MAY – YOUTH SERVICE If there is a closer cooperation between clubs, the younger generations will transform the way we create change for the better. When the mentor is ready, the student appears. 

WE ARE PEOPLE OF ACTION. Rotary is where neighbors and friends find solutions to problems, share ideas, join other leaders and take action to create durable change.

WE CONNECT PEOPLE. Rotary brings together more than 1.2 million people. Together, we see a world where people come together and take action to create lasting change – around the globe, in our communities and in ourselves.

WE SOLVE PROBLEMS. No challenge is too big for us. For more than 115 years, we have built bridges between cultures and continents to promote peace, combat illiteracy and poverty, promote clean water and sanitation, and fight disease. 2.5 BILLION children have been immunized against polio, as we managed to eradicate 99% of the polio cases.

Our achievements have a colossal impact, but it can be even greater. Rotary believes in developing the next generation of leaders to take our organization’s achievements further. Our programs help younger leaders develop leadership skills, promote the importance of education, and learn the value of volunteering for the community.

Rotaract Clubs bring together people between the ages of 18 and 30 to exchange ideas with community leaders, to develop leadership and professional skills, and to have fun through the service above self.

Interact clubs bring together people between the ages of 12 and 18 to develop leadership skills and learn about the world through projects and activities for the service above self. Interact Clubs organize at least two projects each year, one that helps their school or community and one that promotes international understanding. The Rotary Club sponsors and guides Interact clubs as they develop projects and develop leadership skills.

Rotary Youth Leadership Awards – RYLA is a leadership development program for young people who want to learn new skills, develop their confidence and have fun. Events range from one-day seminars to long camps. RYLA is an intense leadership experience organized by Rotary clubs and districts.

Rotary Youth Exchange – Rotary Youth Exchange builds peace. Students learn a new language, discover a different culture and truly become global citizens. Exchanges for students between the ages of 15 and 19 are sponsored by Rotary clubs in more than 100 countries.

New Generations Service Exchange – The New Generations Service Exchange is a short-term, customizable program for students and professionals up to the age of 30. Participants can design exchanges that combine their professional goals with a humanitarian project.

What do these youth programs have in common? They are all connected to a Rotary Club. In communities around the world, Rotary, Rotaract and Interact members work side by side to act through the service above self. From big cities to rural localities, young people change communities. They decide how to organize and run their clubs, manage their own funds and plan and carry out activities and service projects. Sponsors, ie Rotary Clubs, provide guidance and support, and work with Rotaract and Interact as service partners.

Why is it so important that we at Rotary provide support and mentoring to the youngest? Because they are the future leaders of the communities. Therefore, we need to show them, first of all by actions, what our principles and beliefs are, and then offer them advice and support to develop their full potential. “Rotary Mentoring” is my first district project, launched in the 2015 – 2016 Rotary year with Gabriela Puskas:

“Rotary Mentoring” is a mentoring program that addresses the entire Rotary family, creating a bridge between generations, through which a transformative experience is achieved on both sides. The main objective of the program is to train mentors and a young generation in the 2241 District in leadership skills and career guidance. Through mentoring, young people in Rotaract have access to a structured program that develops their thinking, in-depth understanding of Rotary, empathy, patience, leadership skills in volunteering and in their profession. These results will strengthen the relationships between generations of volunteers and it will increase the quality of Rotary members, through the transfer of information, good practices, know-how, and therefore it will improve the positive impact we have on society.

Among the major benefits, that Rotary Clubs indirectly benefit from in this project, are the visibility, promotion and retention of young people with exceptional leadership and mentoring skills, which in the long run contributes to the training of the next generation of leaders.

To become leaders, they need the right context: Interact, Rotaract, RYLA, Youth Exchange and Service Exchange. In these environments, guided by Rotary principles, we can help them:

– connect with leaders in your community and around the world – build their professional skills and gain experience – be given the opportunity to enrich their professional experience through work – learn to build communication and problem solving skills – discover strategies to become a dynamic leader in school or community – learn more from community leaders, industry experts, and peer-to-peer mentors – unlock the potential to turn motivation into action – develop lifelong leadership skills – learn a new language and a new culture – become global citizens – have fun and create lasting friendship with young people around the world

Let’s focus our attention and always keep in touch with young people, not only for organizational matters, but especially because of our friendship.

We have all reached a certain professional maturity in which we can offer our knowledge to those who need guidance. Think of those who have supported you even with a wise word at a crucial time in your life. I invite you to consider mentoring as a form of service above self, training leaders by sharing the Rotary experience.

Not only will you support the new generation of leaders, but you will be surprised that you will learn as much from them as they did from you. I think Rotary really needs the vision of Rotaract and Interact to have an overview from several perspectives. I believe that closer cooperation between clubs and the younger generations will transform the way we create change for the better. Invite young people to express their views. You may be pleasantly surprised and you may even learn new things.

When the mentor is ready, the student appears. 

Share with us the result and the impact of the actions you take and show us how you contribute to the promotion of young people in your community!

Sincerely, Marian Neagoe Rotary D2241 Governor

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