Rural Voices Unlimited- Communication and Leadership Project by Toastmasters District 82

In order to redress and overcome the lack of the knowledge and skills of communicating in the English Language, the US Embassy in Sri Lanka along with the Rotary Club of Colombo West in association with Toastmasters District 82 implemented the Rural Voices Unlimited (RVU) Project. The project was funded by the US Embassy in Sri Lanka, promoted through the Rotary Club of Colombo West and resource personnel were provided by the Toastmasters District 82.

This project was conducted as a pilot project with the objective of forming Gavel Clubs (i.e a prelude to a fully fledged Toastmasters' Club) in the respective cities. Plans are already afoot to commence similar programmes in the country including Jaffna. The Rural Voices Unlimited Project has already bagged the Best Cooperative Project Award of Rotary International and Best Vocational Service Project of 2009/2010 of Rotary International District 3220.

The project was inaugurated on November 28 2009 in 5 towns viz; Anuradhapura, Bandarawela, Batticaloa, Hambantota and Trincomalee where sessions commenced simultaneously. The participants were in the age group of 12-19.

A team of Toastmasters consisting of the educational module presenter and two evaluators attended meetings every fortnight and did presentations and assisted the students in conducting meetings. Every Toastmaster's visit had a feature presentation on the various aspects of public speaking such as 'the Basics of public speaking', 'use of body language', 'use of vocal variety', 'the Art of impromptu speaking', 'organizing your speech', 'conducting effective meetings' etc….

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