The Evolving Face of Rotaract and Rotary; Today and Tomorrow

Since 1968 when Rotaract was started to supplement Rotary International, it has evolved and gone through so many changes. The face of today’s Rotary, is probably the best we have had so far. But the good news is that it even gets better!

In my journey as a Rotaractor, I have met three categories of people whom I have dared to invite to join the big happy Rotary International family, either as Rotaractors or as Rotarians. There are those that visited, got to know what we do and did not commit but will occasionally show up on a big project or event (bless their hearts); those that just decided it’s not their ‘thing’ – perhaps because all the answers to the popping question “What is in it for you” were not what they exactly wanted to hear, or perhaps because despite efforts to explain otherwise, they still hold on to the old concept of “Rotary is a cult”. And then there are those that have actually chosen to stay since, and these are my favorite people. The latter will be my focus in this piece.

The very first time I got to know about Rotaract, I also learnt that it actually meant “Rotary in action”, and that by joining, I would be part of the ‘power team’ for action, ideas, and efforts to promote the good brought to the world by members of the Rotary family. The same actions indirectly create avenues for service that will attract more youth to be part. My hopes were certainly high, and they have still not disappointed.

Every time we celebrate the goodness of the service rendered by Rotaractors around the world, one can only affirm that to talk about the future of Rotary is to magnify the beauty of Rotaract. Because, that right there, is the future of Rotary.

In the recently concluded 2018 Rotary International Convention in Toronto, the Immediate Past Rotary International (RI) President, Ian Risely displayed very high hopes for the future of Rotaract and I choose to agree with him. Well, I always had a similar opinion.

We have set some ambitious goals for Rotaract, but I honestly feel the future of Rotaract looks rosy.” – Ian Risely, RI President 2017-2018.

Echoing his words, we must all agree that Rotaract just gets better every time, both in numbers, membership diversity, and quality of projects taken up by Rotaract clubs all over the world. Rotaractors currently champion massive projects that could as well be taken up by Rotary clubs, and this is the impressive bit.

What does this imply? There has been enough empowerment, inspiration and exemplary leadership. If utilized well, and coupled with the ambitious goals, efforts and great ideas from all members of Rotaract clubs, this could be the pathway to a better Rotaract and Rotary in the future. Better yet, it could pave way to a better relationship between Rotaract and Rotary providing solutions that many of us have been seeking (so help us God!).

This 2018-2019 Rotary theme, “Be an inspiration” – probably my best so far (never mind that I always thought ‘Be a gift to the world’ topped the list), calls upon all members to influence positive change both within the people around us and in the communities we live in. It is overwhelmingly beautiful to simply look at what has been accomplished by Rotaractors over the years.  The activities all the year round ranging from Literacy Promotion, Health, Women/Girl-child Empowerment, Environmental Protection, and Nutrition Promotion, have changed lives, inspired more members to join, and created lasting relationships/friendships within the Rotary family.

As Rotaractors however, we ought to look within and inspire the same change we want to see in Rotaract/Rotary so that it starts with us. Rotaract has raised phenomenal ladies and gentlemen that make a very strong generation of leaders both within and outside Rotary.

The challenge to all of us is to inspire each other enough to stay,  influence others to join, and make Rotaract an even a better avenue for service and lasting friendship.

As Paul Harris once said, “the story of Rotary will have to be written again and again” and in this we all have a role to play. Today, Rotaract is providing the script, and the only choice you and I have left, is to play our roles in the story well for the generations to come.   Let’s all continue the good service as we BE THE INSPIRATION!

By;

Norryn Gloria Busingye

Charter President,

Rotaract Club of Kigali City, Kigali, Rwanda (D9150)

 

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What you missed at the RCKC Picnic!

It’s not Rotaract if it’s not fun! True Story. Well, if you don’t believe me, maybe you will believe if I tell you that “all work without play makes you a dull human.”

The day is one fine Saturday, and it’s only the 1st day of the new month called September, so anything can happen. It’s the long-awaited club picnic. It’s a fun-day, a time to celebrate our service to the community, and a time to bond with each other! Updates have been given, a venue has been booked, and friends of Rotaract have been invited.  Rotaractors-of course, are all in their super high spirits.

Now, most times we get preoccupied with service and these things don’t happen on a daily basis, so we all have to give such days our best. We will take stock of this one day in phases. Keep with us!

*Time check: 09:00am*

So it’s a beautiful Saturday morning and the weather in Kigali agrees with us that this is meant to be a good day. Last calls have been made and the early-bird Rotaractors are all assembled at the agreed meeting point. Everyone can’t wait to get to the venue and get the day started. All roads at this point lead to Kicukiro, to a place locally known as “Kwa Karirosi”. Don’t ask us about Karirosi, we didn’t get to meet him, but boy, he left us cool space, just the best we needed for everything that was planned for the day.

When we landed (that’s how we roll) at the venue, it was like a whole new world to all of us. A lot of space, a fresh breeze and a bunch of happy people to spend an entire day with. Now beat that only if you can!

After laying down our mats, Masai shukas and taking a few minutes’ breather, everyone displays what they carried along. The rules were clear anyway, we all had to carry out food and drinks. At this point conversations seem to have dwindled and almost all of us have resorted to the comfort of our smart phones and what they have to offer, not forgetting those with hangover from last night!!hahaha. Some claimed to be live-tweeting the event so far but the tweets died a natural death, we couldn’t trace those.

Thankfully, the organizing crew had put this in mind so we were all kept busy with a kick off team-building activities and an awesome line-up of activities. A series of games including the sack race, spinning game, balloon bursting and the blind-walks game were a good way to spend our time as we warmed up for the famous favorite moment (read lunch hour). Team building moments start off and the awesome line up of activities kick off.

*The games*

It all started with the sack race and the blind-fold walks where people showed off their special skills. Some of these games just exposed a few people’s drunk-walks while sober.

The sack race is all fun until one of the participant lands on the ground with their sack and you watch their struggle to get up and continue the race. And no, we won’t mention names. If you know, you knowJJ. And then there was this guy who did the ‘shaku shaku’ while racing smh!!

The blind-walk game played its trick on everyone as they showed off how distracted from the goal they can be. The climax is when the participant is miles away from the intended goal in mind. Apart from PP Tom Jack from KIE (this one may need to give us a detailed talk on how he stood out), the rest of them all seemed to be acting a drama scene. Again without mentioning anyone’s name, one of us managed to scare off all the children who had come to watch what sober adults can make of themselves. JJJ

The spinning game sasa! This one is usually the highlight of them all. If you haven’t seen grown-ups run like they are being blown by the wind, then you have clearly not watched this one. Taking off after spinning 10 rounds never seems fun until the instructions say you are to run off a few meters ahead of you immediately after the spin.  If you want to argue with me, ask Rtr. Anthony Muragu or PP Faridah JJJJ. Wait, we seem to have forgotten Laurent, you just should have been there to witness.

*The Food Hour*

Now, ladies and gentlemen, if anyone ever invites you to a fun day and the invitation doesn’t mention food anywhere, run! Run for your dear life. Because it all doesn’t add up for you to leave your house for ‘fun without food’ (for lack of a better name). I know at least one human that will entirely agree with me on this.

Lucky enough, the organizing crew knew this better. It was at this point that they came in with all the delicacies that we could imagine. A mix of Pancakes (the IPP fell in love with the cook), Pilau, Chapatti, bananas, and lots of drinks would never have left us the same.   These guys are the most amazing part of the team, they are the saving team. After long hours of waiting and laughing out loud, they are all we all wanted to see.  Everyone was jolly and active again, just like their factory settings had been restored. As we all gathered around for the better part of the day. Even the games were more exciting now. Not even the ‘totoractors’ were spared on this joy.

The rest of the evening was a special opportunity for all members’ bonding. We chatted the evening away and played all kinds of games & danced. Before we knew it, it was getting dark and we had to call it a day.

It was a weekend well spent! To the Rotaract clubs of SFB-Kigali and KIE, we received the delegates, thanks for rolling with us always. All cheers to Rotary and Rotaract! And to an awesome team and great service!

 

 

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Giselle Iradukunda crowned for RCKC President for 2018-2019

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The President of the Rotaract Club of Kigali City

Ushering in the Rotaract Club of Kigali City’s Inspirational President, Giselle Iradukunda in Gisenyi was the most awesome installation the club has had so far. Because we never walk alone, were in great company so if you don’t believe me, that’s totally up to you. But you can ask eye-witnesses from the Rotaract Clubs of Kampala North, Kampala North Musical, Kabale Community Based, SFB-Kigali, and KIE.

A road trip that started off in the Nyabugogo airport ended at a group crib (Let’s call it Havana) in Gisenyi, Rubavu District. Because the weekend was going to be a long one, our members decided to keep indoors, bonding with guests, sharing dinner, and sketching final plans for the installation day. And it was all worth it.  That’s all for now, because what happens at Havana stays at Havana!  Kudos to the pilot team that traveled ahead of the rest of us on Friday to prepare our dinner, accommodation, and set up the venue for the big day. It would have been otherwise without your help.

Saturday morning found everyone in a psyched mood, as we all couldn’t keep calm as we counted down to the long-awaited 6th Installation of the coolest club around town. Even though everyone was busy either preparing the breakfast delicacies, helping with the venue set up, or finalizing with the day’s program, the excitement was visible on everyone’s face.

By 2 pm in the afternoon, we had all assembled at the Palm Beach Resort to officially bid adieu to President Roger Gasore, who has headed the club leadership for a year (2017-2018). Time flies, right?

After the guests took their seats, the event started off with the IPP’s last address as club President. He took his time to appreciate all members for their unity, team work, and love for their club, all of which combined, contributed a lot to his success as the club’s leader. Right from the support that was given to , to the club’s flagship project, the annual Spelling competition dubbed Spelling Bee that were both a top-notch success, the IPP emphasized that if it wasn’t for the members of the club, none of this could have happened. The massive support from all sister clubs, partners, and sponsors towards the success of all these projects could also not go un-noticed.

“It was great team work through all our projects. Without our members, and of course our partner clubs, we wouldn’t have got where we did. I thank you all for making this year as successful as it was.” – Roger Gasore, the now IPP of the Rotaract Club of Kigali City.

The President made a special mention to the Rotaract Club of Nateete-Kampala for their partnership with RCKC in fundraising for children living with Diabetes in Rwanda. He also commended the great efforts from all members towards the club’s signature project, the annual spelling competition for high school students- Spelling Bee 2018. This has been the highlight of the club’s  identity through the past years as we contribute to education improvement in Rwanda, making it a reality for achieving one of Rotary’s focus areas.

Extending our boundaries

The induction of 6 new members into the Rotaract family brought with it but excitement to all present. One by one, as they were officially welcomed into the club, they were tipped on how to uphold Rotaract’s values and expectations and presented with the Rotaract lapel pin, the symbol of identity. Above all, all members were encouraged to regard their identity in Rotaract, and especially, the coolest club, with a lot of pride. The lapel pin is one thing that Rotaractors/Rotarians wear with a lot of pride wherever they go because it only sets us apart from everyone else but also identifies us as ready for service wherever we are.

The induction of these great men and women only preceded the long-awaited installation of RCKC’s lady President after two whooping years. (I hope they don’t shoot me). The new inductees all promised to stay, belong and contribute to the club for as long as they still have a heart of service. And we don’t usually have “heart surgery” as part of our action plan.

As the RCKC family grows bigger and better,

The Installation 2018

*Drum rolls*

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IPP Roger Gasore peacefully handing over power to President Giselle Iradukunda

At this stage, the long wait was over, and the crowd couldn’t keep calm with all the excitement. The “PE Giselle” was now the President of the Rotaract Club of Kigali City, for the Rotary year 2018-2019. Yippee!

IPP Roger peacefully and calmly (thankfully) handed over the instruments of power to now President Giselle Iradukunda and as expected, she was ready to give her acceptance speech, take us through her action plan, and show off the men and women of talent that she intends to implement with. We can only say it’s a great team but if you want to find out who they are, then you definitely owe us a visit on one of the fine Fridays.

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“I am honored to take up this crucial position in the club. I have nothing but trust in the phenomenal team – my board – that I take up this opportunity to serve with. A great year awaits!”Giselle Iradukunda, President of the Rotaract Club of Kigali City, 2018-2019.

Behind every successful Rotaract President is a great team. If we say this is going to be a great year for this club, we are only referring to the reflection in this great team.

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The RCKC Board (2018-2019)

All work and no play is a no deal. It wouldn’t be an awesome 2018 installation if there was no time and opportunity for interaction of all installation attendees.   Games ranging from Sack race, Balloon burst, Egg-and-spoon race, and ‘spin round the stick race’ got everyone rolling in laughter at the performances and cheering for their team. This was the real exhibit of Rotaractors’ talents. It was a great bonding time. By the end of the game session, everyone was counting down to another important session, Dinner. The party after this is what really concluded the first session of the installation.

The better part of the evening was left to the crew with a special talent. But they requested that whatever happened there will end there. So we are not about to spill secrets here.

The mid-morning hangout out at Tam-Tam (Lake Kivu) was the real wrap-up of the installation weekend, not just for the fun, but also for our brothers and sisters who were still nursing the after-effects of the long night.

To all the clubs that joined us for our installation, it would have been different without you. Keep being awesome like that. Keep us posted for similar causes in your world so that we can set up a purposeful ‘revenge’.

Other Photos

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Now, you all go out there and “Be the Inspiration” to everyone! Looking forward to a great year!

Ends

Our Rotaractors Keep Taking Service Beyond Boarders!

We promised, and we are back here with yet another tale of October 2017.

On the 14th of October, members of the Rotaract Club of Kigali City hit the road for yet, the return visit to our partners in service, the Rotaract club of Kabale Community (D9212). If you have kept up with us, we left our mark in this town when we launched a joint project with Rotaract Kabale sometime back in 2016. So, we were back to visit children taken care of by the Kabale Regional Referral Hospital. You must be wondering what could possibly be special with these children, I mean we left children back home.

Well, these children bravely living with HIV, and our chosen place was to sit beside them for a day, share a meal with them and listen to their stories.

Sometimes it takes more than the need to reenergize or get treatment for them, speaking to a group of jolly good fellows like the one we carried with us is another beginning to a new season.

We can only be thankful and honored to be a part of such a noble project, but also applaud our sister club, the Rotaract club of Kabale Community for the advocacy they have done for these children. During this project, something even more special happened, the youth in Kabale launched an association that they called, “Youth Living Positive with HIV”.  Now these are the people that brought reality to these children as they shared their own stories, reminding the children that they are not alone and besides, living with HIV doesn’t imply death.  Some of the children seemed to be living a dream when the youth mentioned that that they are also living with HIV.

When the representative of the hospital rose up to speak to Rotaractors, she applauded the thought about the children and the initiative to support especially those children. While reminding parents that living with HIV has not reduced a thing from these children, she urged them to support the HIV positive children just like the rest of the children.

“Being HIV positive has not rendered these children unable to do anything their fellow children can do. But they need constant support. Parents, support your children in every way you can and remind them that they deserve equal rights like their colleagues” – Sr. Akurut Christine, the Principal nursing officer at the Kabale regional referral hospital.

Besides maintaining a balanced diet for the children, parents were also reminded not to give these children heavy work at home, to ensure that they keep a health status.

And that marked the end of our first round of the Kabale episode. Off we went to nurture our adventurous spirits. We couldn’t wait to be off to the famous Lake Bunyonyi where we spent our entire afternoon. But as even as we have fun, there is always a lot learn, for instance only a few among us knew about the “banished island” where girls would be taken in abandonment because of carrying a pregnancy before marriage.

 

A lazy early Sunday morning for the Kigali City members but when called to service, you must be at your best. By around 9am or 10am (pardon the poor memory), we set off with our fellow Rotaractors of Kabale to the Batwa site for another impacting order of the week. This time, a good 4-hour ride through forests and downhill was the highlight of our project.

If I am to tell the entire story of the status of the Batwa’s lifestyle, that maybe until the chicken come home. But, I must say it’s one project that humbled many of us. It is one place that can teach anyone to embrace the gift of civilization and the opportunity of having helpful people.

Apart from providing basic utilities and clothes that we gathered from our own Rotaractors, we also had a medical camp for the Batwa. Thanks to doctors from Rotaract KISH who offered their expertise to the patients while we offered our assistance wherever we were needed. It was fun filled day playing football thanks to Rotaractor Alex Mugabe and sharing candy with the children. Again, there was a lot to learn and be inspired from.

Evening came we were back to Kabale town and, we, the Kigali people were on our way back to the land of a thousand hills after a tiresome though impactful weekend not forgetting the fun; the Slay Kings and Queens know what am talking about.

To everyone that rolled with us, we can never say thank you enough! We would rather say, see you all till next time.

Editorial Team, RCKC

DIABETIC FUNDRAISER

October 2017 came and went. But as for the Rotaract club of Kigali City, it didn’t leave us the same. But to keep your anxiety levels at a good level, we shall give you details in bits.

So here goes our first episode. The day was Saturday 7th October, 2017. The Rotaract Club of Nateete Kampala was in town for a joint project dubbed diabetic fundraiser talent show with theme “Making a Difference with Talent”.

The aim of the fundraiser was to raise funds to purchase sewing machines for the diabetic children. Schools with Interact clubs showcased the best of their talents in categories of Music, Poetry, Dance, Drama, Art and Modelling. Green Hills Academy, Kagarama Secondary School, King David Academy and New Life Christian School participated in this noble cause.

11 am clocked and the games began (not games of thrones). Lawd!! These young Interactors just know how to open a show! One could think they do it for a living. Poetry and singing were the event starters and the rhymes that were being thrown around on stage, the sweet voices swaying around all corners in the room soothing our ears was just something else. Full of energy!!

Lunch!! The one thing that is always on everyone’s mind. Well we gotta survive right? Friends I tell you just the aroma would fill hour stomach in a second. After that refresher of 30 mins we were back at it with the games. It goes without saying, credits to the MC of the day, none other than, Teacher Rtr Fredricks Kaweesi from the Rotaract Club of SFB Kigali for his energy and smooth running of the show.

Aheem! I must say this session was just another level with the scenes, even the MC himself went quiet for a while.

The drama from New Life High School (future king and queens), traditional dance from Kagarama (just hire them), modelling from Green Hills (just sign them up) and art from King David (order for their pieces) were the main highlights of the day. Very creative and artistic minds filled the room with such robust energy. Hahaha!! I recall the judges asking for time out.  These guys also!

The Interact club of Kagarama Secondary School came out the overall winners!

We must mention that without the cooperation from the management of these schools, we wouldn’t have registered any success of raising support to children living with Diabetes.

To our main partners, the Rotaract Club of Nateete Kampala, thank you for choosing to spend your weekend with such style and nobility. And to all our partners and sponsors; the Rotaract clubs of SFB Kigali, KIE, Inyenyeri, Kampala North, the Rotary club of Kigali Virunga, KiPharma, Rwanda Diabetes Associations and Bralirwa, we can’t thank you enough.

To the individual involvement of our Assistant District Governor (ADG), CPP Masterjerb Birungi Paul, thank you for all the support and Service Above Self.

As for you and I, let’s wait for the next episode and show off what we can give best to such a cause. Till then, watch out what else we are up to.

Cheers!

World Tourism Day

Weeks back, we had the opportunity to participate in a tourism promoting project. We clicked a few pictures of the amazing land of a thousand hills. We were privileged to partner with the Rotaract Club of Andheri, District 3141 all the way from India. Yeah!!

The Rotaract club of Andheri managed to compile a video displaying the different beautiful sites that are worth a visit in India, and they had involvement of their sister clubs as well; Pune, Chandizarh and Delhi. All credits to the designer. It was themed “JEWELS OF INDIA“. Follow the following link for the video… https://drive.google.com/open?id=0BxYiU7OaK8nBaV9XOGlQTF94VFU

“It is said to travel is to truly live and we the Rotaract Club of Andheri believe in that philosophy, thus we bring you yet another project as we celebrate world tourism day. Do visit this beautiful country of ours” Rotaractors from Andheri.

How beautiful that country is, and as soon the opportunity knocks at our door steps we will definitely visit.

But before we go, feed yourselves with some of the beautiful scenes of our own land of a thousand hills, our beloved country. A country worth your visit and time and our theme was “DISCOVER RWANDA”.

Check out some of the photos of our belle country (Rwanda Nziza) and do pay us a visit.

 

Editorial Team, RCKC.

Celebrating Our Uniqueness to Attract Like Minded People to Rotaract.

Rotaract, through Rotary has had its own way of framing both the world we live in and the like minded human beings that belong to the global Rotary International family. 

Throughout the month of August, and probably the entire year, clubs always work tooth and nail to reach out to more potential members of the family and find better ways of keeping them grounded. (Feel free to call this ‘retaining them’).But this is not all it should take.

Every year, the Rotaract club of Kigali City takes off time to celebrate the individuals that have made things happen through the entire year. You may agree with me that without our clubs’ members, without their unique talents,time and dedication to make their hands dirty, there would be nothing like success for any of these clubs. 

All this and the impact it makes on our local communities calls for regular celebration and not simply of our achievements, (because the world, through clubs’ respective communities celebrate these even better), but because of the amazing individuals that willingly chose to belong to our clubs, and bring the best out of what they can deliver.

While we all joined Rotaract for different motives, each one of us mostly stayed because of the value and satsfaction it adds their lives. This could come in form of the impact made by our efforts to different lives, being a part of a decision making chain (make no mistake to underlook it, it’s a biggie for some), and the power of networking at a global level; creating contacts in different parts of the world that sometimes culminate into great friendships, relationships and business partners, among others. Rotaract has given us an opportunity to qualify for these and so many others with no boundaries.

However, we can’t do it solo, because ‘all of us’ will always be better than ‘each of us’. So as we all strive to enjoy the benefits of being attached to this amazing group of people, we all ought to take up a challenge. To look beyond the names of our clubs and the projects we have undertaken or plan to, and instead switch our focus to each and every member of our clubs. And then celebrate what they have been able to bring to the club’s table of success…without a single paycheque for their actions, and yet with a lot of passion.

It only takes a dedicated team of Rotaractors, who are proud of the results of their weekly meetings to inspire other potential Rotaractors join the ‘Service Above Self’ crew. And once they do, a grand entrance into the club is all they deserve, and this is our duty as members of the club. If we strive to make this one memorable, they will actually forget the option of ever taking the exit.

As a matter of fact, this will influence their decision to stay and tell our story to their friends far and wide.  So let’s get to work, let’s win hearts. Let’s support Rotary International’s theme of ‘Membership and New Club Development’ . The more we are, the merrier, but also the more ability to create a remarkable difference in this world.

Ends

By; Norryn Busingye, Charter President of the Rotaract Club of Kigali City (Kigali, Rwanda)