My Rotary youth exchange: Venezuela to the United States

Anniela Carracedo
Anniela Carracedo took part in a 2019-20 Rotary Youth Exchange from Venezuela to Mississippi, USA.

By Anniela Carracedo, member of the Rotary Club of Bay St. Louis, Mississippi, USA, and a Rotary Youth Exchange Alumna

When I decided to become a Rotary Youth Exchange student, I had no idea how much it would change my life and the lives of everyone around me.

In 2017, I was invited to the Interact Club of Valencia, Venezuela, following my parents, who joined the Rotary Club of Valencia. I joined the club because I wanted to make a difference in my local community. I had seen Venezuela go from being one of the healthiest countries in Latin America to experiencing one of the worst humanitarian and economic crises in the modern world.

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Building professional skills across borders

By Mona Mousa, past president of Rotaract Stockholm and its international representative

Mona Mousa
Mona Mousa

I don’t have a professional background in social media management, but I have managed several social media accounts such as Rotaract Stockholm and Rotaract Oceania. In advance of the Global Citizen Live event in Paris in September, the rest of my team decided I should handle the Rotary Instagram page, as they have followed me for a long time.

It was an exciting and a scary opportunity because there are thousands of followers, but I went in with an open mind.

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Challenging the status quo in Rotary

Mohan Kumar
Mohan Kumar

By K V Mohan Kumar, charter president, Rotary Club of Bangalore Prime, India

Rotary is constantly in the process of change. Change is essential to stay relevant, as Rotary’s founder Paul Harris noted with his famous quote:

“This is a changing world, we must be prepared to change with it. The story of Rotary will have to be written again and again.”

Paul Harris, This Rotarian Age, Circa 1935

Many things drive that change in Rotary:

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Creating relationships beyond the club experience

The social media team
The social media team from Rotary at Global Citizen Live in Paris. From left Pauline Amiel, Tamara Gojkovic, Hanh Minh, and Mona Mousa.

By Tamara Gojkovic, past president and treasurer of the Rotaract Club of Banja Luka, Bosnia and Herzegovina

Before I joined Rotary, I had only heard of it by name. I didn’t know anything more. Then one of the assistants at my university asked if I’d want to join their club. He noticed how active I was at university and with several nongovernmental organizations, and he thought Rotaract would be a great fit for me. I’m really grateful he did, because that created a whole new part of my life. That was almost four years ago now.

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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