LYCEE de KIGALI outshines other schools in first Spelling Contest initiated by the Rotaract Club of Kigali City.

David Kato, the winner of the Spelling Bee Rwanda 2016 receiving the trophy
David Kato, the winner of the Spelling Bee Rwanda 2016 receiving the trophy

On the 18th of June 2016, the Rotaract club of Kigali city (RCKC), successfully conducted a spelling competition, dubbed “Spelling Bee Rwanda 2016”. The contest, the very first one of its kind in the city of Kigali, was conducted at King David Academy brought together 70 participants from seven (7) high schools in Rwanda, out of whom 21 students were able to beautifully display their extra-ordinary spelling skills. The participating schools were; King David Academy, the hosting school, Lycee de Kigali, La Colombiere, New Life School (Kayonza), FAWE Girls’ School, Kagarama Secondary School and Green Hills Academy.

The spelling competition was the very first one to involve a number of schools in Rwanda and was hosted under the theme, “Spelling your way to success”. Before the beginning of the competition, students were cautioned that the competition was not only about who would win or lose but also to help them enrich their English vocabulary, public speaking skills, self-confidence as well as empower them with the ability to deliver a given task under pressure.

Students were also reminded that for as long as they were among those chosen to represent their respective schools, their efforts were highly valued. The main rule of the competition was to be able to spell a word right for the first time.

The Master Speller grilling participants through the first round
                    The Master Speller grilling participants through the first round

Each of the participants were allowed to practice words falling in the categories of Family, Education and Sports. Among all the 21 participants, David Kato expressed extraordinary spelling skills, emerging as the only person we were searching for…The Spelling Bee Rwanda 2016 Champion. As he walked away with a mega trophy, he along with the other top four winners of the contest were awarded with a year’s membership at the Kigali Public Library. The other contestants were awarded, each with a dictionary, courtesy of Grace Rwanda to further enhance their spelling as well as reading skills. The fair judgement was a decision of two fine judges; Judge Floriane, a Rotarian from the Rotary club of Minnesota, and Judge Roger, a Rotaractor from the Rotaract Club of Kigali City.

During his remarks, Past President Raj Rajendran who presided over the event commended efforts by the Rotaract Club of Kigali City to bring together students in such an educating competition. He also commended all student that participated in this competition reminding them that it will help them to lay foundation to a rich culture of reading. On behalf, of the Rotary Club of Kigali Virunga, he also pledged full support towards scaling up the spelling competitions to include the participation of other schools.

RCKC President, Faridah Kamariza also extended her appreciation to the participating schools for their cooperation and support, pledging on behalf of the club, that more efforts will be consolidated to make the spelling competitions even bigger in the coming years. She also promised that the competition will be held on an annual basis and it will be hosted on rotational basis by all the participating schools to foster a better relationship between different schools as well as interaction amongst students.

Through the Spelling Bee project, the Rotaract Club of Kigali City intends to make a difference in Rwandan communities through contributing to Rotary International’s area of focus, “Basic Education and Literacy”. With the success of the Spelling project, the club will also be in a good position to promote the culture of reading among secondary school students within the country. Our appreciation goes to Grace Rwanda, the Kigali Public Library, Rotary Club de Kigali, Rotary Club of Kigali Virunga as well as the entire Rotary family for their invaluable support towards the success of Spelling Bee Rwanda 2016.



The importance of mentorship

Every Rotaract club is as strong as the activity of its members. That’s why it’s not random to find a club with fewer members outperforming another with more registered members. Every person who for any reason finds himself at a Rotaract club fellowship is a potential active member. All it requires is to convince him to come again and eventually stay- if he is deemed Rotaract at heart (a person who is/ can be useful to society- basically one who is not a thief or conman, etc).

From the time a potential member is identified to the time that person becomes a super active member of a club, there must be care in understanding him and weighing up whether his values can match with the Rotaract values. If you recruit a conman into the club for example, chances are that he will not make a good treasurer. When choosing potential members, go for people who live lives that can benefit the community.

After identification and bringing the member to your first club meeting or project, you need to convince him that he is at the right place. Make him feel at home, serve him club material (info that he can read later on such as what Rotaract is about, what your club is about, etc). Have fun fellowships and projects. That way, visitors might want to visit again especially if they understood the Rotaract material you gave out at first.

At the end of the first fellowship/ project, the club should assign someone (the person who introduced the visitors is a good idea) to follow up by phone or physically and find out the person’s experience. That feedback is useful in making the club more attractive to visitors. What the visitor didn’t like can be improved upon and what he liked can be continued.

Once a visitor has become frequent and developed an active liking for the club, a mentor should be assigned by the club to prepare him for induction and life as a Rotaractor. The mentor must be one very knowledgeable in Rotary/ Rotaract matters and a person who commands the respect of other members. A mentor can be a board member or ordinary member as long as he is knowledgeable about the club and its values.

The mentor must commit a lot of her time to the visitor, getting to know him to as personal a level as he is comfortable with and teaching them about all Rotaract ethics to the point that the visitor shows a (positive or negative- but a reaction) reaction to the club. Answer questions and give examples. There’s lots of material on the web. For as long as the visitor is not ready, stay the induction until such a time as he has proven to understand- in recital and actions- the pillars of the Rotaract Club. If he has started queuing up for project assignments, you have a useful member-in waiting on your hands.

A person such as above, once inducted will be a useful asset, able to transform the club and bring ideas that improve it. That person will be in position to represent the club’s interests with minimal supervision and mentor others.

If you made mistakes and recruited without mentorship, there’s still time. Organize mentorship workshops for your club members and have a few senior Rotarians and Rotaractors speak to members about Rotary and the values it stands for. Also encourage your members to read widely.

A Rotaract club that counts more on quantity rather than quality of members is bound to go extinct so, from the Rotaract Club of Kigali City we ask you- how is your club doing, member by member?


Peter King

Our fight against Diabetes goes on; Our noble pledge to Rwanda and Rotary International

We did it again….Yes! last weekend we were at it again.

Saturday the 29th August 2015, a good number of good jolly fellows set off from Kigali at around 1:00 pm.

Destination was somewhere in Rwamagana district, the Eastern side of Rwanda.  For all the good reasons, members of the Rotaract Club of Kigali City were heading to the Mwulire Diabetes Centre for the club’s quarterly visit to the children battling the disease.  Her Excellency, President Faridah Kamariza did well enough to make sure that Rotaractors don’t upset the local leaders; we all had to first get down to our “Umuganda” chores in our neighborhoods (read “Umudugudu”) and then hit the road for the visit to our little friends. Our journey was spiced up by all types of hilarious stuff and surely before we knew it, we were at the Diabetes centre in Mwulire. Only that is a living testimony that Rotaract brings together misplaced talent.

Fast forward to our arrival at the centre, we were given a special treat, with all the children assembled to entertain us on arrival. This only reminded me of the early school days when we had to learn  a newly composed song and dance for almost every guest that showed up at school.

The only difference is that this time, Rotaractors couldn’t watch from a distance without mingling with the kids, showing off their almost forgotten talents.

By the time food time was announced, some of these good fellows had really had a workout and many of us were more concerned on the extra input for them to rejuvenate their used up energy.

The children shared, each one telling us about where they came from before getting to the center, how long they have battled Diabetes, their families’ reaction to their situation and the challenges they face while at the centre. The details of all this was mind-blowing as some of them were actually brave enough to say that their parents have still not found it easy to contain after others  managed to accept it and move on.

While at it, the Rotaract Presidents and the only outgoing and incoming guide Rotarian started unleashing their mind-blowing speeches. Not to forget that all these had to be in our local language, “Kinyarwanda”, so that all the kids are could pick the communication. I bet you know what I am talking about here. Some people had to forge out new versions for the day. Bu there will be no name calling, we all live in glass houses lately….just in-case they all live to read this post. But if I must say we might use an interpreter next time.   If I am to continue with the story of what transpired at the during this one session, I could go on until the chicken come home, so let’s leave it at that for now.

All the Rotaractors presented the good goodies to the 20 children’s caretakers, reminding you that we had all carried clothes to donate to the children as well as the bank cheque to cater for all the children’s medical insurance. Rotarian Sam then managed to conduct a brainstorming session on how to handle the little challenges faced by the children and this paid off when we got a lineup of possible solutions.

We were then off to our shuttle, making sure that we had to leave early enough so that we are just in good time for the sleepover and home hospitality, at one of our member’s house. The principle was just one…What happens at the home hospitality ends there. So I am not about to be punched after telling you what happened there.

All in all, it was a project well attended and an afternoon well spent. We couldn’t trade it for anything better.

Because RCKC never walks alone, we will  log in our sincere appreciation to the Rotaract Clubs of SFB – Kigali and Kigali Institute of Education (KIE) and our mother club, the Rotary Club of Kigali-Virunga that sent representatives to be with us throughout our project. Your presence in every one of our spots always keeps your clubs’ names in our good books.

Massive thanks for everyone who spared their time and efforts to make this milestone in RCKC’s  noble pledge of kicking Diabetes out of Rwanda.


IMG-20150830-WA0019 IMG-20150901-WA0001IMG-20150901-WA0009IMG-20150901-WA0003They are happy kids against all odds


Just in-case you might think there was no lunch on the day’s agenda
















downloadAs you all strive to be better Rotaractors than you have ever been through 2015-2016, keep this in mind; like everyone else, your time on earth is finite and just may turn out shorter than you expected(Now, don’t say I didn’t warn you). So, in whatever you think, say or do strive to be the best you can be, at least to some one else.

The Rotary International President, K.R Ravindran made it loud and clear enough when he unveiled this year’s Rotary theme as, “Be a gift to the world”, probably the best theme that has come along in the recent past. I am voting it the best because unlike the other themes, this one seems to want to bring out the best in everyone, in their own way. He has also reminded the Rotary fraternity that being a Rotarian (or in this case Rotaractor), is  a commitment that goes beyond the regular weekly meetings to looking at the world and consider our role in it, and then work to serve that. It means taking the initiative to always chose to do what is right and well deserving instead of looking at what is just easy for us.

He has also reminded the Rotary fraternity that being a Rotarian (or in this case Rotaractor), is  a commitment that goes beyond the regular weekly meetings to looking at the world and considering our role in it. It means taking the initiative to always chose to do what is right and well deserving instead of looking at what is just easy for us.

Sure thing, each one of us, regardless of who we are, what we do, or which position we occupy in life, has something to give; be it our efforts, abilities, knowledge,commitment, time, talents, to mention just a few. What Rotaract and Rotary does is to give us a platform to use what we have been given to be the beginning of the change we want to see around us, the kind of change that tomorrow needs. By so doing, we come out to make  a genuine impact in the lives of those around us and the entire world.

As a reminder, none of us is going to be remembered for the struggles we went through to become more successful, richer or rise to a higher status, making their own lives better. This maybe even harder but not even a single soul will remember you for the car you drove, the house you lived in, the clothes you wore, the kind of office you sat in day-in-day-out, or even the titles you held through your lifetime. At the end of time, your worth will only be measured by how much you gave away, rather than how much you acquired.

So, why not resolve to put what you have to the best use so that someone else’ life could be made simpler? Rotary has given each of us  a special chance to leave a legacy behind us, to leave something real that will even last longer than many of the other things that swallow our time. Our job for now is to strive to touch as many lives as we can, in the simplest way we can.

The Rotaract Club of Kigali City along with the entire Rotary family aims to achieve its goals through the main core values of Rotary; Service, Fellowship, Integrity, Leadership and Diversity.When one brings these values into their everyday life, that’s when they start to find the inspiration and power to change lives. The activities to uphold these core values stretch from community service to professional development of our members, and for this they can testify.

In this Rotary year, most but not all of our efforts will be channeled towards our flagship project;  kicking Diabetes out of Rwanda through our continued support to the kids at the Mwulire Diabetes Center, Rwamagana (the Eastern part of the country). Through this, we have so far realized that it doesn’t really cost us so much to make any of those kids smile. More often, the time we give to them, listening to them, and sharing a little meal with them have left them in a whole new world. But then we have also been left contented and proud of the impact. Just like in the other aspects of life, the more we have put in this noble cause of service above self, is the more we have got out of it.

As we continue in the same spirit of being a gift to the world, I am certain the RI President will be proud of what we are now and with our current President, we are going places. We are committed to putting smiles to as many faces as we can.

Be a gift to everyone around you


Often times, leadership is cast as a burden; various rulers opting for the tired line perhaps to throw ambitious younger folk off the scent and make them bored of the very thought. Well, in politics it usually works, because that’s where leadership and rulership have a very thin line separating them in definition.RCKC Logo- Official

In voluntary organizations however, it is expected that the blessings of leadership should be voluntarily accepted and customarily relinquished. The annual Rotary leadership changes have made sure of that- or have they? Largely, I would say it’s a resounding ‘yes’  but there are still pockets of clubs that have failed or refused to relinquish leadership and- while handing over the presidential chain for example, have failed, ignored or refused to relinquish the accompanying paperwork and documentation. So here’s to you Rotaract club members and board in all your capacities; the basics of how your club should look like.

It is my hope that club members can start taking a more active approach to calling their club leadership to account.

You may already know that if your club is chartered, it must be listed as an active club in the official Rotary website ( In fact, all chartered clubs are listed prior to issuance of the charter certificate.

Upon being registered, one of the club members is appointed (by popular choice and ability) as charter president (CP) and this president has the permissions to update the club membership on this rotary website until the expiry of his/ her membership upon which he/ she shall log in and update the membership to indicate the next President. This helps to ensure that the next president gains Rotary permission to update the membership of the club for the duration of his/ her term and also let’s Rotary International know that the club is respectful of the single year rotational presidency.

If however this policy (regular updates) isn’t followed for a couple of years, the Rotaract club will be listed as inactive and delisted altogether. It would require a fresh registration and a new certificate issued for the club to be recognized as active again.

So, here’s the question members;

  1. Are you, as a Rotaractor recognized in Rotary International? (If your president hasn’t updated the club membership, you ain’t an official Rotaractor). An RI recognized Rotaractor must have an RI membership ID (issued upon member update on ).
  2. Is your Rotaract Club listed as an active club in the above website? If you can’t find it in the website, sound it out to your president and have it rectified (a re-registration should be done if need be). Every Rotaract Club has an RI ID.

It is imperative that the sitting president ensure that he/ she is the one listed as president and not someone from a couple of years before. The District Rotaract Representative or your sponsor Rotary Club president can help you follow procedures to change this.DSC01996

We all wish to be a part of a proper Rotaract Club and so I appeal to all club leaders; don’t aspire to be rulers but please, do hand over the full authority upon expiry of your presidential term. To leave the next leadership a pack of feathers with which to lead is not only improper but kills your own club in the end. It costs nothing but an internet connection to update your club. There are clubs with a current membership north of 35 yet still have only the charter members registered at RI.

While we aspire to serve our communities, let’s also remember to work for the betterment of our very own members for the sake of their Rotary future. It is disheartening to be an active club member for five years only to discover that you don’t even have a Rotary ID. You don’t get that upon induction; you get it when your name is added to the Rotary database.

Cheers, Peter King Oloo 

Twitter: @PKOloo

What is your service to your Rotaract Club?

I shall not bore you guys with so much history about Rotary or Rotaract because this is a message to inducted Rotaractors- and perhaps those dangerously close to induction. I believe that those in these categories are well versed enough to know the history and very purpose of Rotaract. If you don’t know, then maybe you should read this with a glass of water firmly in one hand because you perhaps haven’t gone to any pains to understaRCKC Logo- Officialnd Rotaract and find your place in your club.

I, Peter King was privileged to have been inducted at my club’s charter- becoming a Charter Director of International Service in the process. Before I could be such however, I went to great lengths to ask those who came before me every question I could about Rotaract and yet my curiosity continues to this day. What this has helped me to achieve is to appreciate the need for personal and communal development and understand how to handle relations with people of diverse background.

I did not sit about and wait for someone to educate me about Rotaract, or about the things I needed to do for my club. As a matter of fact, I listened to the four-way test being recited time and again until I understood it; I searched, downloaded, read and understood the Goals of Rotaract on my own account without anyone’s help.

I researched about my roles as a Director and executed them to the best of my ability without nudging. I found it relatively straightforward what I had to do. Today, I am often referred to for Rotaract questions from newbies and I am always glad to help- if only the questions were forthcoming by the truckloads.

Rotaract in Rwanda is now coming of age, thanks to a small band of pioneers who have pushed the ceiling. While it continues to grow, that small band doesn’t seem to be expanding at an acceptable rate, but the good news is that those same lads are strong enough to keep pushing. So here’s my simple questionnaire to Rotaractors in Rwanda and beyond;

  1. Of what service are you to your Rotaract club?
  2. How many times in a day do you dedicate to Rotaract Research? There’s a Rotary website- that should be visited for lots of research.
  3. How often do you ask senior Rotaractors questions?
  4. What is the limit of your ambition in Rotary as a whole?
  5. Can you recite the four-way test and/ or the goals of Rotaract?
  6. How often do you participate in Rotaract activities like fellowship, make-ups and projects?

Those questions are basic, because it pains me that many Rotaract Clubs boast the numbers, but not the action of their members. Induction should be accompanied by a Rotaract Handbook for example- IF IT MUST BE.

See, inductions shouldn’t be just for posterity. It should be for those who, more than visit for a given number of times actually take a good time to always research, participate and love their club and others. Those are the kind who will push our clubs forward.

At the university, after getting lost
At a University in Bujumbura

I call upon all Rotaract Clubs to be dutiful in their mandates to train young leaders and grow the communities around them. To achieve that, clubs must have knowledgeable members.

And to members, take the initiative. It is improper to wait for someone to show you what to do. There’s a great many ways to grow and few come as big as Rotaract. Be of some service to your club.

I have been a Rotaractor under three years, and yet my curiosity is unfulfilled. I believe it’s all about interest.

Sit yourself down one of these days and think about what you can do for your club. And to that, I expect from follow up comments to gauge the number of club members and other Rotaractors who actually scour the web for Rotaract information.

Thanks and Regards,

Peter King.

A new team, new ideas. Our 2nd Installation

When the sun sets on Kigali on 19th July 2014 our dear readers, the Rotaract Club of Kigali City (RCKC) will unveil to you all a new President and a new cabinet.

Amon Bater takes oath as the third president of RCKC that evening at Accord Hotel, Kacyiru, having served an entire year as an able deputy to outgoing president Shamillah Ayebazibwe and having showed, in this past year all the qualities that he will need to launch this great club to even greater heights. RCKC will have very many presidents in future, yet upon the first team lies the greatest burden- to keep improving on past achievements.

Rotaractors at the club banner
…..previously on RCKC installations
Rotaractors after induction
…..previously on RCKC installations

The past year has been as great as they come and yet this coming one promises to even be bigger. Guests will be expected from Uganda, Burundi and Kenya in all three ladders of Rotary (Rotary, Rotaract and Interact).

Top of Amon’s agenda will perhaps be to build a strong local base and expand our international reach but his team seem equal to the task. Only time will tell and by this time next year, we hope to be talking improvements rather than regression.

So here’s to say thanks to all our friends and family who made our 2013/ 2014 successful and to urge them all to return to our support, just as we believe we have been of tremendous help to them. This then is a toast to; The Rotaract Clubs of KIE and SFB- Kigali (Rwanda), To the Rotaract Clubs of Bujumbura and Inyenyeri (Burundi), To the Rotaract Clubs of Nairobi Thika, Nairobi Central and the indefatigable Kisumu (Kenya), To the Rotaract Clubs of Kampala West, Kampala Central, Kampala City, Kololo, Kasese, Mbale, Kyambogo, Bugolobi, Kampala South and IHSU (Uganda), To our Rotary friends in Germany, The Netherlands, Denmark, USA and Britain, we say thank you.

Together, we served the community, made our sponsor club and partners proud, and taken care of our vocational interests as well. We look forward to even bigger things than that.

Our diabetes project will grow ever bigger and we will continue to give 100% dedication to our every effort to heal the community.

Life, as we see it in Rotaract has always been different from how others see it from the outside looking in. Many don’t even pay attention. This year, we hope to make them watch and learn. We always aim for the highest.

The Pins
The Pins

Please join us if you can to our installation event and charter celebrations as we take Rotaract in Rwanda to the next level. We are proud of what we have achieved and we hope our sponsors and partners are proud of us too.

So let’s all stand up and straighten our jackets and appreciate the past year of President Ayebazibwe Shamillah and then toast to the new reign of President Amon Bater. May RCKC leave indelible marks on all who find it and continue to inspire positive change.




Peter King