Since its inception in 1917, Lions Clubs International has been an organization committed to community and humanitarian service under its global motto of ‘We Serve’. With over 47,000 clubs spanning over 200 countries globally, over 1.4 million members dedicate themselves each year to serving those in need, whether in their own communities or around the world. The Lions International District 306 A-1 in Sri Lanka has been a fixture in the community for 64 years. The Annual Convention of the Lions Club International District 306 A-1 was held this year today, the 7th of May 2022. This year, the organization recognized and honored individuals and organizations that have been exceptional in their sustained contribution to society, their influence to bring about change, and have made a demonstrable impact to the community at large. As such, the organization recognized , ‘Gammadda’, for the Most Outstanding Citizen Award 2022, for extraordinary efforts to positively impact the many diverse communities across the country.
The Lions noted that Gammadda's dedication to the concept of ‘Gammadda’, the Heart of the Village, through vast number of community service projects, which has positively impacted the lives of the rural populations of Sri Lanka. Gammadda’s water, sanitation, and hygiene projects, including the multitude of clean drinking water projects initiated by Gammadda, such as the Hingurakgoda Ulkatupotha Drinking Water Filter Project completed this year, have made safe drinking water an easily accessible resource to many a rural community, and assists in the endeavour to eradicate chronic kidney disease. The welfare projects carried out by Gammadda, notably, the ‘Sahana Yathra’ Flood Relief mechanism, have provided necessary disaster relief to those affected, and garnered great public support and encouraged citizens to contribute to volunteering efforts. Similarly, the diversified education projects undertaken by Gammadda, extending from the construction of a pre-school in Thamankaduwa, to the recent efforts by the ‘Gammadda Thaksalava’ project to provide online education access during the Covid-19 pandemic, have underpinned the academic progress of the future generations of rural communities of Sri Lanka, who, without such projects, may not have received these necessary resources they duly deserve.
Gammadda was also recognized for various partnerships with international organizations to spread its message of community service to the world, noteworthy of which is the partnership with the Clinton School of Public Service of the University of Arkansas. The valuable contribution to society by Gammadda has also been recognized worldwide by the likes of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, UN Volunteers, and the University of Oxford. The theme for the Most Outstanding Citizen Award this year is ‘Exceptional Contribution to Society’, and the Lions International District 306 A-1 recognized Gammadda for wholly embodying this theme through its dedication to impactful and sustainable change in the lives of all Sri Lankans.