The new service lifestyle has been a change not only for leaders and members, but also for the RCCI group. RCCI is a center located in Colombo 5 that supports the communication impaired in Sri Lanka; OSC supports them by offering a weekly entertainment and educational session, where these members were able to communicate and develop connections with students from OSC. So to switch from more than a decade of visiting OSC every Thursday to not even being able to go to the RCCI center, it has been a drastic change for them as well. As a service group, our priority has always been the RCCI service members and ensuring that we do all we can to support them. In these hard times, we are not able to physically see them, and as we had discussed, zoom sessions would be overwhelming and difficult for both the OSC students and the RCCI members to manage.
This image is one of the best service sessions we have had, we were all able to have fun together and create bonds that stayed for the next few sessions we had before COVID.
As mentioned in my goals, an essential part that we could contribute to was the planning of service for next year; we had plans for the school year 2019-2020, which we could not go through with, and as the service leaders this year have been three seniors working together, it would be important to pass on information and planning for next year. As it is unsure of whether or not school will commence in after December break, let alone whether or not the RCCI members will be allowed in, we have dedicated the last few Thursday service sessions to planning for the return to school. We wanted to make sure that if we were to go back to school, we would have plans for weekly activities.
This screenshot was taken from the minutes of a Thursday service discussion, where we had started the planning and preparation for a possible return to campus. We combined efforts and ideas, and were able to come up with new games or events to have with the RCCI members. For example, one of our new students that had joined RCCI suggested using tie-dye, which was a great idea that would be perfect for RCCI members and OSC students to collaborate on, as it wouldn’t be difficult and wouldn’t require any challenges. It was interesting for other members to include their own ideas such as a mural, that would support the relationships between OSC students and RCCI members at it would require not only communication but also a positive collaboration where everyone would have fun. We were also able to come up with a list of supplies that would be needed in order to facilitate getting back to school and jumping right into service instead of spending valuable, face to face service time planning.
As a general reflection, I think our service group has been able to adapt very well to the current situation we’re all facing, and although it may be a challenge, both leaders and members are putting an effort into planning, organizing and collaborating which is very appreciated. Our strong work ethic will definitely be recompensed when we get back to school and are able to putt our all into building back our relationships with the members rather than spending time organizing.