Rotary – to new generation
Rotary is not only Rotary Clubs. The broader concept is the family of Rotary, which includes wives/husbands, widowers/widows, children, grandchildren, relatives of Rotarians, and members of youth Clubs and programs, associations of Rotarians’ wives/husbands, as well as Global Contact Groups, consisting of individual Rotarians and others from different countries, united by common interests in the professional field, hobbies or as part of a service activity.
New Generations Service became Rotary’s fifth Avenue of Service in 2010. Under the definition
New Generations Service recognizes the positive change implemented by youth and young adults through leadership development activities, involvement in community and international service projects, and exchange programs that enrich and foster world peace and cultural understanding.
Rotary Youth Leadership Awards (RYLA)
New Generations refers to the youngest generation in the family of Rotary. Many are participants in Rotary’s youth and young adult programs: Interact, Rotaract, Rotary Youth Leadership Awards (RYLA), and Rotary Youth Exchange. Others are service minded young people involved in Rotary club and district activities.
There are several activities provided by Rotary to new generation representatives.
Interact is a club for young people ages 12-18 who want to join together to tackle the issues in their community that they care most about. Clubs benefit from sponsorship by individual Rotary clubs, which provide support and guidance. Interact has a membership of over 250,000 youth in more than 11,000 clubs worldwide. It’s one of Rotary’s fastest growing programs. Interact clubs are self-governing and self-supporting and can be either school or community based. Interact’s name is a combination of the words international and action. With clubs in over 120 countries and geographical areas, Interact is truly an international phenomenon. Interact’s global youth network is dedicated to community and international service. Every Interact club project, great or small, has a lasting impact on society worldwide.
Rotaract is a club for adults ages 18-30 that meets twice a month to exchange ideas, plan activities and projects, and socialize. While Rotary clubs serve as sponsors, Rotaract clubs decide how to organize and run their club and what projects and activities to carry out. Its membership totals over 184,000 in more than 8,000 clubs worldwide. Rotaract clubs are self-governing and self-supporting and can be either university- or community-based. Individual Rotary clubs sponsor Rotaract clubs and offer guidance and support, making the Rotaract clubs true “partners in service” and key members of the family of Rotary.
The Rotary Youth Leadership Awards (RYLA) program seeks to provide young adults, ages 14-30, with an opportunity to develop their skills and character while exposing them to Rotary’s values of service, high ethical standards, and peace. RYLAs can be conducted at the club, district, or multidistrict level and usually run from 3 to 10 days. While they can take many different shapes, most RYLAs follow a seminar or leadership camp format. Through RYLA, Rotary can help develop the qualities of leadership, citizenship, and personal development among young people in communities.
The Rotary Youth Exchange program provides thousands of young students with the opportunity to meet people from other countries and to experience new cultures, planting the seeds for a lifetime of international understanding. The program offers numerous benefits to its young participants and their Rotarian hosts and mentors, as well as to the community at large. Through Youth Exchange, students learn firsthand about all aspects of life in another country. As their concept of the world expands, they mature and develop a deeper understanding of themselves. Immersion in another country’s educational system enhances their academic and personal growth. Host clubs and families and the entire community are enriched by extended, friendly contact with someone from a different culture.
Rotary Youth Exchange offers three types of exchange programs:
- Long-term exchange. These exchanges usually last one year, during which the student lives with more than one family in the host country and is required to attend school there. Long-term exchanges may be extended to include part or all of the holiday/vacation periods immediately before and after the academic year.
- Short-term exchange. These exchanges vary from several days to several weeks; they often take place when school is not in session and usually do not include an academic program. Short-term exchanges generally involve a homestay experience with a family in the host country, but they can also be organized as international youth camps or tours that bring together students from many countries.
- New Generations exchange. These specialized short-term exchanges last three to six weeks and are open to young people ages 18-25. This program may include a vocational element. It could be realized also as Vocational Training Team - a group of professionals who travel abroad to learn more about their profession or to teach local professionals about a particular field.
Peace Fellowships. Rotary selects some of the world’s most dedicated and brightest professionals to receive fully funded fellowships to study at our Rotary Peace Centers. In just over a decade, the Rotary Peace Centers have trained more than 900 fellows for careers in peace building. Many of them go on to serve as leaders in national governments, NGOs, the military, law enforcement, and international organizations like the United Nations and World Bank. Each year, Rotary selects up to 100 individuals from around the world to receive fully funded academic fellowships at one of our peace centers. These fellowships cover tuition and fees, room and board, round-trip transportation, and all internship and field-study expenses.
Two types of peace fellowships are available – participants of the program can obtain master’s degree or professional development certificate. Seven universities from four continents are Rotary partners in this program.
Also the wide variety of scholarships and training programs are provided for young people within the grants realized by Rotary Clubs and Districts.
If you are interested to participate in any Rotary program for young generation, please, contact the nearest Rotary Club for details.