Membership: One of the Three Pillars of the Rotary Organization

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AKS/ CP Bing Carrion

Membership in the prestigious Rotary Organization is done by invitation. When we join Rotary, we become part of the 34,000 Clubs globally with 1.2 million members. Rotary International’s total membership has remained the same for the last decade. This is primarily because new members do not feel engaged and therefore lose interest in being part of this worldwide organization and they leave.

Why would we want to join Rotary? We should think long and hard about this question. We join Rotary to be active and responsible members who feel the need to do something meaningful and significant in our communities. We want to be relevant. We want to belong . We want to change lives for the better.

It is therefore important to choose the Rotary Club you join. Ideally one should join a club where he or she has friends. It is much easier to blend and belong when you are friends with other members as you share the same values and beliefs. You will also tend to stay when the chosen projects resonate with your own beliefs.

I vividly remember the first time CP Tess Tumangan of the Rotary Club of Manila 101 invited me to join Rotary in the year 2015. I have been invited by many friends to join Rotary for many years before, but due to my other Club commitments I would always gracefully decline. But CP Tess was determined. She refused to take no for an answer. So as not to lose her friendship I said yes and I am happy I did.

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Rotary’s mantra of ” Service Above Self” resonates with my own life’s principles of sharing what we have with those who have less.

I joined RC Manila 101 in September 2015 and in 2016, I chartered Rotary Manila Supreme 198 with 25 strong charter members. The members I chose were my good friends so it was easy to engage everyone with our shared vision to change the lives of the marginalized members of society one day at a time.

RC Manila Supreme 198 is now 6 years old with 45 strong, engaged and committed members. We are proud members who are good friends. We all feel a deep sense of happiness and joy every time we look back to see how our club has grown from strength to strength and our sustainable development projects alive and kicking.

This year of Governor Robert Koa with the Rotary theme of ” changing lives” , we are so happy that RI President Shekhar Mehta has emphasized projects that dignify and empower girls because two of our sustainable projects center on young women.

Our LCP President Madel Lai is ensuring that both these projects will continue as we empower these young girls to be educated with proper values and right conduct.

I am also very pleased to have chartered the Rotary Club of Aseana Manila three years ago during the term of the late Governor Loy Cosico. Once again because the charter members of RC Aseana are good friends led by Charter President Gerald Ortiz, it was easy for the Club to grow and attract new members.

As I look back to the last 6 years, I feel deep pride and happiness that our membership has grown with all the officers and members committed to the ideals of Rotary International.

Being a member of a Rotary Club is a serious commitment for every individual. It is up to us to ensure that we share our expertise and commitment to our Club goals so that we feel engaged, appreciated and in the process gain new friends and enjoy the fellowship that goes with being a member of good standing.

District – Youth Seminar

Youth Service: Rotary’s Fifth Avenue of Service
DIC Cess Encabo

“Our vision for the future, now more than ever, is the difference between success and failure. The New Generations are our investment in the future. Let us begin to build that future today.”

These are the words of Past RI President Luis Vicente Giay at the 1996 RI Convention in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. PRIP Giay who also coined the term New Generations believed that the future of Rotary relied on involving young people in Rotary’s programs and activities.

New Generations later renamed to Youth Service in 2013 became Rotary’s fifth avenue of service in 2010. It is defined in article 5 of the Standard Rotary Club Constitution:

Youth 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 clubs should be committed to involving youth and young adults in their vocational, community, and international service projects, and to providing programs and resources that support them.

The district’s Youth Service Committee led by DCC Juanito “Boy” Kaw is committed in providing an avenue not only for the youth but for the Rotary Clubs as well to know more about the Youth Service program of Rotary. To kick off the start of the new Rotary Year, the committee organized a virtual seminar for all Rotary Youth Service Directors and Interact Club Advisers last July 10, 2021.

The seminar entitled, “All for the Youth” aims to provide information about the Youth Protection Program Policies of Rotary International as well as an avenue for the participants to connect and collaborate with one another. Among the speakers are District Interact Representative John Paul Cabrera who humbly shared his Interact experience, DISAC Chair PDRR Erica Paywan – Florendo who discussed about the roles and responsibilities of Interact Club Advisers and the Chair for Youth Protection Policy, Rtn. Alden Jerome Mamaril who talked about the Youth Protection Program.

The said event was participated by around 170 Rotarians, Rotaractors, and Interact Club Advisers. The District Executive Committee led by District Governor Robert Koa also attended the said event. It only signifies the district’s full support to the youth program of the organization.

The All for the Youth seminar was made possible through the joint effort of the host club, the Rotary Club of Metro Escolta and 33 co-host clubs.