Youth Service Re-energizes Rotary

 Written by Gérard Allonneau, Rotary coordinator, Zone 11 & part 20B

Gérard Allonneau Coordinateur du Rotary France-Maghreb 2012-2015“We Believe in Youth” was a major slogan used during our national communication campaign for Rotary in France. But we don’t see more young people in our clubs.

Since 2010, Youth Service includes all Rotary Youth Programs. Every district in France appoints a District New Generations chair (DNGC) responsible for staying in touch with our youth alumni, offering them new activities, and inviting them to join an Interact, Rotaract, or even a Rotary Club.

A Youth Programs Cross-promotion Day was organized in several districts in our zone. We invited former Youth Exchange and RYLA participants, Interactors, and Rotaractors as well as young Rotarians. Here are two examples.

In District 1640, former youth program participants were really happy to be together again after several years. They showed interest in the “Family of Rotary” and, in particular, joining Rotaract.

In District 1720, the needs of young people were assessed through a brainstorming session. We used an assessment model that allowed us to immediately interpret the responses to our questions.

When asked about the concrete steps Rotary should take to encourage the involvement of youth in Rotary, these young leaders answered as follows:

  • Increased communication targeting young people (31%)
  • Increased assistance in helping young people start a career (25%)
  • Increased inter-generational service (18%).

Overall, youth service re-energizes Rotary for three reasons:

  1. Working with young people can be a motivating factor for Rotarians;
  2. Active collaboration with Rotaractors and Interactors energizes Rotary service projects;
  3. Mentoring programs conducted by Rotarians and Rotaractors inspires a new generation of Rotarians.

Learn more about Rotaract, Interact, and other opportunities for young leaders on the Rotary website.

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3 thoughts on “Youth Service Re-energizes Rotary

  1. As we work with youth in Rotary we must also remember to use best practices in Youth Protection policies. These practices protect the families of Rotary as well as the youth

  2. Gérard you are right on point with the Youth Programs Cross-promotion Day but I think we need to do more in changing our clubs’ attitude in working with the youth. A campaign may be successful one year but we need a “culture” for continuing success.

  3. The youth hold the key to the future and this rings true for Rotary too. We need to spend more time with the millenials so that we can understand what they value and how to make our organisation suitable for them. This is a great post with loads of ideas for interacting with the new generation and giving them opportunities to succeed. Thank you.

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