By Hari Chandra Satyal
I am a civil engineer by profession and have been a member of the Rotaract Club of Phulbari, in central Nepal, since 2008. I consider myself a youth volunteer and young entrepreneur.
After completing high school in my remote village, I had a big question in front of me: How do I find interest and satisfaction in life beyond my studies? Each day, I had virtually the same schedule and contact with a limited pool of friends. I was not happy with the routine and wanted to expand my horizons.
Then, in 2008-09, I was introduced to a new world of serving others. Joining my Rotaract club, I became united with 18 amazing, enthusiastic, and dynamic youngsters in Phulbari who shared my passion for serving others and their community.
Living in Kathmandu for my studies, I had to travel 45 kilometers to Phulbari for the Rotaract meetings. But I made it work because of the joy of seeing the rest of my team. Sometimes we found the experience surprising, sometimes a bit terrifying, but almost always entertaining as we took risks and tried new things in our pursuit of serving others.
As we matured in our knowledge, we tackled our first project, a trail maintenance effort, with almost no funds. The project will always hold a special place in my heart, as I was suffering a serious leg injury at the time. I was also facing issues at home, and struggling with a heavy study schedule. But the support and enthusiasm I found in my club and from the Rotarians we worked with kept me going.
I can never repay them enough for the support, hospitality, and care they gave me during this tough time. I do not have the words to thank them properly. I have heard many similar stories from Rotaractors who were blessed by their involvement in their club and with Rotarians who helped them.
I grew so much as a person and became more mature socially, professionally, and as a leader through my club and the projects we tackled. I had the pleasure of coordinating some remarkable projects, including a Green Eco-Phulbari Village project, a cultural program, an Education for All project, a Safe Drinking Water for All project, and our transit shelter construction program. I now enjoy serving as district secretary for 95 Rotaract clubs in Nepal.
My involvement in Rotaract at the national and international levels opened up still other opportunities for growth. I entertained fellowship recipients, experienced cross-cultural exchanges, and met with hundreds of kind-hearted Rotaractors, Interactors, and Rotarians.
I used to budget the time and money I gave to Rotaract events. But now, every Saturday is a Rotaract-Rotary Day. Every moment I spend in Rotaract is an investment in personal growth. I have found a deeper meaning in life than I would ever have known before I discovered Rotary and Rotaract.
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About the author: Hari Chandra Satyal is past president of the Rotaract Club of Phulbari, in Nepal, and secretary of the District 3292 Rotaract committee. He is also a member of the United Nations Youth and Student Association of Nepal.