Arunella is the humanitarian programme organized by Engineering Student’s Union (ESU) of Faculty of Engineering, University of Peradeniya under the theme “For a Better Future”. The sparkling rays of Arunella fell into the young hearts of our faculty in year 2002. Those days the main idea was to financially support our very own undergraduates who were facing economical hardships. In 2002, final year students organized a show in Prof. Ediriweera Sarachchandra open air where the income was dedicated to offer scholarships.
Over time this little seed grew step by step into a branched tree which worked towards uplifting the lives of the students from all over the country who are following school education.
There is a saying “Helping hand is better than praying lips”. So we, Peradeniya Engineering Undergraduates, paid our attention to the remote areas of Sri Lanka, and came to an understanding that there are so many needy students as well as schools which lacks infrastructure facilities and human resources. Though we all are same as human, somehow fate had treated them in a different manner.
Our belief is that the world is one big family and we must help each other. The twilight of Arunella fell into us in this manner.
Popular carriers such as a doctor, an engineer, a teacher or a lawyer has always been our childhood ambition. But this is unlikely option for most of the students from rural areas which we par mentioned. When the question is raised, many didn’t reply, but simply responded with a little a smile. Most of them said that they don’t have such an idea. It is true that there is no point in arguing which profession is better. Ones choice of a profession depends on his/her passion. But their opportunities are limited due to the lack of exposure to knowledge and proper guidance.
So while helping them academically, we try to grow a seed of hope and expectations in their mind. Not only in students’ but also in their parents’. We, Peradeniya Engineering undergraduates, try to enlighten their lives. That is ‘Arunella’.
Arunella program is consisted with three phases;
- Seminar series
- Social projects
- Scholarship programs
Where we dedicate our weekends on behalf of the seminar series and social project with the hope of a better future for the needed.
Seminar series is aimed at O/L exam. Nowadays passing O/L is the minimum qualification. But it is the most difficult task for students in some rural areas. So we select some schools and conduct O/L seminars for them during weekends, where the knowledge is distributed and also tested using paper materials. We talk with them as friends, and we talk with their parent as their children. Some parents shared their emotional stories with us. Though they want to uplift their children’s world they don’t have that ability. And some children has lead into the wrong track in life due to this lack of guidance. Hence academic material is not enough to lead them in the path of success, which we try our best to deliver.
Mathematics and Science and technology is our main focus. Though it sound unbelievable, that there are many students who can’t even identify the basic mathematics symbols. There are some who doesn’t know to write the alphabet. This is the extension of the rural life of this country.
In this year (2015) Arunella O/L seminars are conducting in several areas such as Passara, Rajanganaya, Atharagalla, Polonnaruwa, Anuradhapuraya, Wamaduwa, Kanthale and many other rural areas. There are more than 30 centers.
- Wenrasapuram Vidyalaya
- Atharagalla Primary School
- Wadduwa Primary School
- Elayepaththuwa Maha Vidyalaya
- Dambadeni Maha Vidyalaya
- Theppanawa Kumara maha Vidyalaya
- Rambuka Maha Vidyalaya
- Gassandalupotha Maha Vidyalaya
- S. Aluthgamage Maha Vidyalaya
- Pahala Halmillewa Vidyalaya
- Udawela Maha Vidyalaya
- Angamuwa Yaya Maha Vidyalaya
- Maguldamana Maha Vidyalaya
- Akiriya Maha Vidyalaya
- Maldeniya Maha Vidyalaya
- Lagamuwa Maha Vidyalaya
- Moragolla Maha Vidyalaya
- Laggala Pallegama Maha Vidyalaya
These are few of those centers.
Along with the O/L seminar series, we offer scholarships to selected students who pass O/L examination with best results from families with low level of income with the hope of enlightening their future. Since 2008 we invite them to our faculty and organize a function to offer those scholarships. This will be a great assist for them and as well it may encourage other students who are about to face O/L examination in the upcoming years. Along with this function, we show them the facilities and give them an insight to the life as a university student to inspire them to work hard towards higher education.
This phase is financially supported by Arunella fund which is a result of our unity from the “Arunella till program”. As the students who are lucky enough to benefit from free education up to the highest level, in a country where every person, despite of their income, contribute in many ways for us to have this free education, walking among the general public, with a till for a greater course is in not a shame for us.
Effort of walking along the roads, from bus to bus, from train to trains collecting funds to a tills accounted to over two million Rupees this year. Which was a record in the university history in Sri Lanka as it was the greatest fund which collected within a day showing the strength of Peradeniya Engineering Undergraduates.
Another phase of Arunella is the social project. A school which lack facilities are selected and we try to build it up to maximally benefit the students. Not only is the capital, our effort is also expended towards succeeding these projects. Some people dream of success while others wake up and work hard at it. Success doesn’t come along with educational qualifications, but it strongly associates with humanity. This is what we want to share through Arunella social projects. This social projects began in 2007. Up to now we have donated library books, built up water supply systems, class rooms and many other projects for several schools.
- 2007 – Donated a complete library system to the Siyambalanduwa Hatharekanuwa School
- 2008 – Developed sanitary facilities in Ihala Ellegama School
- 2009 – Developed infrastructure in Gampola Angammana School
- 2010 – Donated a complete library system to the Hasalaka Ulpathagama School
- 2011 – Developed infrastructure in Dambulla Etha Bendi Wewa Primary School
- 2012 – Developed infrastructure in Navalapitiya Paththunupitya Schoool
- 2013 – Developed infrastructure an donated computer equipment to the Ambalakanda School
- 2014 – Developed infrastructure facilities of “Sri Sadhananda Piriwena” education center, Maradhankadawala, Anuradharura.
As the social treatment project of 2015, we have selected to develop a laboratory facility in Nelundeniya, Othnapitiya Junior School which is nearly completed as of now.
As the third phase we organize a show namely “Arunella Swara Samadhi”. The purpose of it is to raise funds to offer scholarships to students from our own faculty, with economic difficulties. This year’s show, “Marambaree” by Edward Jayakodi, was also a huge success.
Last two phases are also funded by selling items such as a T – shirts and a bags. And we receive contributions from government sector, private sector, private donators, engineers who passed out from our faculty and many more.
Arunalla, which is effective since 2002 is considered to be the ‘Heart of the Engineering Faculty’. It is valuable for us in this extend as it helps us to feel the breath of success from our own people.
‘In learning you will teach and in teaching you will learn ‘ – Phil Collis