Rotaract is the youth program of Rotary International. Rotary took the student unrest at the end of the 19 sixties in the USA as an opportunity to encourage young people to engage in the values of Rotary. With the founding of the first Rotaract Club in 1968, Rotaract emerged as an independent member of the Rotary Community.
Rotaract employs about 194,000 young people between 18 and 30 years of age. The members come from very diverse fields of study and professions. They are involved in local, regional, but also international projects. During my studies, I was a member of the Rotaract Club Oldenburg and was allowed to serve as President in the club year 2010/2011. In the club year 2011/2012 I was then allowed to represent Rotaract Clubs of District 1850 as Rotaract District Representative.
Similar to Rotary, Rotaract consists of individual clubs. As a rule, the Rotaractors meet for weekly meetings. Here the various social projects of the club are planned or lectures and talks are given. The projects and the program of the Rotaract clubs are based on the three pillars of helping, learning and party.
In the Help column, the Rotaractors exercise their social commitment. They carry out various projects in which they themselves hand over or support other facilities, initiatives, etc. through fund raising actions. Typical fund raising actions are e.g. selling hot wine and homemade biscuits at Christmas markets.
These also include, for example, the action buying one more, at which customers are asked to purchase an item more when they make their purchases. The Rotaractors then deliver the articles to the needy or e.g. to the local tables like the American City Harvest. Children's camps organized by several Rotaract clubs make it possible to take a holiday from everyday life with the help of sponsorships to children who have no other way to spend a holiday.
Rotaract clubs are also active internationally. The Rotaract Club Heilbronn, together with the Rotaract Club Alexandria Cosmopolitan in the poor district of Ezbet el Matar, has implemented a project with a volume of more than US$ 30,000, granting microcredits to women from the district and literacy classes.
The Learning column includes lectures held either by external speakers, members of Rotary and Rotaract clubs, or members of the club itself. In addition, there are still company visits, excursions, etc. The aim is to look beyond your own eyes and to take a new look at still unknown topics.
One such possibility was e.g. the Rotary Peace Forum 2012 in Berlin. There were 1,800 participants from 46 countries to talk about peace in the world and to discuss how Rotaract and Rotary can contribute to this and strengthen peace.
Of course, the fun is not to be missed. The column celebration include everything from the common beer after the meeting, common parties and, of course, the final ball of the anual Rotaract Germany conference. Here you can be sociable, get to know new friends, make contacts and once laid the foundation for one or the other joint action.
At international events such as the Rotaract Europe Meeting (REM) or the annual Rotaract Pre-Convention, there is the opportunity to meet people from other countries.