Thursday, 2 May 2019
May 2019 is Youth Service Month in our Rotary calendar. It is often said that youths are our future. Well, Rotary believes in this and act on it. Rotarians do our part in helping to develop the next generation of leaders. Programs are carried out to help younger leaders build leadership skills, expand education and learn the value of service. The Rotary movement does it at different levels.
First, there is the Interact clubs at the secondary school level which bring together young people ages 12-18. Rotary clubs will partner with schools to sponsor, mentor and guide Interactors as they carry out projects and develop leadership skills.
Secondly, there is the Rotaract movement at the tertiary education level and Rotaract clubs bring together people ages 18-30 to exchange ideas with leaders in the community, develop leadership and professional skills, and have fun through service. Very often, Rotary and Rotaract members work side by side to take action through the various avenues of service.
Thirdly there is the exchange of youths. These can be long term or short term. Long-term exchanges will last a full academic year. Students will live with more than one family in the host country and attend school there. Short-term exchanges can last from several days to three months. They are often organised as youth camps, tours, or home stays that take place when school is not in session. There is also a New Generations Service Exchange which is a short-term program which can be customised for university students and professionals up to age 30 years of age. Clubs work with the host Rotary district, to organise activities that can include networking, relationship building, humanitarian service, professional development, and leadership training.
Fourthly, there is the Rotary Youth Leadership Awards which is an intensive leadership program organised by Rotary clubs and districts. Usually this takes place in a camp-like environment in which young people are taught leadership skills while having fun and making connections.
I am happy to say that our District are active in the areas of Youth Service. Our Rotary clubs have sponsored a number of Interact Clubs in schools across the District. We also have Rotaract Clubs which are active and they work closely with our Rotary clubs. Our District also conduct RYLA.
We just held our District Conference in Penang from 26 to 28 April 2019. I like to thank all the attendees and donors for supporting this event. To those who have received awards in different categories I like to congratulate them and I hope your recognition will inspire others to try harder.
Just a gentle reminder that we have only 2 months to go before the current Rotary year come to a close. Based on latest statistics there are already some clubs which qualify for the Presidential Citation Award. I encourage all clubs to try your best to aim for this award. Update My Rotary and Club Central as soon as possible.
Henry Tan Kok Hiang