What’s all the buzz about bees?

German Rotaractors build hotels for wild bees as part of the BeeAlive project.

By Henrik Thiele, a member of the Rotaract Club of Paderborn, Germany, and president of the Rotaract Germany Committee 

Recently, Rotaract clubs throughout Germany were looking for a signature project and decided to concentrate on the environment. After watching a Swiss documentary on bees, “More than honey,” one Rotaractor became passionate about focusing our attention on protecting these little superheroes. Did you know, for instance, that wild bees are responsible for pollinating more than 80 percent of our crops and wild plants? We can’t survive without them. Continue reading

RYLA in Madagascar unites cultures

Soovan Sharma Dookho, lower left, with other participants in the RYLA sponsored by District 9220 in Madagascar.

By Soovan Sharma Dookhoo, president of the Rotaract Club of Riviere Du Rempart, Mauritius

Attending a Rotary Youth Leadership Awards event hosted by District 9220 in Madagascar has been one of my most cherished experiences both from a leadership and a cultural standpoint. I joined members of Rotaract from Mauritius, marching as one, as we eagerly boarded a flight to the longest island in the Indian Ocean. From my first day in Madagascar, I was surrounded by a completely different culture. It was a joy simply going through the streets, and taking in all of the scenery and action.

Continue reading

4 lessons from launching a Rotaract club

Working with your sponsoring Rotary club is critical for a Rotaract Club’s success. Here, Austrian Rotaractors build homes for those affected by the war in Bosnia as part of an intergenerational project. Photo by Stefan Fürtbauer © Rotary International. All Rights Reserved.

By Lauren Smyser, president, Rotaract Club of Treasure Valley, Boise, Idaho, USA

Last year was both exciting and challenging for our club because we officially received our charter. With any new thing, there’s a lot to figure out. We have many people to thank, who I’ll note at the end. The year also taught us many valuable lessons, but four in particular, that we hope to use to improve our club going forward. Continue reading

Innovation through Rotary

Rotaractors

RI President Barry Rassin and Rotary directors with Rotaractors at the Rotaract Turns 50 Conference in Charlotte, North Carolina, USA.

By Alexandria Ritchie, a member of the Rotaract Club of Virginia Commonwealth University and the Rotary Club of James River, Richmond, Virginia, USA

Both Rotary and Rotaract have contributed so much to who I am as a young person. The spirit of innovation that I’ve found in this family has been instrumental to my journey.

During my very first meeting as a member of an Interact club, I listened as our faculty adviser talked about the project the club had just finished. They had raised funds to provide livestock to a family in South America. The livestock would benefit the family for years to come because it would help provide goods that they could sell in a local market for profit. I remember thinking how amazing and different this type of service seemed.  Looking back, I now realize that I was falling in love with this idea of sustainability. Continue reading

Rotary changed the way I see the world

Christian Miguel da Silva and other Youth Exchange students at a Rotary conference in Mexicali in 2004-05

Christian Miguel da Silva

By Christian Miguel da Silva, alumnus of Interact and Rotaract clubs, Rotary Youth Exchange program, and the New Generations Service Exchange program.

Watching the news today can create a lot of anxiety. Have you noticed how upside down the world can seem at times? But whenever I find myself feeling the darkness of the world we live in, I remember the positive experiences I have had in Rotary programs, and how they have made me an optimist.

I’m 30-years-old, and my first experience in Rotary was at 13. Invited by friends, I went to my first Interact Club meeting, and didn’t want to leave. Continue reading

Young people can make their mark through Rotary

By John Hewko, Rotary International General Secretary

The desire to give back, become involved in your community, create connections, and use one’s skills to benefit others is a cornerstone of civil society. But how can young people find these opportunities while facing the challenges of a widening skills gap, lost personal connections through digital isolation, and an uncertain future?

Let me begin with a description of a young person who may sound familiar. Continue reading

Blueprint for welcoming Rotaractors into the family

John Marvin Leonor has fun in a foam pit during a fellowship event including the Rotaract clubs of New Rise Kalookan North and Zamboanga City West at the ABS-CBN Studio Experience in September.

By John Marvin Leonor, Rotaract Club of New Rise Kalookan North, Philippines

The first word that comes to mind when I think about our sponsor Rotary club is family. It is our greatest honor to serve our community alongside the Rotary Club of Kalookan North. Whenever anyone asks me what our greatest strength is as a Rotaract club, I can proudly say it is the active and strong partnership with our Rotary club.

The importance of this partnership cannot be underestimated. Rotary clubs have the ability to make Rotaractors feel they belong to this huge family of Rotary and are an integral part of it. I feel fortunate our Rotary club has made it such a priority, and hope by sharing this it will inspire other clubs to do the same. Continue reading

Are you an inspiration, and more?

Immy Julie Nakyeyune Musoke

Immy Julie Nakyeyune Musoke

By Immy Julie Musoke Nakyeyune, Rotaract Club of Kampala South, Uganda

Last January, Rotary International President Barry Rassin’s presidential theme for 2018-19, Be the Inspiration, asked us to inspire change in the world and in each other. I believe that each of us is an inspiration because we accepted to join Rotaract, we joined to put Service Above Self. However, I keep asking myself, do we inspire other people to join Rotaract? Inspiration is evoked spontaneously without intention; through the stories we share, the pictures we post, and the books we read, to mention just a few ways. Continue reading

5 ways to reconnect with alumni in 2019

Attendees of a young professionals event held by the Rotary Club of Milwaukee in 2016.

By Logan Johnson, Communication Specialist for Rotary Alumni Relations

For the past few years, Rotary International has been promoting Reconnect Week as a time to remind Rotary clubs of the value of reaching out and “reconnecting” with alumni of Rotary programs like Interact, Rotaract, scholarships, Rotary Peace Fellowships, youth exchange and other regional programs. But celebrating alumni and making them feel welcome to your club is something you can and should do year-round. Alumni of Rotary make great leaders and innovators and may possess the skills you need for your next service project. Continue reading

New Rotaract club creates community in Ohio

Packing potatoes

Members of the Rotaract Club of Canal Fulton, Ohio, USA, clean and pack potatoes at a regional food bank.

By Evelyn Aaron, Communication Director, Rotaract Club of Canal Fulton, Ohio, USA

If you ask any one of the members of the Canal Fulton Rotary Club why they joined, they will tell you it’s the sense of community that binds us all together. Many of us have spent significant portions of our lives in the greater Canal Fulton area, and we want to provide our children and our town with the same helping hands that we have been offered our entire lives. Continue reading