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Ananda Old Boys – COVID 19 – Makes the Difference

Jun 14, 2020
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Ananda College Old Boys’ Association of West Coast (ACOBAWC) made a difference during the recent pandemic closure. The team lead by the President Rakshita Dissanayake, with Lucky Rajasinghe, Pradeep Gunaratne and Rahim Mantara came up with the idea of keeping the members, friends and families informed through Zoom meetings regarding the ongoing Pandemic. This idea was presented to Ananda’s own Dr. Deepthi Jayasekera (Clinical Professor and Specialist in Infectious Disease – Emanate and San Dimas Hospitals, Chair of Infectious Diseases), who promptly accepted the lead to share his expertise among its members and families. Team also realized that this was a great way to meet and greet among families during the pandemic.

First Meeting 05 April 2020 – First Meeting was held under the patronage of Dr. Deepthi Jayasekera on 05th April 2020, under the heading of COVID-19 – A Crisis Brewing – Facts & Myths. First Zoom meeting had a sign-in of 36 and a total of 81 attending including all the family members.

Second Meeting 26 April 2020 – Once the word got around Team started receiving messages from families and friends to hold a second meeting. The Team huddled and planned a second meeting with adding another crucial member, Dr. Lasika Seneviratne (Medical Director of Southern California Oncology Research Consortium and Former Chief of Oncology and Chief of Medicine at Good Samaritan Hospital in Los Angeles, California). Zoom Meeting was held on 26th April 2020, during the height of Pandemic under the heading of ‘COVID 19 – Where We are and where we are heading to..’ This meeting garnered 58 ‘log-ins’ and an audience of over 100 with family members. Initial 30-40 minutes were allowed for the families to meet andgreet among friends. It was indeed a great party as everyone was in isolation, other than the medical professionals. Meeting was led by Dr. Deepthi and Dr. Lasika.

Mother’s Day Meeting 10 May 2020 – As the team realized that some of the Medical professionals were our own ladies in the front lines, it was decided to have a meeting on Mother’s Day. Team added another crucial member, Methinda Jayawardane to the mix. Zoom Meeting was held on 10th May 2020 and was named ‘COVID 19 – Tribute to Mothers – How mothers as healthcare professionals are coping with COVID-19?’ This was indeed the most beautiful meeting organization had, as everyone listened to our own health care professional ladies filled with emotions. This meeting was moderated by Dr. Deepthi.

Fourth Meeting 30 May 2020 – Team felt the need to work as one community and President Rakshita, invited all other alumni Associations to join-up with Ananda. ACOBAWC together with its East Coast counterpart, alumni associations of Nalanda, Royal, Vishaka, St. Bridget’s, Bishops and Museaus, organized the fourth Zoom meeting under the banner of ‘COVID-19 & It’s Impact Lives and Livelihoods’. Team also added Nalin Kulasooriya and Thilanjan Vithana to the team. This meeting was led by Dr. Lasika and advised by Dr. Deepthi. Expert panel had Dr. Sumedha Jayasena, Dr. Rasi Wickramasinge, Dr. Kapila Marambage and Dr. Himanshu Wickramasinghe. This meeting reached a global audience of 154 ‘log-ins’ and was watched by over 250 people.

Fifth Meeting 28 June 2020 – Ananda Team together with all the Alumni Associations mentioned above are currently in the process organizing a Zoom Meeting on ‘COVID-19 & It’s Impact Lives and Livelihoods – Part 2- Economy’. Panel for this Zoom Meeting will include World renowned Economist Ian Shepherdson, who was named ‘The Wall Street Journal’s US economic forecaster of the year’ award twice. He will be Joined by billionaire, Scott Shay, Economist and founder of Signature Bank. We are expecting a global ‘log-ins’ over 400 for this meeting. This meeting will be led by Nalin Kulasooriya and moderated by Dr. Shyama Mahakalanda.

Rakshita Dissanayake
Ananda College Old Boys Association

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