Upeka Peiris

This year, we truly lived up to our theme “Shine a Light” by making a significant impact on the lives of the less fortunate and within our own membership. Celebrating 100 years of Inner Wheel, I felt that our District 322 on this small island contributed significantly to International Inner Wheel over the years.

The highlight of the year was the visit of IIW President Trish Douglas. The Conference and Rally, held at the Heritance Kandalama in November 2023, was graced by her presence. Her warm and casual personality endeared her to all of us. During her visit, she attended a mental health project at Angoda Hospital, a tree planting project in Kandy, and two club projects: one by IWC of Colombo in Galle focused on education for kids with special needs, and another by IWC of Colombo Mid-Town in Matara where girls received reusable sanitary wear and school supplies. She also attended the inaugural meeting and presented the charter for the new IWC of Galle.

This year, District 322 was grouped into five groups to carry out projects. Each group received Rs.150,000 from the district to work on Women’s Empowerment and Childhood Cancer projects. The idea behind these groups was to promote friendship between clubs.

The district also carried out several projects, including donating books and toys to the children’s wards at Angoda Hospital and Lady Ridgeway Hospital, and providing refreshments and packs of dry rations at a seminar organized for parents of abused children. This was to commemorate International Women’s Day, with most clubs involved in the organizing and donations.

District 322 welcomed two new clubs this year: IWC of Galle and IWC of Maldives. There was significant growth in membership all around. I managed to visit all the clubs except one this year, which I count as an achievement.

There was also a fun selfie competition to add a little lightheartedness. Many flag exchanges took place both physically and virtually.

All the projects and events, whether at the district or club level, were posted on social media to raise awareness of Inner Wheel among the general public.

Fifteen members of District 322 attended the centenary convention held in Manchester. All the district events were well attended, and members mixed and mingled well, making new friends and strengthening old ones.

Late. Nazreena Ashroff Ali

Sharmila Cassim

Kamila Rasheed

Inner Wheel Year 2020 – 2021 was shaped by the spread of the COVID pandemic in Sri Lanka. Restrictions on gatherings and travel and periodic country-wide lockdowns made the task of maintaining the bonds within and across our clubs a serious challenge, both for the Executive Committee and for the Presidents of the 19 clubs that make up the District.

Yet, as a District, we rose to the challenge to keep the clubs vibrant and relevant in the service of our fellow citizens.

When circumstances made in-person gatherings impossible, online meetings, seminars and other events of common interest bridged the gap allowing members to interact, exchange information and stay encouraged. Some attended the virtual 18th Convention in New Delhi and voted on behalf of the District.

Faced with growing unemployment and poverty among farmers and daily wage earners, the clubs were swift to provide dry rations and other support for the worst affected. Orphanages and homes for elders received our support, as did hospitals across the country. Clubs were encouraged and they united to help families affected by Cyclone Burevi which devasted villages in the North. Looking to the future, clubs provided underprivileged women with training, tools and start-up funds to help them sustain their families through self-employment. In addition, the District Project “Lead the Change for a Greener Sri Lanka” provided many women with quick growing trees and plants for the dual purpose of environmental protection and income generation.

Diana Rahaman

Elected for the second time after having served previously as District Chairman in 2003/4. An environmental friendly theme was promoted through all Inner Wheel Clubs to identify needy schools around the island and provide Garbage Bins, whilst in addition to creating awareness of the importance of proper garbage disposal. The Women’s Ward in the Welikada Prisons was also provided garbage bins. Funds were collected to approximately LKR Four Hundred Thousand by the Inner Wheel Clubs and donated to the Apeksha Cancer Hospital, Maharagama to purchase the much needed Tomo-theraphy & Linear Accelerator Machines. Wheel Chairs were donated to the Anuradhapura Base Hospital and a Bursary was offered to a deserving Girl Child pursuing her higher education. The Covid 19 pandemic gave rise to opportunities to support deserving families through livelihood projects as well as donating essentials and medical supplies to meet their urgent needs, projects implemented through IW Clubs of Anuradhapura, Badulla and Colombo.

The well attended District Conference held at Galle Face Hotel was graced by IIW President Phyllis Charter. The Daily Mirror gave extensive post event publicity and Derana 24 TV Channel featured us on a live talk show in the ‘Vanitha Varuna’ program. The District Rally too attracted high participation which was held at Eagles Lagoon, Katunayake and organized with the Valentine Day theme and had several fun events and games, enjoyed by all. The Virtual AGM was also a ‘first’ for District 322, following the strict national health guidelines, conducted using the cloud based Zoom technology.

Nirmalie Gunatilake

Vijayaluxmy Ketheeswaran

Radha Sundarampillai

During her year as District Chairman the IWC of Colombo celebrated their 50th anniversary in 2015. In 2016 the IWC of Colombo West celebrated their 50th anniversary. She was the Chief Guest at both functions. The IWC of Jaela /Kandana held their 40th anniversary during this year and she was the Chief Guest at this function also. She held her District Rally in Jaffna as no District function has been held in Jaffna before. Very Unfortunately due to a problem that arose in the IWC of Colombo the District Officers of 2015/16 and the incoming District Officers were sued by a member.

Shanta Jayalath

During her year a project on child abuse “Educate to Protect” was done and children in 19 schools together with their parents were given lectures on what abuse is and how to safeguard themselves by lecturers from NCPA and the Police. 10,000 students and 2776 parents attended the lecturers across the island. Chronic Kidney Disease Unidentified (CKDU) patients and their families were advised on dealing with affected patients. Water storage tanks were donated to some areas. Dry rations and clothes donated to landslide victims. A cash donation of Rs. 50,000.00 sent to Nepal for the earth quake affected victims. 11 members attended the IIW Convention in Copenhagen.

Vanathy Ravindran

During her year with the theme “We for Women” Rs. 5000.00 was given to outstation clubs for projects for the betterment of women. The IWCs of Jaffna and Colombo Lake city were formed and the Charter Certificates presented the same year. The District Rally was held in the Peradeniya Gardens and members travelled to Kandy by train. 24 members participated in the 3rd South Asia rally “Women Power Unlimited” held in Mumbai.

Joan Jayamanne

She formed the IWCs of Colombo Nawa Udana and Kotte Nawa Udana during her year under new generation clubs and they received the Charter Certificates the same year. There was a growth of 73 members during the year. A child abuse awareness program was launched and it was carried out through the 22 clubs of the District. An extension of this program was carried out on International Women’s Day for 250 mothers. Relief for the flood victims was given utilizing Rs. 50,000.00 from the district fund. 42 delegates attended the Triennial Conference in Hyderabad, India. She was elected the National Representative for Sri Lanka in 2015/16.

Roshani Peiris

Young rape victims were assisted to rebuild their lives with the project “Hope for Tomorrow” and was funded by IWC Kandy. With 3 Districts of India and a club funded an automatic chappati machine for a school for visually impaired girls. Educational items were donated to needy children identified by 3 IWCs and English books were given to school libraries through 3 IWCs. An eye camp screened 675 people for spectacles and cataract operations. 19 members attended the IIW Convention in Istanbul. The IWC of Battaramulla was formed and received the Charter certificate. She was elected the NR for Sri Lanka in 2014/15 and was elected the IIW Board Director in 2018/19.

Mala Edirisinghe        

60 girls from 3 provinces (Central, North Central and Southern) were identified and were given educational Kits consisting of educational materials and other necessary school supplies to continue their studies. A cash contribution of Rs. 25,000.00 and a donation of T shirts and caps were handed over to Sri Lak Saviya Foundation to help 55 flood victim children of Rajagiriya. A sum of Rs. 30,000.00 was handed over to Rotary District 3220 towards the requirements of flood victims in Batticoloa. A donation of T shirts, jackets and caps were sent to the East through the IWCs of Batticoloa and Trincomalie. She was elected the National Representative of Sri Lanka in 2013/14.