3 things you should know about advancing youth service-learning

By Caitlin Cangialosi, Rotary International Programs and Engagement Specialist

Every year, over 350,000 youth participate in Rotary’s youth programs. Yet, until recently, Rotary didn’t have resources that directly engaged them in service, a fact that surprised me when I first began working for Rotary International’s Programs for Young Leaders team in the spring of 2019.

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Presidential conference offers relationship building, collaboration

By Alex Ritchie and Taylor Huie, executive co-directors of the Ascension Rotaract MDIO, and Ally Fisher, chair of the RotarActs of Kindness campaign

As life-long members of the Rotary family, our passion for Rotary and Rotaract stems from the deep friendships we have formed and the meaningful service we have taken part in. These last few years have been a whirlwind, from first meeting at the 2018 Rotary International Convention in Hamburg to launching a new Rotaract Multidistrict Information Organization (regional groups of Rotary districts that form for the purpose of disseminating information and facilitating communication among Rotaract clubs in the participating districts). Through this, our friendship with each other and the connections we have made with others have truly been life-changing.

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Innovative effort sparks two new clubs

By Yvonne Kumoji, 2020-21 governor of District 9102 (Benin, Ghana, Niger, and Togo)

As an incoming district governor, my training at Rotary’s annual leadership event in January 2020 in San Diego, California, included information on forming new clubs and new club models. Words that then-President-elect Holger Knaack had shared with us resonated in my mind, words like innovation, adaptation, change, being different. Then I thought about Toastmasters, and wrestled with how those thoughts fit together.

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Celebrate Rotaract by giving

By Clement Chinaza Owuamalam, Rotaract Club of Apo, Nigeria

World Rotaract Week is an annual celebration of the success and significance of Rotaract in communities around the world. This year, from 8-14 March, Rotaractors, worldwide are celebrating the wonderful experiences that inspire them to put service above self.

Members of the 2018-19 Rotary International Rotaract Committee at the One Rotary Center, USA.

I vividly remember that sunny Saturday afternoon in 2014 when our president at the Rotaract Club of Federal University of Technology, Owerri, Nigeria, led us to a Rotary Foundation seminar organized by leaders in our zone. I was overwhelmed to discover how donations to The Rotary Foundation, no matter how small, are transformed into life-changing projects in areas where they are greatly needed.

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Myanmar refugees charter new club in Indiana

Members of the Southport International Rotary Club in Indianapolis load boxes of food for a food drop.

By Jeff Lake, Rotary Club of Indianapolis, Indiana, USA

I began to work with the nonprofit organization Chin Community of Indiana in 2016 after our club’s foundation granted them $250,000 over five years, with a three-year extension through 2023. Many Burmese Chin, fleeing persecution in their home country, have chosen Southport as their new home. Almost 20,000 Chin live on the south side of Indianapolis, making it one of the largest concentrations of Chin people outside of Myanmar.

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Building connections between Rotarians, Rotaractors

Jamil Mouawad

By RC Jamil Mouawad, Rotary Coordinator from Lebanon and a member of the Rotary Club of Zgharta-Zawié

The spark started when I joined Rotary at 24 years-old, and it ignited at 27 when I became president of the Rotary Club of San Juan de la Maguana, Dominican Republic. Joining Rotary at a young age gave me a passionate drive. After serving as an early example of a young Rotary leader, I feel a responsibility to ensure today’s young people can have a similar experience. Their creativity, problem solving, and capabilities are outstanding — all they need is an opportunity to thrive within Rotary. Continue reading

Planting seeds of motivation to support the environment

Members of the Rotaract Club of Nürtingen, Germany, plant trees in a cleared area last spring.

Dominik Huhndorf

By Dominik Huhndorf, vice president of the Rotaract Club of Nürtingen, Germany

My Rotaract club established a project, Treety of Generations, to motivate clubs around the world to plant trees in cleared areas. In doing so, we show the power of working with Rotary.

We began by finding two partner clubs on different continents who were as passionate about the environment as we were: The Rotaract Club Cumbayá, Ecuador, and Club MOP Vaishnav, India. With this strong alliance, we launched a pilot project. Continue reading

Join me at the 2020-21 Presidential Conferences

By Rotary International President Holger Knaack

For many years in Rotary, we have talked about the importance of Rotaract and how young people have the potential to reshape our organization. Thankfully, in the last few years we have gone beyond talk and have moved into a time of action. Continue reading

Virtual Rotary Choir keeps the music going

Members of the IFRM Virtual Rotary World Choir during a recent online concert.

By Bonnie F. Sirower, past district governor of District 7490 (New Jersey, USA) 

A lot of Rotary members are not aware of the opportunities they have to dramatically increase their friendships and connections through a Rotary Fellowship.

I first joined the International Fellowship of Rotarian Musicians (IFRM) at the 2005 Rotary International Convention in Chicago. I was drawn to their booth in the House of Friendship by the number of people having fun singing to the accompaniment of a pianist. I joined the fellowship right then and there and for several years, participated in the Rotary World Choir at conventions during the Interfaith Service on Sunday mornings. What a beautiful way to be together – making gorgeous music with people who had previously been strangers. Continue reading

What I’ve learned as a member of Toastmasters and Rotary

Mark Burchill

By Mark Burchill, DTM, past president of the Rotary Club of Santa Rosa, California, USA, and founder and chair of the Rotary Means Business Fellowship

Leadership challenges are invigorating. I have launched or led four businesses, a Toastmasters club, a Rotary club, a Rotary International Fellowship, and more. As a Rotarian and a Toastmaster, I can tell you that both organizations transform lives, although in different ways. And both have had an impact on my life, starting many years ago. Continue reading