RCCI: Starting Small
The start of last year’s wave of curfew, quarantine, and hopeless somewhat deterred our efforts in the beginning as all our grand plans on improving RCCI both domestically and through the larger Colombo Community were inherently shattered. However the three months that we were in lockdown, my fellow service leaders and I pieced together whatever motivation and hope we found to craft a plan for next year; filling the schedule with a jumble of activities ranging from experimenting with baking to sticking to the status quo of gym schedules. Our undeniable optimism was what led us to create such a diverse calendar for the RCCI students knowing that they would enjoy this change of pace and in the variety of options available. However to no avail, the second wave tore through the fabric of ur second grand plan and plunged us into this new, I suppose, activity of ‘service on zoom’ … also leaving our Service initiate to create RCCI Themed T-shirts and the buddy system on hold.
How do we manage to participate in activity that is meant to be proactive behind the walled confines of a computer screen? Does this not negate the very fundamentals of our service; to be a proactive ambassador for the values and principles we uphold and to take interest in a greater world issue? My fellow service leaders and I struggled to discuss this with our members, as we didn’t know the answer to these ourselves. After the introductory lesson where Iris, Karven and I explained the foundational values of RCCI, we were left defenseless to the ever-persisting question; “If we are an action based service, like most are, and our purpose is to help cater to a school with differently-abled students and teach them communication skills, how are we meant to do that with being so disconnected from the situation?” The repeated feeling of this question, at first made us feel quite hopeless as this is what we needed to answer to climb our way out of this slump that RCCI was currently stuck in, but soon we realized that maybe we had to change the question to discover what these year’s focus is….. So, instead of asking how we could manage to appropriate last year’s goals to this year, should we maybe shift our underlying purpose from being fully an ‘action-based’ service to sharing the spotlight with advocacy in order to adapt in these tumultuous times?
The service leaders and I, after sharing with Ms. Manushi, allowed for a more advocacy centric scope for this year’s timeline, while focusing on the proactive nature as well. This duality of sorts, was achieved by dividing the group up into two sections; with one focusing on outlining the reasoning and details of the activities and planning the sessions till the end of the next school year, while the other focused on what we can do expound upon the already initiated fundraisers such as the T-Shirt campaign and the budget system.
While doing so, the service leaders were tasked with creating a promotional video of sorts to not just introduce RCCI to the wider OSC community but also to reflect the values and principles of the service through a more creative and individualistic medium. Although small, and knowing it to be a daunting task, we divided the work into three parts where Karven and Iris were tasked with the making, editing and the finding of the media aspects, respectively, while I was asked to write the blurbs. We managed to get the desired result and understood the benefits of working together collaboratively. Having the ball rolling on both facets of our service, I feel more at ease knowing that the altruism and the hard-working individuals that make up this service will seem to fruition, regardless of whether we will be at school or not.
Link of the video below: