By María Sol Casas, Rotaract Club Rosario, Santa Fe, Argentina
For a week in January, 60 Rotaractors from all over the world actively participated in the International Assembly, Rotary’s annual training event for incoming leaders, and it was, without any doubt, a life-changing experience for me. I sincerely believe that week marked a milestone.
I arrived in San Diego, California, USA, with a feeling of uncertainty about the role we would have and the purpose of our visit. Representing roughly 170,000 Rotaractors is not easy. I returned home more committed to Rotary than I was, full of responsibility toward the continuity of the organization and as an ambassador of the present.
The opportunity to exchange views with past and present RI presidents, directors, Rotary International’s staff, the 525 governors-elect and the other 59 Rotaractors has completely changed my point of view and my perspective. We debated how to best promote Rotary, expand membership, implement the change we desire, and execute the new strategic plan. We also talked about how to develop action plans and bring back every little thing we worked on at the Assembly to our countries and districts. Moreover, we had an opportunity to share with the governors Rotaract’s potential and the way in which they would benefit by working together with these young leaders.
Our presence was announced and talked about during speeches, general sessions, training rooms and even during conversations in the hotel lobby, at lunchtime, dinner and in the elevator. Rotarians asked for our opinions and ideas. They listened to us with great interest.
During the entire event, we exchanged ideas on flexibility, innovation, new models of membership, and adaptability. We discussed ways to increase our impact, manage meaningful transitions from Rotaract to Rotary, expand our reach and better engage our members.
Just the beginning
This is my fifteenth year in the Rotarian family and I have never felt as enthusiastic as I feel today in relation to the initiatives implemented by Rotary International to guarantee the sustainability of the organization for the years to come.
What happened during the Assembly is just the beginning. We feel more connected and inspired than ever before, and have been sharing the topics developed at the Assembly with our members. We have so much to do and much more is yet to come.
2019-2020 and 2020-2021 District Rotaract Representatives and Rotaract Multidistrict Information Organization Leaders are eligible to apply to attend the 2020 International Assembly now through 15 August 2019. Encourage District Rotaract Representatives and Rotaract Multidistrict Information Organization Leaders to apply. Email firstname.lastname@example.org with questions.