Together, Excellence gave a child his first step towards victory in society.
A Day in Paris was a novel project revolving around the topic of speech impairment which was hosted by the Rotaract Club of Excellence. The project covered two aspects that comprised of a service element and a fellowship element. Owing to COVID and travel bans, all travelers were truly missing a lot on travels abroad. Therefore, the fun element of this project focused on creating a virtual trip to a staggering city, Paris. But that was not it, the trip to Paris was inclusive of a scavenger hunt based on a story of where a baby is lost in Paris and where 4 characters namely the 2 parents, a guard, and a nanny need to solve the clues together to find the baby.
The scavenger hunt comprised of 6 levels, where most levels were equipped with a challenge relating to speech impairment. The end goal of these games was to create an awareness that these games might have been just a game for the participants to complete the game but however, these are challenges that children with speech impairment undergo as a part of their therapy simply to win a normal life.
- Level 01 – Lip Reading
- Level 02 – Speech Impairment Myth Buster
- Level 03 – Memory Test
- Level 04 – Puzzle Solving
- Level 05 – Sign Language
The service element of this project was not limited to just creating awareness on speech impairment but was to help truly deserving children with these conditions. As a result, of our tremendous efforts, we gathered a generous amount of 168,100 LKR as donations and another 17,984 LKR as registration fee for the games. The first half (fellowship element) of the project was held from March 26-28th where close to 120 people participated from 8 international countries, 7 RI Districts, and 13 clubs. In order to truly give an experience of flying to Paris; from the registration to the end of the game was completely designed with the mindset of giving such experience. The registration process was designed in a way of booking air tickets, whereupon payment of the registration fee (via the payment gateway), we had an automated process to fill in the registration details into an air e-ticket and mailed it to the leader of the team. We also embedded a link to join our WhatsApp/telegram/signal group for further updates. We had team AMIGOS from Canada crowning as Champions followed by Teams PAMPS and OPG from India clinging onto the 2nd and 3rd places.
For the second half (service element) of the project, with the help of the National Council for Deaf (NCD), we found baby Sasein from Nikaweratiya, Kurunegala district who was a 1-year-old child with severe speech impairment and bilateral hearing loss. The parents of Sasein were affected by extreme poverty where the mother had to sell all her jewelry just to afford 1 hearing aid. Using the donations, we received, we were able to purchase another hearing aid for Sasein which cost ~100,000 LKR.
The project was an immense success in various aspects. A mother thanking us with her eyes covered in tears; the joy of the kid who was finally able to react and identify sounds; the doctor at the NCD thanking the Rotaract movement for such an initiative; participants of the virtual tour thanking the club for helping them realize and be aware on a globally common issue; it was a project filled with deep emotions, an outcome that paved way for a child to win a normal life in the society and internally a club that defeated the norms and went beyond what’s been ever done as a club for an international service project in the whole movement.
Rtr. Priyandan Francis
Sergeant at Arms