By Karla Patricia Ravida, President, Rotaract Club of Manila
Did you know that when you serve others, you stand to gain as well? This observation was noted by American religious leader and author Gordon Hinckley when he wrote “One of the great ironies of life is this – he or she who serves almost always benefits more than he or she who is served.” For the past five years, I have been part of a Rotaract club and I can say I have had a lot of opportunities to live out that statement and grow as a young professional through serving others.
Back in 2014, I was looking for a way to give back to my community, meet new people who shared my values, and find a better way to spend my weekends. Work colleagues invited me to join the Rotaract Club of Manila, Philippines. I began by attending dinners they would have for visiting Rotaractors from other countries. Then I attended seminars and talks on youth leadership and empowerment. I found myself wanting to learn more about helping my community and growing as a leader.
After joining, I took part in several community service projects and helping with public image campaigns. I even prepared travel and tour itineraries for visiting guests. What has kept me hooked in the club is the opportunity to meet and collaborate with great young professionals and do activities that have a lasting impact in our community.
I’ve had great experiences in Rotaract that all molded me into a better young leader, including helping provide access to early education and raising funds for End Polio Now. But my favorite project is the Rotaract Philippine RoundTrip, which our club spearheaded in 2018. We grew our effort from seven clubs in two districts to 10 clubs from four district, combining travel and service to show Rotaractors from other countries a bit of our culture and give them an opportunity to serve beside us in a service project.
In Rotaract, we do service projects while building and refining working relationships. This concept is a very good idea to mold young professionals and develop their skills. Moreover, our culture as an organization combines friendship and service to build effective teams.
Most volunteer organizations unite members through shared interests and values to build teams. But Rotaract goes beyond that through the bonds we create, transforming good teams into highly-effective, engaged, and motivated groups. By getting to know and understand members beyond just the tasks they perform, we establish and strengthen working relationships.
These connections are built by something as simple as sharing meals, going out for coffee, unwinding together after work, or sharing tasks during a service project. Relationships are built and strengthened. We grow comfortable working together and sharing our ideas and input. Planning and implementing projects becomes enjoyable and exciting.
If you want to help make your community a better place, develop your professional skills, or find a more productive way to spend your weekends, there is no better place to explore than Rotaract. Find out how.
Read more from Karla Ravida, an MBA Candidate at De La Salle University, in the Manila Standard’s Green Light, the official column of academics, administrators, and students at the university.