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

Rotaractors raise awareness of thalassemia

Students

Rotaract members talk to students about thalassemia.

By Ali Raza, president of the Rotaract Club of Bahauddin Zakariya University, Punjab, Pakistan

We live in a society where people call themselves humans before they know the need of being human; where they wish for a long life before they wish for healthy life; and where they work for wealth before they work for health. But I believe being human means being responsible. And that includes not just shutting our eyes when segments of our society are suffering and need our help. 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

The best way to find yourself

Younis Sebaggala takes part in a service project.

Younis Sebaggala takes part in a service project.

By Younis Sebaggala, professional leadership and development chair and president-elect of the Rotaract Club of Kampala North, Uganda

Common wisdom tells us that when you help someone else, you help yourself. But what does that mean? What does it mean to find yourself, or for that matter lose yourself? In the busy world we live in, we are becoming more and more isolated from our friends, neighbors, and family.

I believe that by using our time and talents to help people, we can reverse that trend. I believe that there is value in being connected to other people, and the volunteers I meet professionally and every day through my Rotaract club continuously strengthen this belief. 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

French, American Rotarians celebrate peace as New Orleans turns 300

Peace seminar New Orleans

Rotary members from France and the US held a peace seminar at Loyola University in New Orleans for the city’s 300th anniversary

By Jean-Marie Poinsard, president of the France-USA Inter-Country Committee

In October, Rotary members from the city of Orléans, France, spent a week visiting Rotary clubs in New Orleans, Louisiana, USA, reinforcing the bonds of friendship and peace between our two countries. The idea for the trip actually began a few years earlier during the Atlanta Convention in 2016. Continue reading

How RYLA changed my life

Daniel Eduardo Zavala is a District Rotaract Representative. Taking part in a Rotary Youth Leadership Awards event set him down a path of Rotary service.

By Daniel Eduardo Zavala, Rotaract Club of San Joaquin, Venezuela

In 2010, I had my first exposure to Rotary during a Rotary Youth Leadership Awards (RYLA) event in San Cristobal, a beautiful city in my country of Venezuela. A secretary at the university I was attending recommended that I would get a lot out of the event scheduled for the following weekend, and being up for adventure, I said yes. I remember that day like it was yesterday. Continue reading