Rotaract / Rotary under the microscope
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Rotaract / Rotary under the microscope

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A presentation looking at issues affecting the Rotary / Rotaract relationship, presented by PDRR Simone Collins at 2007 APPRC Malaysia.

A presentation looking at issues affecting the Rotary / Rotaract relationship, presented by PDRR Simone Collins at 2007 APPRC Malaysia.

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  • Welcome <br /> Introduction(s) <br />
  • 4. To provide opportunities for working in cooperation with <br /> sponsoring Rotary clubs; <br /> 5. To motivate young people for eventual membership in Rotary.If nurtured correctly, the Rotaract program can be a very powerful training ground for future Rotarians. Not only are these young adults learning leadership skills, determining what needs are in their local and international communities and finding ways to address them, and broadening their horizons with international friendship, they are also learning about Rotary and what it means to be a Rotarian. <br /> So here we have the first benefit to Rotarians for sponsoring a Rotaract Club: Rotaract can be a powerful tool when it comes to recruiting and retaining future Rotarians. While working with you, Rotaractors have a unique opportunity to judge Rotary and whether they would like to be a part of it in the future according to what they see in the Rotarians they interact with. Let&apos;s look at some of the other benefits to Rotarians that the Rotaract program offers. <br />
  • As Rotarians, you can play a direct role in helping ensure your community has young leaders with the strong sense of ethics that Rotary embodies though the Four Way Test. Ensure your Rotaractors receive ample training, by including them in Rotary and Rotaract District training assemblies and conferences, offer opportunities to Rotaractors to be leaders or facilitators at camps such as RYLA, and assist your DRREs to attend their regional DRR Training assembly. <br /> You can also directly mentor Rotaractors by inviting them to participate in your club&apos;s projects, not just as an extra pair of hands, but by involving them at all stages of the project&apos;s organization. By doing so, you can increase their awareness of any financial and legal aspects of projects that they may not have been exposed to previously, and help them make new contacts with civic leaders. At the same time, Rotaractors may be able to offer you a new perpsective, with ideas you may not have thought of and a better understanding of what appeals to younger people. They can also offer access to their own networks, which may be useful for sourcing participants for your other youth projects. <br /> In forging strong links between Rotaract and other youth projects in your club and district, your projects can become a big investment in Rotary&apos;s future, If all Interact, Youth Exchange, RYLA, Foundation alumni and the like joined Rotaract, how many future members of your club are you directly training? <br />
  • Macau Rotarian Florence Hui, who is a former Rotaractor who made the transition to Rotary a couple of years ago, observes: <br /> “Rotaractors are the enthusiasts who dare to try and explore. Rotarians are the practitioners of Rotary philosophy. By working together, they inspire each other and their horizons are broadened.” <br />
  • Providing mentoring and guidance to a Rotaract Club while it is in the process of building itself up is particularly important. While it may seem like a fair amount of work on behalf of the Rotarians who have taken on this responsibility, it is essential in laying a strong foundation on which the Rotaract club will continue to grow and thrive. <br /> Malaysian Rotaract Jamie Tan observes: <br /> “There&apos;s no greater fulfillment than to support and sponsor vibrant Rotaractors and have them support Rotarians. Rotaractors are always ready to accept new challenges. With the proper guidance and continuous motivation from Rotarians, Rotaractors could reach their highest potential to become quality leaders.” <br />
  • Rotarian Marco Kappenberger, who as a Rotarian in Samoa worked closely with the local Rotaract Club and now as a member of a Rotary e-Club is presently forming a Rotaract e-club, observes: <br /> “Being in Rotaract is an excellent experience for its members and the benefits will be for life. Consequently, independent of whether Rotaractors become Rotarians or not, thanks to Rotaract they have become even better citizens of the community and also so they contribute to Rotary&apos;s good reputation. ” <br />
  • Rotaract Clubs are self-administering, so there is little that Rotaract requires from Rotary on an ongoing basis. However, there are a couple of things that Rotarians are required to provide to Rotaractors in relation to training and funding, as set out in the Rotaract Statement of Policy. <br /> All incoming Rotaract club officers, directors, and committee chairmen are to be provided with leadership training at the district level, such training to include a 1 to 2 day leadership training seminar conducted by the Rotaract District Rotaract Committee (ie, the DRR and his / her board and Rotaract Club Presidents) in conjunction with the Rotary District Rotaract Committee (ie the DCHR and other Rotarians appointed by the DG). This training is to be paid for by the sponsoring Rotary Clubs. Rotary districts are to pay for the attendance of their districts&apos; DRRs at multidistrict leadership training meetings. <br /> In relation to providing funding to Rotaract other than for training, the only other mandated expense is a once-off organization fee of US $50 payable by the sponsoring Rotary Club to RI when certifying a new Rotaract club. For all other costs associated with the activities of a Rotaract Club, it is the responsibility of the Rotaractors to raise the funds they require themselves. They must not solicit nor accept more than occasional or incidental financial assistance from their sponsoring Rotary Club. Learning how to raise funds for their projects or how to seek doonations-in-kind is part of their professional development, and they learn nothing if Rotary Clubs just hand over the funds they need for this. <br />
  • Australian past DRR Simone Carot Collins comments: <br /> “Rotary Districts put a lot of emphasis on training incoming Rotary Club and District leaders. Could you imagine telling the DGE that the district has decided that s/he can&apos;t attend the international assembly as it is only budgeted for every 2nd DGE to go, but don&apos;t worry, there are plenty of PDGs in the district that they can learn from? It&apos;s just not done. <br /> “So why then is it common practice for DRREs and other Rotaract leaders to be denied the training they are entitled to, with it not being budgeted for being the major reason cited? Like training Rotary leaders, training Rotaract leaders is not just about the Rotary, Rotaract and leadership content, it is also about forging networks with your peers to exchange ideas with and seek support from during their term.” <br />
  • Even if you do have a healthy Rotaract Club, there are some behaviours exhibited by Rotarians which can be detrimental to the Rotary / Rotaract relationship, which has an adverse effect on Rotaractors desiring to become Rotarians in the future. These are some of the most common complaints Rotaractors cite. <br /> If you view Rotaract as a youth program, it can be an easy mistake to think of Rotaractors as children. However, all Rotaractors are adults, and many have university degrees, mortgages, spouses, children, and their own business. Many Rotaractors are very well travelled and quite worldly. You may be surprised to find that Rotaractors may be more experienced or knowledgeable than you in some areas. Treating Rotaractors as children, even if they are college students, is very demeaning. Please endeavour to accord all Rotaractors the same respect you would expect them to show you, and remember at all times that they are partners in service, not underlings. <br /> The second point follows on from this. Rotaractors are very capable, very resourceful people. While some may not initially have as much experience with working effectively in committees or organizing projects and finding funding or the right contacts, it is a matter of providing a little training or guidance. Under no circumstances should you try to force Rotaractors to do something in particular, or just do it for them. Teach them to fish, rather than just giving them the fish. And if they need to learn by making a mistake, let them learn. <br /> You should also avoid thinking of Rotaractors as a ready and willing slave labour force. Rotaractors are usually more than willing to lend a hand in your projects, but you should never expect that they should help you with no benefit to themselves, just because they are your Rotaract club. If they are helping you with an activity that is raising funds, give them an even share of the profits. Also, reciprocate the support of projects – be sure to attend their projects and fundraising activities as well. <br />
  • The Rotaract FAQ for Rotarians produced by Rotaract in Great Britain and Ireland notes: <br /> “A comment we often hear from Rotarians is, “We tried Rotaract and it failed. All the members coupled up and left or got other jobs and left at once.” Well, yes, this does happen, because Rotaractors do couple up or get new jobs, and leave, sometimes very quickly so that suddenly a club has few active members. It is the role of a responsible sponsoring Rotary club to help Rotaractors to constantly recruit new members. Clearly sponsoring a Rotaract club is a long-term commitment and therefore requires the support of the whole Rotary club on an ongoing, year-on-year basis. Without constant and consistent strong Rotary support, the Rotaract club will not survive for long.” <br /> This may seem contrary to the earlier statements that Rotaract does not take up much of a sponsoring Rotary Club&apos;s time. The message here is that a sponsoring Rotary Club should not ignore or forget about their Rotaract Club after it has been chartered – a healthy relationship is necessary between both clubs for Rotaract to truly thrive. <br />
  • Mary Kathryn DeLodder, who has had 6 years of involvement with 2 different Rotaract clubs and as DRR in District 6710 from 2006 – 2008 has helped Rotarians start new Rotaract clubs, affirms that she has found the same thing in the USA as what the UK Rotaractors documented. Mary Kathryn adds: <br /> “I really want sponsoring Rotary clubs to view their Rotaract clus as a project of the Rotary club, just like any other project they undertake. They should keep up with the project, and make sure it is doing okay. While there aren&apos;t strict guidelines as to what sponsorship of a Rotaract club entails, maintained communication and support from the sponsoring Rotary Club are key to the vitality of the Rotaract club. The sponsorship by Rotary is what truly sets Rotaract apart from any other clubs out there available to young people!” <br />

Rotaract / Rotary under the microscope Rotaract / Rotary under the microscope Presentation Transcript

  • Rotaract / Rotary under the microscope The good, the bad and the ugly! PDRR Simone Carot Collins Western Australia
  • The (Good) Theory The 4th & 5th goals of Rotaract: ● To provide opportunities for working in cooperation with sponsoring Rotary Clubs ● To motivate young people for eventual membership in Rotary Source: Standard Rotaract Club Constitution Article 2
  • The (Good) Theory ● Opportunity for Rotarians to mentor dynamic young men and women − help shape the community's future − next generation of Rotarians ● Valuable partners-in-service − new ideas & alternate viewpoints − more help for your projects − access to other networks
  • The (Good) Theory “Rotaractors are the enthusiasts who dare to try and explore. Rotarians are the practitioners of Rotary philosophy. By working together, they inspire each other and their horizons are broadened.” PE Florence Hui Rotary Club of Macau District 3450, Macau Former Rotaractor who joined Rotary in July 2005
  • The (Good) Theory “There's no greater fulfillment than to support and sponsor vibrant Rotaractors and have them support Rotarians... With the proper guidance and continuous motivation from Rotarians, Rotaractors could reach their highest potential to become quality leaders.” PDRR Jamie Tan Rotaract Club of Gombak District 3300, Malaysia
  • The (Good) Theory “Whether Rotaractors become Rotarians or not, thanks to Rotaract they have become even better citizens of the community, and so they contribute to Rotary's good reputation.” Marco Kappenberger Rotary E-Club of Latinoamérica formerly a member of the Rotary Club of Apia, Samoa
  • The (Ugly) Reality ● Lack of understanding by Rotarians as to what the Rotaract program is actually about ● Too many districts don't understand the importance of fulfilling their obligation to fund training for Rotaract officers ● Some Rotary Clubs have gone as far as sabotaging the work of their Rotaract Clubs, or withdrawing their sponsorship out of spite!
  • The (Ugly) Reality “Imagine telling the DGE that the district has decided that s/he cannot attend the international assembly... s/he can just learn from PDGs instead. Why then is this a common practice, for [Rotaractors] to be denied the training they are entitled to? ” PDRR Simone Carot Collins Rotaract Club of South Perth District 9470, Australia
  • The (Ugly) Reality Relationship damagers: ● Treating Rotaractors as children ● Instructing / taking over rather than advising ● Expecting help / support from Rotaractors but not giving any in return
  • (Bad) Pitfalls to Avoid “A comment we often hear from Rotarians is, 'We tried Rotaract and it failed. All the members coupled up and left or got other jobs and left at once.' It is the role of a responsible sponsoring Rotary club to help Rotaractors to constantly recruit new members. Without constant and consistent strong Rotary support, the Rotaract club will not survive for long.” Source: RGBI Rotaract FAQ for Rotarians
  • (Bad) Pitfalls to Avoid “I really want sponsoring Rotary clubs to view their Rotaract clus as a project of the Rotary club, just like any other project they undertake. They should keep up with the project, and make sure it is doing ok. Maintained communication and support from the sponsoring Rotary Club are key to the vitality of the Rotaract Club. ” DRR Mary Kathryn DeLodder Rotaract Club of University of Louisville District 6710, USA