By Julie Chu, charter member of the Rotaract Club of Taipei Tin Harbour, Taiwan
We still joke about how the story of our two clubs is like a love story, with a happily-ever-after ending. The parents met and liked the idea for the children to meet, the children started dating, and the two families decided to join forces in doing good.
The fellowship between the Rotaract Club of Chinatown-Manila, Philippines, and the Rotaract Club of Taipei Tin Harbour, Taiwan, started in 2015, when our charter presidents met during the Asian Pacific Rotaract Regional Conference. When we realized the similarities between our history, values, and style, we started talking about collaborating on sustainable service projects. Our first service project began three short months later.
In 2016, a group of Taipei Tin Harbour members attended the Inauguration Ceremony of Chinatown-Manila, followed by taking part in their long term project “Happy Land Tondo,” visiting the local community with supplies and a desire to learn more about their needs. We established our twin club relationship in 2017, and service projects and fellowship have been ongoing since. Taipei Tin Harbour took part in Chinatown-Manila’s social project “Bottle of Hope,” fundraising for communities in need in both 2017 and 2018. This year, the two clubs organized an exchange of post cards between children in Taiwan and the Philippines.
Twinning with another Rotaract Club allows us to develop our four avenues of service, including club, community, international, and professional development. Departing from our similarities, but nevertheless working with our differences, this journey also allows our club members to develop flexibility and professionalism in our communication and collaboration. And, of course, we always have a good laugh!
Our fellowship is still going strong. The success of our service projects and the friendship that has flourished during the process is core to our pledges. We ask ourselves: Will it build goodwill and better friendships? Will it be beneficial to all concerned? As the answer is always a big YES, we know we are definitely on the right track!
The content of our annually renewed twin club agreement ensures that service is what binds us together, not formalities, and that whatever we do feeds back to our communities. Rotary in Action is the reason our clubs are attracted to each other.
Our club sees how this twin club relationship has allowed us to mature and be more connected for good. Sometimes it’s a light-bulb moment over a cup of coffee, followed by a leap of faith, and lots of hard work. And there you go — a rewarding lifetime experience, making a difference in our worlds.
Editor’s Note: Twin clubs (or sister clubs) are two clubs from different countries that form a long-term relationship to promote international understanding and goodwill while carrying out service projects in their communities. Rotary International does not have a standard twin club agreement or certificates of recognition for Rotaract clubs. Clubs are free to create their own. Refer to those used by Rotary clubs for ideas. In addition:
- Consider twinning with clubs that share similar interests, challenges, or history and that you’ve worked with in the past. Also look for a club located in a place that matches your club’s service interests.
- Use ideas.rotary.org to browse projects and consider partnering on a service project as a first step toward a twin club relationship.
- Use the Rotaract Facebook and Twitter pages to get ideas from other Rotaract clubs on how to conduct shared projects with a twin club.
- Share your successful projects on Rotary Showcase.
- Find potential partners through the Worldwide Rotaract Directory or through Club Finder.