How are you celebrating World Rotaract Week?
In March 1968, the Rotaract Club of North Charlotte, North Carolina, USA, planted a tree on its campus to commemorate receiving the first Rotaract charter. Rotary Images
Rotaract clubs around the world are celebrating World Rotaract Week, 8-14 March, honoring the chartering of the first club in North Carolina, USA.
During the week, Rotaract clubs are asked to partner with their sponsor Rotary clubs to complete a service project together, attend each other's meetings, and encourage a nearby Rotary club to sponsor a new Rotaract club in its area.
Rotaract enjoys a 42-year legacy. In the late 1960s, noting the success of the recently formed Interact program, for youth ages 14-18, the RI Board realized the need to provide opportunities for service, activity, and fellowship to young adults no longer of Interact age. The name Rotaract (derived from "Rotary in Action") was selected to show the program's close affiliation with both Rotary and Interact clubs.
RI President Luther Hodges inaugurated Rotaract in 1968, with the Rotaract Club of North Charlotte becoming the first club. The club received its charter on 13 March and had 21 members.
Within a day of the first club's certification, the Rotaract Club of the University of La Salle was chartered in Tacubaya, Mexico. The Rotaract club of Secunderabad, India, was certified the following week.
Since the 1950s, many Rotary clubs had been starting unofficial clubs for young adults, fueling Rotaract’s rapid growth in its first few years. Rotaract grew from 21 clubs in 1967-68 to 289 clubs a year later. There are now more than 8,000 Rotaract clubs in 167 countries and geographical areas.
Rotaract clubs were originally open to young men and women ages 17-24. Since 1991, young adults ages 18-30 have been welcomed.
Rotaractors are active in their communities all year long. Below are a few examples of projects sponsored by Rotaract clubs:
- Rotaractors in District 3450 (Hong Kong; Macau; Mongolia) are holding a walkathon during World Rotaract Week to help food the hungry.
- The Rotaract Club of Women's Christian College, India, organized the Street Suraksha rally against domestic violence in August, drawing more than 1,300 Rotaractors from clubs in District 3230. The club also held an interactive seminar focused on legal and emotional issues surrounding domestic violence.
- The Rotaract Club of Queenstown, Singapore, raised money for educational supplies and one-year scholarships for 80 elementary and high school students in Dong Thap, Vietnam.
- Members of the Rotaract Club of Napindan, Philippines, collaborated with the Philippine Rotaract clubs of Fort Bonifacio Global City and Wawa Youth Movement to plant 1,000 trees to prevent soil erosion and flooding along a dike road in Taguig City.
Upload a photo of your Rotaract week celebration to our Family of Rotary Flickr group or share your club’s plans for World Rotaract Week in the comments section below.
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