Barry Rassin, president of Rotary International, emphasized the need for the world’s 35,000 Rotary clubs to recognize the importance of young people in the organization’s future during his recent visit to Rochester.
Victor-Farmington Rotary Club devoted two meetings to reviewing the role of young people in Rotary’s future and devising a strategy in response to Rassin’s challenge.
Rotarian Dave Luitweiler discussed what younger adults involved in Rotary accomplished in the past year. Six leaders involved with Rotary, all younger than 35, by the U.N. and Rotary International during a recent joint conference in Kenya for their initiative in creating programs to improve the quality of life for others.
Recognition went to a man in Austria who created a program that establishes mentorships and encourages service across generations, including helping to build houses for the poor; an attorney in Colombia who used her legal skills to create programs teaching vocational and business skills to women in prison, allowing them to become productive members of society; a Rotarian in Kenya who travels to remote school districts to find those most in need of toilets and hygiene education, then establishes projects to meet their needs; a health professional from Canada who launched a nonprofit organization that trains midwives and supplies safe, sterile childbirth equipment to hospitals in rural Uganda; a man in Uganda who organized a Rotaract club in a refugee settlement that conducts service projects within the camp and fosters a sense of family among the refugees; and a technical engineer in Australia who used his expertise to create high-tech solutions for removing pollutants from waterways.
Rotaract clubs are affiliated with Rotary, and devoted to developing leadership skills as well as professional and community service projects for men and women ages 18-30.
Rotary recognized the efforts of Rotaract members in Juarez, Mexico, for starting a project to paint murals in graffiti-ridden public spaces to create a clean and safe environment.
Rotarian Jim Crane updated members on the club’s goals for the coming year to increase the involvement of younger adults in support of service projects.
Victor-Farmington Rotary recently recognized two Victor Senior High School students for making a difference in the world: Kataichiry Rohena Marquez and Joelymar Ruiz. The Victor seniors received the Alan C. Rosbrook Student Leadership Award, named in honor of the late Al Rosbrook. Also present at the ceremony were Laurie Estochen, adviser for the Global Competence Certificate program, and junior Veronica Dominquee, who is working on the current Uganda water project.
The students established Walk for Water to build a rainwater filtration tank in Uganda that raised over $6,000. They are working on a similar project for the coming year.