Empowering Youth Activists Using Shared Resources Online; The Beginning Of a Rotaract District (6920)

The Rotaract District 6920 is pretty new. In fact, it was established in August 2017 under the supervision of District Governor Hamsa Thota who wanted to really emphasize the importance of getting youth involved in the Rotary family. His vision was to create a New Generations team under his leadership that exposed Interact and Rotaract to youth in the district so that they will later on become Rotarians; People of Action. A step towards this dream was achieved when we got together and formed the official Rotaract District 6920.

We had to do an assessment and see how many clubs we had. We didn’t have a lot, but we were sure we had some clubs standing its ground and doing great work in the community. There were a lot of challenges we had to address, but given the fact that we are dealing with millennials we knew we had to have a strong online presence. Worse yet – we had a distance problem. It was challenging for the New Generations team to reach all Rotaract clubs and Rotaract leaders across the district of 6920. It was a pretty big land to cover. So we mobilized and put some things together.

First, we launched a website. We wanted to cater this website to Rotarians first, because if Rotarians understand the importance and the impact of youth in Rotary they will sponsor more clubs. Then we wanted to cater this website to Rotaractors and their leadership because we believed that if we create strong leadership in these Rotaract clubs it will contribute to increasing their engagement and as a result, sustainability. We tackled the “distance” we had by incorporating virtual training resources on our website through Google Drive.

We encourage Rotaract clubs to have elections in January so that their elected officials can work closely with the officers who will be taking leave at least for 5 months. This improves sustainability. But we can’t always assume that these new officers come in with a lot of experience to their positions. As an example, an extremely passionate Rotaractor may be President, but without a little training, they may not be able to build a strong team if they already don’t have those skills.

Promoting Rotaract with Rotarians

As I mentioned above, our first motive was to encourage Rotarians to get to know about Rotaract and be able to promote it to their members and clubs. So we made a presentation which they can download and present to anyone. This is incorporated in the “training resources” tab on our website.

A “training resources” button was incorporated into the landing page of the website.

This is what it looks like when you click it –

Inside the “training resources” we have a presentation for Rotarians.

Then they can click on the “Starting Rotaract” presentation and download it and present it to their club members. We have included so many details ranging from Rotaract’s history, how they can start a Rotaract club, what they need to know, documents they need to fill and so much more incorporated in this presentation.

There are 5 steps to starting a Rotaract club

Training Rotaract Leaders Virtually

Then we needed to provide a little bit of training for Rotaractors virtually. We wanted to provide them with templates that will help them get their club meetings going and make their year more effective with a year plan etc. We made four folders – President, Vice President, Treasurer and Secretary and we put important templates into these folders.

The drive includes templates to help incoming Rotaract leaders

If we take a look at the President’s folder, we have a draft meeting agenda, a draft year plan template and the President’s tasks listed out. Same goes with the Treasurer – we have a draft budget template and for Secretary, we have a draft Annual report template, a draft minutes template and so on. We’ve made it clear that they don’t have to adhere to these templates. These are there to merely support them if they need.

President’s folder includes important templates to support the President if needed.

It doesn’t really substitute for a real Rotary Youth Leadership Program (RYLA) where you have team building activities, idea sharing and so much of bonding. But I believe this compensates for the basic requirement of training where a Rotaract District that is starting to jump-start its youth involvement can really make use of.

To take a look at the training resources and the full picture go to www.rotaract6920.org > training resources. The Rotaract District 6920 website was made with love and expertise, by Syndicate.