Editor’s note: This is part of a series of blog posts from Youth Leadership All-Stars, participants in Rotary’s programs for young leaders, in celebration of Youth Service Month.
By Md. Saddam Hossain Roni, Rotaract Club of Dhaka Orchids, Bangladesh
Before joining an Interact club in 2010, I had a difficult time dealing with people I didn’t know. That’s probably why I didn’t have a lot of friends in school. But as a member of Interact, I learned a lot about fellowship.
I still remember the day I stood on stage in front of a large group of people for a speech competition for the first time, my legs shaking. It was really a nervous moment for me. That day I realized I am not perfect. But day by day, I began developing my skills and becoming an active member of Interact.
I served as president of the Interact Club of Gomoti in 2012-13. In the same year, I was appointed as Interact Secretary of District 3280 and the next year elected 1st Interact Representative of District 3282.
I made Interact friends in many countries, founding the Global Friendship Project in 18 other districts. We worked together to plant trees in different countries at the same time and with the same banners. I have always believed the actual duty of a member of Interact is to learn and develop by spreading fellowship.
A second family in Rotary
After completing Interact, I joined the Rotaract Club of Comilla Premier, but within a few months I moved to Dhaka City to continue my education. In 2015, I became the charter president of the Rotaract Club of Dhaka Orchids. I found that Rotaract was not that different than Interact, but our responsibility increased. In our charter year we successfully completed 18 club projects in our community. We distributed clothes, food, educational instruments and scholarships for needy peoples. We also formed an Interact Alumni Association of South Asia, chartered in 2015.
While attending Rotary Youth Leadership Awards (RYLA), I had one of the best experiences of my Rotary life. It was like finding a second family in Rotary. I made new friends, received support from others, and was inspired to develop myself further in order to bring change to my community, and globally.
Becoming a leader
Throughout this journey, I really don’t know exactly when and how I became a leader. But I think it came about through learning the importance of working with others to bring about change or establish peace. The day I joined Interact, I had just two best friends. Today, I have thousands of friends in every Bangladesh city, and in at least 36 countries around the world!
Thanks to Rotary, I can proudly say that I am a Youth Leadership All Star. But my journey is not finished. I want to represent Rotaract and join Rotary to serve our community on an even a bigger scale.
Learn more about the benefits of RYLA for young leaders.