AIESEC Sri Lanka, Leadership, Membership, Programs, Travel

Imparting knowledge while exchanging cultures: Global Classroom 1.0

Finally after months and years of barricades, AIESEC in Colombo North (University of Kelaniya) embarked on the project Global Classroom in the month of July setting forth another remarkable milestone in the entity. The country was facing a hard time in terms of the economic crisis. Nevertheless, AIESECers of CN were delighted to welcome the exchange participants to deliver them the best experience. Therefore, Antonia Ziecke from Germany, Marianka Veraverbeke from Belgium, Mariam Abdelmageed, Dina Abdelrahman and Mona Foud from Egypt began in the last week of June to commence their volunteering journey, here with us CNers. The project for teaching in Sri Lanka lasted for six weeks starting from July. Its main focus was Sustainable Development Goal #4, Quality education.  Their schools were in two different locations, Wise International Kandana and Leeds International, Panadura. Even though they stayed apart on weekdays, they made sure to catch up during weekends exploring Sri Lanka. The best thing was that the exchange participants had a remarkable experience during their working period. Because it was both about teaching and exploring the beauty of Sri Lanka. Since the very first day itself their energy level and enthusiasm was next level. Teaching small children was their passion. Despite the cultural diversities and the differences in school systems, they adapted themselves and had utmost fun throughout their stay. 

IPS Day 

The Incoming Preparation Seminar (IPS), is a significant event in the AIESEC culture. Here we set forth the expectations while exchanging cultures of both parties. The event took place before the volunteers officially proceeded with their project in order to avoid any cultural hindrances. While the cultural exchange took place, we explained them further about their role and the job descriptions. As this was their first encounter together, it was more of a warm hug to ensure that we’ll be there for them throughout their stay over here. The day started with roll calls. Then we introduced some of the cultural cuisine of Sri Lanka. They considered them to be ‘really spicy’ yet couldn’t take their hands off the table. They witnessed our culture, whereas CNers got the opportunity to learn their cultural significance through various activities. 

Exploring Sri Lanka

As much as they enjoyed teaching, one of the main reasons for their arrival to Sri Lanka was the stunning natural wonders we owe. All of them loved traveling. Along with the OC they got the opportunity to explore the city of Colombo. Afterword, some other significant temples as well as beaches along the coast. Trying out various street foods and shopping around in the city, they enjoyed their time. And as the OC, we enjoyed guiding them and spending time with them. Furthermore, the beloved Organizing Committee members took steps to give them the best experiences one can get in Sri Lanka. Thus, we took them to Kandy and Galle, two of the most significant cities in Sri Lanka. Moreover, Kithulgala is considered to be a hub for adventure as well as for nature enthusiasts. From white water rafting to abseiling and exploring waterfalls, they were mesmerized by the beauty of the mountainous regions. “This is the best experience a nature lover can ever get” they said. Besides, the week after, we took them again taken for camping in Blue Beach Island, a destination one should never miss. Everyone along with the OC members had one of the most remarkable visits and collected memories worth a lifetime.   

Final Event & the farewell

Reaching to the end of their volunteering project, as the final output the volunteers gathered and organized a ‘spend a day’ event at the Twinkle Stars Montessori School Panadura. The children were excited to see new faces of the foreign volunteers and everyone had a good time exchanging their cultures through different games and fun activities. Volunteers made sure to reward the children with gifts and handmade cards to mark their presence.  Finally after six weeks of fun and good memories, we only had a week to bid them farewell. In order to make it more memorable the OC organized the farewell party in House of Vandervort, Dehiwala to remarkably end an amazing project of six weeks. Everyone reminisced about all the memorable days and events they had and it was a nostalgic moment as they knew that this is it. The bond they’ve created with the members so far made it hard to bid farewell to them.The OC gifted them with Ceylon tea, significant food items which they loved from Sri Lanka and a significant photograph  marking their presence with us in order to make their journey of six weeks remarkable.  Likewise, with dozens of memories with the exchange participants, the project Global Classroom concluded successfully making it one of the hardest goodbyes in ones life.
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AIESEC Sri Lanka, Leadership, Lifestyle, Membership

Importance of Feedback at Your Work

Feedback is the breakfast of champions.

Ken Blanchard

What is Feedback

Feedback is the information received by a person based on prior action or behaviour. The feedback focuses more on improving the quality of work. It is simply a guide to identify the accuracy and the places to improve our work.

Why is feedback important?

There is no assigned person to give feedback on your work. Anyone can provide feedback for your work. Significantly, both positive and negative feedbacks are helpful. Positive feedback helps motivate, while negative feedback assists you in improving the work. Effective feedback is beneficial for the entire work as it assists you in the right direction.

 

It motivates you to do the best

 It’s a universal thing that positive feedback can motivate you to do your best. Feedback matters for a quality outcome of the work. The best thing is that you are not only a receiver of feedback, but also you can be a person who gives effective feedback to another person. Therefore remember that you can also be inspirational while being motivated by others’ feedback.

It is the key to Improved performance

Effective feedback is a critical component of successful work. Feedback gives people a better idea and evaluation of their work. It is difficult It isn’t easy to improve the work or do your best without feedback. The feedback encourages the person to do his best and enhances performance. Moreover, giving feedback is the simplest way to provide opinions on work to improve it more to meet the necessary needs.

Personal and professional development

Feedback positively impacts both personal and professional development. Not only professional development but also personal development is demanding at your work. Personal development helps to increase self-confidence, and it positively affects work. On the other hand, feedback directly aids in developing a professional career. The feedback supports quality work and encourages people to continue building their skills.

Accordingly, feedback is one of the main reasons for ongoing development at your work. Feedback supports to builds confidence and outputs quality work with fewer mistakes.

 

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AIESEC Sri Lanka, Programs, Travel

Mapping the Beauty of Sri Lanka; On the Map 1.0

Leisurely spinning on a globe, she spotted a small island on the map. An island anyone should not miss, a paradise anyone should not be unlucky to miss. Yasemen Togrul is a Turkish post-graduate studying data science and journalism who has a passion for exploring the world. She was searching for an ideal destination and fatefully heard about the new project ‘On the map’ by AIESEC in Colombo North. Luckily, these two parties finally met on the 08th of September 2022, commencing the project ‘On the map’.  She was another lucky soul who is to witness the beauty of Sri Lanka.

Project Goals

The project aims to contribute to SDG #8 by enhancing local communities’ capacity to build sustainable local tourism activities. That brings revenue and boosts employability in the region. Thus, Yasemen Togrul, the project’s exchange participant, travelled to various regions targeting tourist attractions in Sri Lanka. She spent a period exceeding four weeks in Sri Lanka.

First Impressions

The journey started with a visit to Kelaniya Rajamaha Viharaya and Galle face beach. The panoramic views and rich history of this Buddhist temple became an inspiration. While the picturesque sun settings at the ocean-side urban park of Galle face were mesmerizing. And they became a kickstart to the project ‘On the map.’

bomburu ella

Capital Highlights

Then, the next day was marked with three wonderful visits to Gangaramaya Temple, Diyatha Uyana, and Thapowanaya. The visit to Gangaramaya Temple gave the exchange participant a wonderful sight of modern architecture and cultural essence. Moreover, visiting the monastery scum meditation center in Thapowanaya enhanced Togrul’s experience in serenity and Buddhist practices. However, after visiting these two places representing the unique Sri Lankan culture, day two was concluded with an evening at Diyatha Uyana. It offered a unique experience in a novel outdoor recreational area. The week ended with a trip to Galle and the IPS day organized in collaboration with the project Global classroom 2.0.

Visit Royalty

The following week marked a shift of destinations from the Sri Lankan capital and its suburbs. She headed to the legendary city of Kandy. The journey consisted of a visit to revered religious places such as the Temple of the Tooth Relic and Ambuluwawa Temple. Further, the hikes in the Udawaththa forest and watching elephants at Pinnawala Elephant orphanage. Then, the team, the organizing committee, and Togrul visited Hiriwaduna Lake, where they had an incredible time sightseeing and swimming.

Further, the journey’s direction was shifted to Ella starting on the 24th of September, comprised of a visit to Ella Rock, Nine arches, and Bomburu Ella. These visits gave a team heap of priceless memories and panoramic views of nature’s beauty, showcasing the beauty of Sri Lanka.

The 27th of September marked a special day in the project calendar when the exchange participant participated in the celebrations of World Tourism Day. The farewell party concluded the projected at Lunar Cafe Kiribathgoda on the 6th of October.

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AIESEC Sri Lanka, Leadership, Lifestyle

Why Workplace Character Matters

A character can be defined as the mental and moral qualities that are unique to an individual. Character plays a significant role in an individual’s life and social background. Consequently, a character in the workplace matters since it defines an individual’s career development and the workplace’s efficiency. In order to maintain an appropriate character in the workplace, one needs to have characteristics such as integrity, commitment, punctuality, leadership, and professionalism. Apart from that, they have to follow business etiquette and netiquette. This article explores how these characteristics positively affect an individual worker and the efficiency of the workplace.

Though one’s inner self may stay the same, the day-to-day character of a person and the workplace character may differ considerably. For instance, attire, language, social interactions, and relationships take different aspects at and outside the workplace. In a way, a character with respect for others, integrity, good communication skills, ethical behavior, and punctuality is appreciated in professional and non-professional contexts. Nonetheless, in the workplace, all these characteristics may appear more professional. At the workplace, mutual respect between coworkers, employees, and clients is demonstrated through professional language, active listening, and professional gestures and postures.

Value of characteristics

Characters

The characteristics mentioned above aid in maintaining a smooth work floor and a comfortable working atmosphere. For example, when employers and employees are active listeners and are good at communication, they can effectively work as a team to achieve a common purpose. Besides, their professional communication skills can efficiently attract and interact with clients. When there is mutual respect among coworkers, employers, and employees, it creates a comfortable workspace for everyone where they would feel accepted and valued. These positive feelings can boost one’s performance, thereby enhancing workplace efficiency.

Integrity at work is one of the essential characteristics that a worker must possess because it generates a sense of trust and reliability among the employees and between the clients and the workplace, which amplifies work efficiency. Further, being integral gains an individual the respect and trust of peers and managers and enhances career growth. Punctuality matters since it makes one a dependable employee and enables group tasks to be achieved on time.

Commitment is one of the key characteristics that are essential at work. Work commitment is the responsibility and enthusiasm of an employee towards the mission and vision of their workplace. Significant commitment will earn employee recognition and speed up their career development. Besides, when all the employees at an organization are committed to working, organizational goals can be achieved as planned.

Value of Professional Characters

Professional Characteristics

They are maintaining a professional character matters in order to ensure an orderly workplace atmosphere. Apart from that, to enhance the reliability of a professional and the workplace. It is also noteworthy that being a professional does not mean having a professional demeanor. One must demonstrate professionalism through their work and behavior. It is because certificates and other documents cannot be used to prove that one is a professional in many circumstances.

For example, when a professional is providing service to a client, it is through one’s behavior, attire, and the way one uses their knowledge effectively to accomplish the tasks, that the client acknowledges that this person is a real professional.

Demonstrating professionalism causes an excellent first impression and long-lasting trust among coworkers and clients. When employees value professionalism, they do not bring their personal lives to the workplace. It establishes a working atmosphere intact by irrelevant matters. Having professionalism, therefore, enhances the efficiency and reliability of work.

Business Etiquette and Netiquette

Business etiquette and Netiquette

In the virtual world, following business etiquette and netiquette enhances professionalism. Business etiquette is acting professionally and exhibiting proper manners when engaging with others in the profession and with clients. Workers must build professional relationships and follow business etiquettes, such as healthy communication, punctuality, and respect. When communicating with clients via social media platforms, it is crucial to use professional language in the virtual world. Creating a reliable, professional atmosphere, even in the virtual arena, is necessary. Following business etiquette is a valued characteristic of an employer or an employee since it creates a productive workplace.

Leadership and confidence are vital to have a good workplace character. Employers, managers, and team leaders must possess leadership skills to direct and motivate the employers under them to achieve the targets to make sure they are comfortable with their work. Moreover, each employee must possess leadership skills and confidence to accomplish their work and status effects and to establish healthy professional relationships.

All in all, workplace character matters tremendously as it enhances workplace productivity and individual career development.

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AIESEC Sri Lanka, Event, Partnerships, Travel

Exploring Sri Lankan Culture through Teaching – Global Classroom 2.0

The project begins!

The beginning of September was marked with a promise of new experience for the AIESECers in the university of Kelaniya. Global Classroom, the AIESEC contribution towards the betterment of education in Sri Lanka reopened for the second time. With the title Global Classroom 2.0, the project started with new Exchange participants and a new organizing committee. Teaching in Sri Lanka was not just about teaching for the project. It was a journey planned for teaching, sharing culture, and to find themselves facing challenges in a new terrain. This was, in the experience of exchange participants and the organizing committee, a landmark which helped their personalities take shape.

The approval set the course for the journey of three exchange participants; Brian Muraya from Kenya, Eleni Papaefthymiou from Greece and Gulcan Ebru from Turkey. They arrived in the first week of September, a few days before the commencement of the project.

Expectations

At the ceremonial end of their Global Classroom journey, we asked how they felt about their whole experience. 

“I was relying a lot on the media, before I came here. When I did, I learned that Sri Lanka was different to what I saw in them,” said Brian. “People here are happy and ever smiling” He says. “I wanted to teach my students and I wanted to learn about the culture and the people.” 

“My best moments apart from traveling were interacting with kids. I learned the way they think, which was a rewarding experience.” Brian remarked recalling his students at LEEDS International in Negombo.

Elen, who worked at the WISE international, Kandana, told us that what she expected first from here was to be safe. And in the comfort of working with the students she told us how much she enjoyed teaching. “Today, my students learned that we were leaving soon. Most of the children told me ‘don’t go, Elen teacher, live here’ and I felt so touched by that.” Elen expects to continue in her path to become a teacher in Greece. We witnessed ourselves how much she had bonded with her students at the final day event.

Gulcan worked with Elen at WISE international with Elen teaching students of the primary section. She also aspires to become a math teacher, which she claims has become a more clear ambition after this project. “The best part of the project for me too was working with the students. In teacher’s day, I saw the pure love they had and I just love them for that.”

Incoming Preparation Seminar and Work Experience

The Incoming Preparation Seminar of the project happened soon after the arrival of the exchange participants. There we explained them further their role as a volunteer working in the Global Classroom project. More importantly, they got to experience some of the cultural food items, and some rituals of Sri Lanka.

Searching for beauty

In addition to the teaching in their allocated schools, traveling and experiencing Sri Lankan culture was what occupied them. They travelled to Galle and the Colombo city, seeking for more memories. Some of the religious icons they found, evoked their curiosity, and told us later how much similar they found this religiousness with their countries. The sun bathed city of Galle was another mesmerizing landscape that captured the minds of the EPs.

One of the ER partners for the project, Ape Panthiya, was one such experience that granted the EPs one such experience to engage with students of Advanced Levels. With them, Brian shared his culture, and his knowledge of his country and leaving with them the curiosity to inspire them to understand his culture.

 

The Final Day Event

The end crawled near for the project with the second week of October. And the OC of the project had to announce its officiality. To make the effect of the project even more impactful the OC decided to donate the many and the best books to the WISE International they found hunting especially for the event. The book donation took place on the 14th, with the participation of all the exchange participants.

Farewell

The OC arranged the farewell on the same day as the final day event. The OC had found a lovely beachside restaurant: Light House Galley facing the ocean met at the Galle face. Officially gathering for the last day, all the EPs and the OC got their chance to talk about the experience, the best and the funniest, the scary and the challenging moments of their journey. We shared all the stories over a final Sri Lankan style meal that we would take together, which we all took time to savor.

Brian, Ellen and Gulcan at the farewell

Also, we made it an opportunity to celebrate Elen’s 23rd birthday that arrived two weeks earlier on the day of Galle tour. A cake was brought on her behalf and everyone joined to sing for a marvelous 23rd. Another ER partner, Gamage Stores, offered us some of their art and crafts, miniature versions of ancient Sri Lankan cultural artifacts as souvenirs for the EPs, which we presented to them near the end of the event. Throughout this concluding event that carved in every one of them unforgettable memories, a spectrum of emotions was committed to pixels, so that everyone in the project could reminisce time and again.

End of a journey…

Only a week remained for the EPs to bid farewell to their students, and the new bonds they made working in a country foreign to them. Elen and Gulcan decided to work with the students at WISE to the last day they could. The bond they made with kids made it difficult, even at the end of the project to leave.

Brian, who found the people and the culture of Sri Lanka fascinating, traveled to Matara and Pinnawala to add more vibrance to the experience he wanted to remember. And in the third week of October, the time came for the EPs to say their goodbyes to the students. And so the project Global Classroom 2.0 ended, with many points of history in their memories as a series of experiences in which they rediscovered themselves.

the OC and the EPs

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