My name is Marina Nareswari, Exchange Participant (EP) from Indonesia. I was involved in a project held by Colombo South Local Committee (LC), named AQUA. The project was commenced from mid January to end of February 2014. I was working in a team of 14, consisted of Indonesian, Taiwanese and Chinese.
During the project commencement, I stayed in a local family house. I had no idea on how Sri Lankan live, their culture and everything so I was nervous when I first arrived. But, this feeling was immediately turned off by the hospitality that my host family showed me ever since I stepped into their house. They really shaped my impression on Sri Lankan people and I appreciate the work of the AQUA Team to find this place.
This AQUA Project was a project with outstanding concept. The main theme was about water conservation which I believe this is a main issue in every country. This project had several main things to do such as visit to water treatment plant, tree planting, support Sri Lanka’s water board in Bandarawela to do survey, leaflet distribution to public and presentation at schools.
My favorite activity amongst all those things was supporting Sri Lanka’s water board in Bandarawela to do quality survey to their customers. The water board was intended to expand its clean water supply distribution network in some areas. Before they build the network, one of the thing they would like to know was about the customer’s feedback on their service for all these time. This kind of survey had never been done before. Our team was going to several areas near Bandarawela and gathered data by interviewing some local people and taking photos. The output was a report consisting the data we took and our suggestion to improve the condition there. It became my favorite activity because I really felt that I actually did something directly related to the theme of the project, water conservation. However, it only lasted for two days, which I wished it could be longer.
As for the other activities, they were interesting too. I think, if this project is going to have its sequel, the goal can be designed to be more specific and have series of simultaneous steps to achieve it. It will create the feeling of having progresses when the team does the project. It is always good if we can see our progress and where we are going.
We had around six weeks to finish up the project, yet, the first two weeks we barely did anything related to the project since there were several events happened in the LC. Despite of the rush, the local team assisted us very well and quickly. There were always at least someone to accompany us during the project and it was very helpful. They always tried the best they could and they event granted my wish to play cricket! That was awesome.
Overall, I enjoy the project, the experience, the new friends, the foods and many other things during my stay in Sri Lanka. I really wish for the project to be continued because water is the basic need of humankind and it needs to be protected. The youth generation is the fuel of every change people need. I believe AIESEC Sri Lanka can do more things related to water conservation and make it as a sustainable campaign.