-known thing to the present society is COVID-19. How is this coronavirus spread? When a person with the infection meets a healthy person, the virus is spread to the healthy person, and they become an infected patient. Not only will they become a patient, the person they meet and interact with next is also infected. This process keeps on moving like a chain. Rumours are spread within the society in the same way. A monger who creates a rumour talks about it to a person, and then that person speaks about the same thing to another, and this process too goes on. In the twenty-first century, we are all connected not only physically but also through the internet and social media. This is a major advantage for mongers, who can transmit rumours lightning-fast through a vast population.

Next, let us talk about the effects and disadvantages of rumours. Once rumours are spread about a particular person and a set of people are created against that person, it may destroy their self-confidence and self-esteem. According to the Medicinal Journal of Physiology, rumours create anxiety, eating disorders, depression, and even suicidal thoughts as they affect some people in a very harsh manner. A person may create a rumour for fun, but it may spread quickly and even be a reason for a life to end. These rumours can also create social problems by spreading false information about ethnic groups or certain societies.

Rumours are harmful, and they can cause major conflicts among people, religions, ethnic groups, and societies. Therefore, the spreading of rumours should be prevented for the well-being of both the people and the society.

Written by: Rtr. Atchaya Sethuramu

Edited by: Rtr. Hiruni Hettiarachchi

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Ego Kills Relationship

Concept of selfishness prevents live normally

Why would I? Why should I?

These egoistic words are the main cause of an end to all sorts of relationships.

What is ego?
“Ego” is simply explained as “I” or the self part of any person. It is that part of a person that defines itself as a personality, separate from the outside world. Ego is that part of us that experiences the outside world and reacts to it, acting as a mediator between us and our social and physical environment. Now, not all such interactions need to be positive, nor is it necessary that our reactions to these situations will be positive. All in all, not everyone is born with a raging ego, but almost all of us fuel our own egos, some knowingly or without knowledge.

Where else a relationship is when two people bond or connect based on the feeling of mutual trust, likes, dislikes, or love. It can be a relationship between family, friends, neighbours, passerby, or any other acquaintances. Having a good relationship is very important to sustain happiness. Relationships give a person a chance to get connected with the people around them and understand their true self.

If relationships never happened, you would not be able to tell the real person who you are. Relationships give you the chance to interact with the people you are closest to. If relationships did not occur, life would be boring. You would not be able to share your thoughts or gain a person’s respect. If my relationships with my friends and family ended, I would have nothing to look forward to when a day was bad, or if you just needed to have a good time.

Just a three-letter word, namely ‘ego’ kills a relationship with memories, trust, support, and moreover. An egoistic person battles his or herself against a relationship. Ego can ruin a friendship and put a barrier to family bonds.

A string of egoism spoils healthy to unhealthy relationships resulting in separation, hurt, tears of the other who did everything to preserve the relationship. Finally, the souls separate and memories fade. Regrets and stress are the outcomes of an egoistic person.

Your ego,
Pushes you into a maze,
A mirror maze,
Where everything seems real,
Until you walk towards it,
And end up,
Bumping into the mirror.

Ego has and always will be one of the main reasons for the downfall of human beings. The only thing we can do is to try and control our respective egos and not let them rule our heads. Every relationship works or breaks due to EGO. Without it we shall cease, to make anything out of life. On the other hand, if we possess too much egotism, we end up ruining every relationship. EGO is the only requirement to destroy any relationship so be the bigger the person, skip the “E” and let it “GO”.

Written by: Rtr. Raheesa Moulana

Edited by: Rtr. Loshini Gnanasambanthan

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A few lessons from the life of a “G.O.A.T”.

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When someone mentions the phrase “Greatest of all time” or simply the word “G.O.A.T”, several great names flow into our minds. These individuals have been titled as such for simply being exceptional at what they do and for leaving their mark stronger than the rest of the competition causing ordinary people, in order to embrace the lives of these greats for various reasons. But, among the greats there could also be a greatest, who would’ve just managed to outshine the others, and in my mind it’s the Great Muhammad Ali (formerly known as Cassius Marcellus Clay) – the greatest heavyweight boxer of all time.

Known to the majority for his achievements with regards to boxing, Muhammad Ali was far more than a boxer. Apart from his illustrious boxing career, his acts had impacted a vast set of people all over the world. A few events of his life have been adapted into this blog to give you an understanding on what led him to becoming who he was and how we too should incorporate these into our lives in order to succeed.

Case 01:

One of the many things Muhammad Ali always carried in his bag was courage. The biggest turning point in his life I would say was when he beat Sonny Liston to win the heavyweight title for the first time in his career. To be honest the most impressive part of this entire event was everything that happened pre-event.

Muhammad Ali, 22 Years at the time and quite less experienced was definitely the underdog and considered by many as soon to be another victim of Sonny Liston, dubbed the big ugly bear. Ali on the other hand disregarded all the hate and negativity thrown over at him, and what was most impressive was how he countered them. He simply directed all his trash talk towards Sonny anywhere and everywhere possible trying to play with his mind and was even crazy enough to crash into Sonny’s training facility and trigger a fight all of which were acts taken by him to show the world that they were all wrong to think of him the way they thought of all other victims of Sonny. A mad man as the people called him, he proved that his madness was simply his bravery by winning the fight by a technical knockout in the 6th round resulting in one of the major upsets in sporting history while also crowning himself as the youngest Heavyweight champion at the time. His trash talk, fearless attitude all part of his bravery is what initiated his journey towards greatness.

Lesson learnt: Fear is something that a person should overcome as soon as possible, because it’s what would set you back for a lifetime. Courageous people have proven to reach the greatest of limits and have had the best of adventures. Therefore, never fear to take the next step nor fall for all the negativity or hate thrown at you in life, but face them courageously, which is what most iconic individuals have done in their lives.

Case 02:

Self-confidence is what builds a person. Confidence is key to a great start when it comes to anything. One of the greatest things that Muhammad Ali possessed and exhibited was a vast amount of self-confidence. Even at interviews, press conferences and even during a fight he never hesitated to let the others know of it and its power was proved more than ever at the Rumble in the Jungle. The Rumble in the Jungle, one of the greatest sporting events in history, was a title bout between Muhammad Ali and then Heavyweight Champion, George Foreman. At a time when the former champion was aging past his prime and the current champion was young and powerful with an attitude of a killer, people simply thought that the fight would simply end with Ali being beaten badly. Ali again was placed as an underdog in his life however, against all odds, Ali put his techniques, skill, experience and mostly his self-confidence to play which resulted in another major upset in sporting history – Muhammad Ali won by knockout and becomes the Heavyweight Champion for the 3rd time in his career.

Lesson learnt: Before you step into anything, make sure you are confident about yourself. You might fail, and people would barge you with all sorts of negativity, but never lose your confidence as it is what would push you the furthest and enable you to achieve whatever you set out for!

Having already looked into two events of the sporting career of Muhammad Ali, which are perfect examples as to why we should adapt certain characteristics into our lives in order to succeed, let us look beyond his sporting career.

Case 03:

Out of the several accolades won in his career as a boxer, the Olympic gold medal from the 1960 Olympics under the light heavyweight category was a special one, but for Ali that feeling didn’t last for long after an ugly incident. At a time when racism had a strong stand in in the USA and especially in the hometown of Muhammad Ali – Louisville, Kentucky, he had brought fame and glory for his motherland all the way from Rome from the Olympics. However, soon after a racially fueled incident took place where he was refused to be served at a “Whites only” restaurant which prompted him to throw away his hard-earned gold medal into the Ohio River.

Lesson learnt: What I personally got out of this whole incident was that, most materialistic things are of temporary value, and we shouldn’t be overly attached to them. Nowadays people tend to be obsessed with the temporary things in life whilst ignoring the more important ones. Therefore, always try to keep the real things close to your life, and this would make life less stressful and a lot worthy!

Case 04:

Another famous event in Ali’s life was when he decided to go against the law of the United States of America. By the sound of it might seem like he was up to something illegal, but it wasn’t! He was simply standing for what he thought was the right thing. In 1966, Ali was made eligible to be drafted into the U.S. military, at a time when they were involved in the Vietnam war. Ali, who had already converted to Islam, refused to be inducted into the U.S. military citing that war was against the teachings of Islam and that the Vietnamese weren’t his real enemies but certain people who lived in his own country (this was basically directed at the people in the U.S.A who were racist). This decision of Ali’s caused several people to brand him as a traitor and things worsened when he arrived at the scheduled induction at Houston but refused step forward when his name was called upon a few times. Subsequently he was arrested which led to the suspension of his boxing license and was stripped of his title and being inactive for more than three years of his prime as a boxer. However, Ali continued to stick to his decision and gradually gained the peoples support which too contributed to his fame and respect beyond the sport. In 1971 Ali’s conviction was reversed which saw his return to the boxing ring.

Lesson learnt: Many of us fear to stand up for what is right or for what our heart desires, simply because we want to avoid all the hate thrown at us, but if you take a look at the many lives that influenced a change in how things were done, there were people who stood up for the right thing or followed their heart even when surrounded by  thousands who opposed them. Therefore, never hesitate to do what is right, for it is only the good things you have done that remains after your demise.

Celebrating the achievements and being fans or followers of great people is a good thing, but what is even better is to look at the challenges faced, barriers crossed, and the decisions taken by them that led them towards becoming impactful people, for that is the best way to lead an impactful life yourself!

Written By: Rtr. Priyan Jerome

Edited By: Rtr. Abinaya Sritharan

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FeaturedOur Projects

All About Jumpstart 2021

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Do you have a business concept that has the potential to alter the world? Do you aspire to be a successful entrepreneur? If you are worried that you can’t get into action because of a lack of essentials on the knowledge and tactics to startup, then, Jumpstart is the right place to be!

JUMPSTART, the Rotaract Club of Achievers Lanka Business School’s hallmark Professional Development project, was established with the goal of providing chances for budding entrepreneurs in Sri Lanka to Jumpstart their business journey. Jumpstart has taken several exciting turns since its debut in 2017, bringing up countless chances for its members and resulting in significant improvements in their professional lives.

Everything you need to know about Jumpstart 2021 is right here!

Embracing the theme ‘UNFOLD.IMPLEMENT. REVOLUTIONIZE’, Jumpstart 2021 would be staged under the following two categories.

  • Pitch it, Win it
  • Shark Tank

*Due to the prevailing situation in the country, Jumpstart 2021 will be conducted completely online via the platform ‘Zoom’, up until the finales of each category. In the case of team participation, participants may join from one location or separate locations.

GAME PLAN

Jumpstart 2021 will be held in two categories. The Pitch it! Win it! category will include a workshop series and Pitch it! Win it! round. The finalists chosen will be mentored further and compete in the Grand Finale. Furthermore, we will conduct Shark Tank exclusively for growth-stage startups to present before a panel of investors, seeking to obtain investments.

Introduction session

An introduction session will be held before the commencement of Jumpstart, as an awareness session to potential ideators, educating them on the importance of Entrepreneurship and how it will support the economy of the country. This will be held on the 13th of December 2021

Workshop Series

The goal of the series of workshops is to educate participants on certain crucial issues that should be considered in order to increase the candidates’ knowledge and abilities in developing their company ideas and eventually reaching success. These seminars will be crucial in preparing and equipping the participants as

  1. This will provide an overall knowledge on aspects of Entrepreneurship, starting from the basics.
  2. This will be of aid to the participants who will be registering for Pitch it! Win it! to present themselves and their business in the best way possible.

The series will be held from the 14th of December till the 28th of December 2021.

They will be based on,

  • Problem identification –  14th Dec.
  • Business canvas model – 16th Dec.
  • Finance and bookkeeping, fundraising – 17th Dec.
  • Legal aspects and business registrations – 20th Dec.
  • Digital marketing – 21st Dec.
  • Preparing a proper business plan – 27th Dec.
  • Pitch perfect – 28th Dec.

Participants will have a tremendous opportunity to improve their knowledge and abilities prior to the preliminary round, and all participants of Pitch it! Win it! are encouraged to attend the workshop series.

Registration Link to enroll yourself for the workshop series: https://tinyurl.com/RACALBS-Jumpstart

Pitch it, win it!

A forum for early-stage businesses and idea wizards to pitch their company ideas to a panel of judges and win cash prizes to help jumpstart their venture. Individuals or teams with an early-stage business venture, or even a business idea, may fall into this category. All ‘Pitch it! win it!’ contestants are expected to attend a series of workshops designed to help them do well in the preliminary round.

Following that, the participants will pitch their businesses at the ‘Pitch it, win it – Preliminary round’ on the 8th January 2022. Participants are welcome to use Sinhala, Tamil or English according to their preference. A presentation would be followed by a Q&A session with the judges. Participants will be questioned about aspects such as their company idea’s applicability, viability, and return on investment. The teams with the most innovative business concepts will advance to the finals.

In addition, if selected for the finals, each finalist will be allocated a mentor who will help them prepare for the Finale.

The finalists will participate in the ‘Pitch it, win it! – Grand Finale,’ which will take place on the 30th of January, 2022. Each team will be given tasks to test their skills in strategic thinking, decision making, and many more. The exact procedure of the Finale will be notified after the Preliminary Round.

The winners of ‘Pitch it, win it’, will be decided based on a final score comprised of 50% brought forward from the preliminary round, and the other 50% from the points gained through the grand finale.

The first three places of the ‘Pitch it, win it!’ round, will receive valuable prices to escalate their Business. The winners of this category will be awarded prices worth LKR 100,000, which will include all or some of the following.

  • Cash Prices
  • Co-working space
  • IT solutions
  • HR solutions
  • Portfolio solutions
  • Web hosting
  • Mentorship

Registrations for ‘Pitch it, win it’ will be open from the 12th of December till the 6th of January 2021.

Registration Link to enroll yourself for the Pitch it! Win it! Round: https://tinyurl.com/RACALBS-Jumpstart

Jumpstart 2021 has joined hands with ICTA – 10,000 Ideas where tech startups will be presented to a special program conducted by the ICTA Sri Lanka where they will get many more valuable opportunities. The tech startups among the finalists of Pitch it! Win it! will be advanced to this program.

Shark Tank

This will be a straight Finale, done in the guise of a networking event, where development stage firms will be able to interact with possible investors from a variety of areas who may be interested in granting them financing in exchange for a return of equity in their businesses. Individuals or teams who own a growing business may be included in this category.

There will be a selection process to participate in this category, and competitors will be requested to present an overview of their start-up on the following criteria after registering.

  • Existing revenue generation
  • Scalability
  • Profitability/impact
  • Business Model
  • Traction

The certified might pitch their commercial enterprise to the investors, following a few rounds of discussions. The groups may be evaluated grounds including feasibility, boom and return on investment, and the participants stand a risk to receive investments for his or her groups. The members might also benefit from expert recommendations for their commercial enterprise and create long-lasting contacts with buyers. The Shark Tank round will be held on the 23rd of January 2022.
Registrations for ‘Shark tank’ will be open from the 10th of January until the 21st of January 2022.

Jumpstart 2017

Jumpstart 2017 was staged under two categories; the Cooperate Awards and Enterprise Awards. The Corporate Awards category took a similar approach as the ‘Pitch it, win it’ category in 2020, rewarding many valuable prizes for the top three talented entrepreneurs. The first place walked home with,

  • Prize of LKR 100,000/=
  • Working space at Business Hubs Sri Lanka.
  • ICT solution (app or website), entrepreneurship mentoring and a collection of tech tools from Revolution Portfolio.
  • Y club membership and networking opportunities from Youth Business Sri Lanka.

The Enterprise Awards category focused on the CIMA foundation level students of Achievers Lanka Business School and took a similar approach as the Board Room Challenge in 2020. Mainly serving as an eye-opener for the students who were just stepping into the business world, the competition awarded certificates for participation as well as the first 3 places.

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Jumpstart 2018

Jumpstart was back in 2018, to seek the next best start-up in town! It followed a similar approach as the ‘Pitch it, win it’ round this year. This year, Jumpstart brought in many more exciting prices to the table, for the winners to escalate their Business Journey. The first place was awarded,

  • Cash prize of LKR 100000/=
  • 1-month free Coworking at any co-working space through Million spaces
  • 6 months free Coworking at Business hubs
  • ICT solution (app or website), entrepreneurship mentoring and a collection of tech tools from Revolution Portfolio.
  • Membership to the Y- club – Premier entrepreneur gathering & mentoring network for the finalists.
  • Providing a linkage to Social Media platforms and Marketing opportunities for the winners of JumpStart. (Based on the product feasibility and scale-up opportunity)

Networking opportunities with investors for the winners of Jumpstart

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Jumpstart 2019

Jumpstart expanded its limits in the year 2019, catering to Business ideators, early-stage start-ups as well as Businesses in the growth stage. The business ideators and early-stage startups competed in the ‘Pitch it, win it!’. The first four places received many valuable prices with the winners being awarded,

  • A professional website developed worth over LKR 100 000 from Dawn Developments, which includes 8 Dynamic Pages, .com Domain, 5 Email accounts along with 5 hosting space, Server Security, Website Backup and maintenance for 2 years and Technical Support of any sort (IT related).
  • Discounts up to 75% on Dynamic Website for any number of pages, Static website over 10 pages, Any Domain, Additional Emails (after 5 free emails), Mobile Application, POS System, ERP Systems, Chatbot, Dashboard with data analytics, HR System, Help Desk System and Consultation startup support for the website from Dawn Developments.
  • Co-working space of 6 months from Collaborate Co-working
  • 30 hours of Mentorship from StartupX Foundry
  • An article in the ‘Chokolaate’ Magazine

The Shark Tank round focused on Business in the growth stage, and took the same approach as it will this year. It opened the floor for the competitors to connect with reputed investors in the country in various fields.

Jumpstart 2020

Jumpstart 2020 banged stronger than ever with a different platform of conducting all the rounds and the finals.

Finalists from the Pitch it! Win it! round was offered prizes worth LKR 50,000 consisting of 20 hours of mentoring from Startup X Foundry and Discounts up to 30% on IT solutions from Shopbox.

The 1st runner-up was awarded 40 hours of mentoring from Startup X Foundry, 75 hours of Coworking space from Hub9 Coworking, Legal Consultation worth of LKR 25,000 from E-Law Chambers and Discounts up to 30% on IT solutions from Shopbox.

The winner was awarded 50 hours of mentoring from Startup X Foundry, 150 hours of coworking space from Hub9 Coworking, Legal consultation worth LKR 25,000 from E-Law Chambers and a professional website worth LKR 60,000 with IT support from Shopbox.

The SHARK TANK round comprised of, the growth stage startups which got the opportunity to connect with potential investors. The investors evaluated their business ideas upon presentation, based on areas such as feasibility, growth and return on investment. Investments were offered based on the above criteria along with expert advice.

After the completion of four successful editions, JumpStart has proven time and time again that it is the ideal platform to Jumpstart your business journey. Don’t miss out on this unique opportunity and the rewards the team has in-store, to make your business dream a success.

Unfold your business plan, Implement strategies and Revolutionize the corporate world, with Jumpstart 2021!

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