The next generation of leaders
Rotary is helping new generations of leaders tap into their full potential through education, personal and professional connections, and service and learning opportunities.
Bee populations are declining globally for reasons including climate change, urban development, and pesticides. Recognizing that bees are crucial to a healthy ecosystem, Rotaractors throughout Germany launched the Beealive project to offer their support.
Members of the Rotaract Club of Kempten Allgäu planted a 32,000-square-foot meadow, offering bees a habitat full of wildflowers to pollinate. Throughout Germany, other Rotaract clubs, districts, Rotarians, and friends of Rotary have planted more than 100,000 square feet of these “bee meadows.”
“Bee hotels” — simple habitats made of wood and bamboo — are another way to give bees a safe place to nest. Beealive surpassed its goal of providing 500 hotels, instead building thousands.
Protecting bees is costly, so the Rotaractors have organized fundraisers. The Rotaract Club of Paderborn hosted a bee-themed pub quiz tournament, and several other clubs have sold homemade bee products, including bee hotels and beeswax lip balm.
During the 2019 Rotary International Convention in Hamburg, Germany, MyTaxi, a local transportation company, donated more than US$25,000 to the Beealive project.
On the campaign trail
In the summer of 2018, Maximiliano “Max” Toledo was 25 years old and the youngest person ever to run for office in Tabasco, Mexico. Although he didn’t win, Toledo found the experience inspiring. Now a contract lawyer, he credits Rotary with making him the leader he is today.
Rotary has been part of Toledo’s life from a young age. His aunt and uncle have been Rotarians for many years, and his brother went to Austria on a Rotary Youth Exchange, which spurred Toledo to do the same. He went on to join Rotaract, co-founded a new club, and then traveled to Germany through New Generations Service Exchange.
Although these experiences provided a foundation for leadership, Toledo didn’t get his start in politics until major earthquakes hit Mexico in 2017. He and his brother used their local and international connections to help affected communities, and soon Toledo was asked to run for office.
Toledo hopes to bring some of the ideas he gathered in other parts of the world to his own community. Now a member of the Rotary Club of Villahermosa, he sees himself continuing in local politics to create positive change.
You realize that people are up for change; they just need an example and the right leadership.
Rotary Club of Villahermosa, Mexico
We serve first
The members of the Interact Club of Tunis Inner City, Tunisia, challenged themselves to show how a group of teenagers could transform their community — and encourage other young people to do the same. They produced a two-minute video about their club’s many projects, including support for a school recycling program, a tree-planting initiative, and professional development and self-defense classes. Above all, their video illustrated the members’ devotion to service and to one another. The final product was named the winner of the 2018 Interact Video Awards, and the club received $1,000 to spend on a future project.
The Interact Video Awards celebrated its 10th anniversary in 2018, with a record 198 videos submitted from 35 countries. The awards’ growing popularity has inspired more clubs to promote Interact’s ability to instill leadership skills and help young people make a difference in their communities.