Thursday, 7 November 2013

The Uniqueness of Rotary

We are all part of the international organisation we call Rotary.  Whilst each club can decide on its own priorities dependent upon the skills, the time members have available and of course the needs of the communities that it serves, they also have to meet a number of obligations and standards.

What we do and how we do it is summarised well in the Objectives of Rotary and in the 4-Way Test, of what we think, say or do.  If we follow these principles we won't go far wrong and we should be able to easily follow the appropriate statutory and moral codes.

Our guiding principles also include the core values of Fellowship, Leadership, Integrity, Diversity and Service. We shouldn't isolate one or two of these and forget about the rest.  We have to have Leaders who act with integrity, clubs who provide service and welcome diversity and of course good fellowship from which comes friendship and a sense of purpose.

Recent work by consultants working on behalf of Rotary Internatinal suggested that Rotary was unique within the world of NGO's citing the following reasons.

  • We think differently because of multifaceted classifications
  • We act differently, because of the range of skills we have
  • We have passion and perseverance, but we don't demonstrate it
  • We join to make a difference and develop friendships.  

Community service on a global scale is what makes us stand out from the others , makes us unique.  So do you feel that we are a category of one?   An accolade we can be rightly proud of.

Wednesday, 6 November 2013

We're for Communities - Some Examples

I could start this weeks blog by talking about gunpowder, plots and sub plots, but I have to say that it was a great pity that the rain came in torrents during the first weekend in November when so many Clubs had arranged Bonfires and Fireworks.  Fundraising will have been affected but I'm sure that fun and fellowship was had by all those that took part.  Those that had the events on 5th November had a better night of it.

It is important is that we all get a lot of fun, fellowship and personal development by being part of this great organisation.

As I travel the District I am continually amazed by the work that the vast majority of our Clubs do in their local and for their international communities.   Even those small Clubs that may not be very active will have several members who are dedicated to a particular good cause.

Here are just a few examples of the Service activities some Clubs are undertaking and a few of my ideas of how they might be developed

  • Funding a Breakfast Club - why not go and do some of the cooking or waiting on and introduce the school to Rotakids or Interact?
  • Talking Newspaper - do you include snippets about Rotary activities?
  • Cycling Proficiency, testing and training - could you help provide helmets, yellow jackets or introduce Rotakids?
  • Community Gardens - develop the idea with the "incredible edible" concept and provide both food and activity to the local community
  • Mentoring in schools - could this be extended to local young entrepreneurs?

As for Fundraising / Community activities the sky's the limit, again here are some examples

  • Open Clay Pigeon Shoots - could we set up a regional competition?
  • Community Quizes - we already have the questions from our own internal quiz competition
  • U3A - a busy group in many areas, a source of speakers and potential members
  • Parish & Town Councils - invite them to speak, as them what the priorities are in their community and what Rotary can help with

And finally a word of warning.  It would seem that it is possible to pick up bugs, including e-coli, from 10 pin bowling balls, so perhaps take hand gels next time you take part in the District competition.

I'm encouraged by the way that many clubs are working  together not just on international projects but activities in their own communities.  There are synergies to be had in many ways when we work together and I would encourage this approach in everything we do.

PS some relevant photos to come soon