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District 9212

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Growth: It’s in our DNA Rtr. Catherine Njeri | Chief Editor and Assistant Director for Brand Awareness and Public Image

When I was a little bit younger, I had this friend who got a job he had neither experience nor schooling on, and he spent a whole weekend learning how to do the job. Funny how much you can learn on YouTube. In my opinion, the circumstances led him to move out of his comfort zone and most importantly because he believed that, in him, he had the ability to be the best and most awesome version of himself.

Editor’s Note

When we join Rotaract, we all have an idea (accurate or not) of what we are getting ourselves into. Some join for the sole purpose of giving back to the community, others to grow themselves professionally, and others just for the friendships and the swallowships. Over time, we find new, exciting and creative ways to achieve our goals. There comes a time when we have to shift from what was the norm and do things differently based on the current circumstances. This is called growth. It’s in our DNA after all! How are Rotaract Clubs adapting to the new normal? Enjoy reading and of course, for any input, reach out to the exceptional team behind this magazine on pr@rotaractdistrict9212.org

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CONTENTS

01 02 03 NOTES

FEATURES

REGULARS

Editor’s Note

District Conference and Assembly (DCA)

Adapting to the New Normal

D9212 Director for Brand Awareness &

A New Way To Cut Medicine

Rotaract Club of Naivasha: Atcup

Public Image Message

Race to Zero: Rotaract Shaping History Post

Mashinani

Rotary International President Message

COVID

Green Rotaract Concept, Ethiopia

District Governor Message

RYLA Virtual: Embracing the Chaos

Doctor on Call

District Rotaract Representative Message

Rotary District 9212 COVID Response Initiative

An Opportunity for Sight

World Rotaract Week

The Mursi Tribe of Ethiopia

Safe Return to Schools campaign

And so much more.

Rotaract Ethiopia Country Chair: Focus on the Quality of your Membership Rotaract Kenya Country Chair: Celebrating the Rotaract Family

04 05 06 PRESS REWIND

ROTAMEMES

DRR Visit to Rotaract Clubs in Ethiopia

ROTAPOEMS

Rotaract Ethiopia Professional Corner

CROSSWORD

CONTACT INFORMATION

Rotaract Kenya Western Region Luncheon OUR AREAS OF FOCUS:

PEACE & CONFLICT RESOLUTION

DISEASE PREVENTION & TREATMENT

WATER, SANITATION & HYGIENE

MATERNAL & CHILD HEALTHCARE

BASIC EDUCATION & LITERACY

ECONOMIC & SAVING THE COMMUNITY ENVIRONMENT DEVELOPMENT

To find out more about Rotaract District 9212, visit our website: www.rotaractdistrict9212.org

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Your Identity Here is Key Rtr. Wamugunda Mwangi | District 9212 Director for Brand Awareness and Public Image

We have had a wonderful second half of the Rotary Year. As the District PR Team, we would like to appreciate the efforts of the district to twin with District 9125 to enhance friendship and foster relationships that will last into Rotary and to build the Rotaract Image in Africa and the world. We would like to appreciate all Rotaractors who have been recognized as Paul Harris Fellows. This is a step in the right direction towards enhancing the image of Rotaract as a partner of Rotary and to assist in the efforts the Rotary Foundation carries out.

Message from the District PR Director

Also, the District PR Team would like to thank all Interactors who are actively carrying out projects in their communities and schools. You have been an inspiration with your stories and we hope we can share them with the world. As clubs manoeuvre the Covid-19 pandemic in their various imaginative ways, we commend all clubs that have kept engaging their members.

Stay safe and vigilant.

Credits 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.

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Cover Page - Rtr. Husna Ismail, president Rotaract Club of Lang’ata Crossword - Rtr. Timothy Ndegwa, Rotaract Club of Westlands Concept Art - Gabriel Wauye Memes - Rotaract Club of Lang’ata Photos - Respective Rotary, Rotaract and Interact Clubs and, individuals Design and Editorial team with in the District PR committee


“Rotaractors’ innovative virtual engagement and professional development activities inspired Rotarians to support and follow suit. ” Rtn. Holger Knaack | President, Rotary International

Message from the Rotary International President

As someone who knows firsthand the great leadership potential of Rotaractors, I always look forward to World Rotaract Week, which we are celebrating from 8 to 14 March. Rotaractors are the focus of all three of my presidential conferences this year, and I was proud when, two years ago, the Council on Legislation voted to elevate Rotaract by including Rotaract clubs as members of Rotary International. Before that, the Council had already made dual membership possible, and shortly after, the Board of Directors decided to do away with Rotaract’s age limits. But we are only just embarking on our journey together. Partnering effectively doesn’t happen by itself. It requires both sides to be open and to understand the value of cross-generational alliances. Louie De Real, a dual member of Rotaract and Rotary, explains. Joint virtual meetings have helped Rotaractors introduce Rotarians to new ideas and tools, pioneering unique ways for clubs to collaborate. In the case of pandemic and disaster response, Rotaract clubs used social media to coordinate efforts, drive information, and fundraise, while Rotary clubs used their networks and resources to amplify support, provide logistics, and bring the goods and services to communities.

Rotaractors’ innovative virtual engagement and professional development activities inspired Rotarians to support and follow suit. The pandemic made Rotaract clubs realize that we can immediately connect and partner with Rotary clubs through virtual platforms. With constant collaboration, we realize that Rotary and Rotaract indeed complement each other — that we are part of a single organization with shared goals. Both sides add value. Rotarians can be mentors and service partners to Rotaractors, while Rotaractors can demonstrate to Rotarians that difficult jobs can be simplified and limitations can be surpassed through digital approaches. This synergy motivates Rotaractors to become future Rotarians: I joined Rotary because Rotarians gave me memorable membership experiences through inspirational moments of collaboration. I needed to be a Rotarian to inspire Rotaractors the same way, now and in the future. That same synergy leads Rotarians to realize that while Rotaractors may have a different culture, we all share a common vision of uniting people to take action. Rotaract’s unique ways of doing things serve as inspiration for innovation, helping Rotary increase its ability to adapt to future challenges. Rotarians and Rotaractors will build the future together, so let’s start today I see no difference between a Rotary club and a Rotaract club, except perhaps for the average age! Many Rotarians still view Rotaract as our youth organization, but I see it differently. For me, they are part of us, and they are like us. To be successful together, we need to have mutual respect — to see each other as equals. Let’s see Rotaractors for who they really are: students and young leaders, but also successful managers and entrepreneurs who are capable of planning, organizing, and managing a Rotary institute — including breakout sessions in five languages — as they did in Berlin in 2014. As we take this journey together, let’s remember the strengths of Rotary and Rotaract. And, as Louie says, let’s get started right away in building the future together. In doing so, we open endless opportunities for our organization.

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Rotary opens opportunities Rtn. Patrick Obath | District Governor, Rotary District 9212 (Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya and South Sudan)

We are entering the second month of the second half of the year and for Rotarians this means Peace and Conflict Resolution/ Prevention month! Each month so far, I have seen Rotarians taking outstanding action in response to this theme. January saw a return to action and what an action-packed month it was for me and the District at large. Clubs came back from the December break and resumed the breath-taking variety of meetings that present great learning opportunities from the exceptional speakers chosen. I had problems selecting which meetings to attend. The common thing is that most of the engagements spoke to the theme of the month!

Message from the District Governor

We also had, for the first time in the District, a mid-term review webinar where the members of the District Executive Committee made presentations of how far we have progressed against our District goals. A recording of the webinar is available for those who missed the event and want to catch up on the status of our progress. January also saw the holding of one of the series of RI Presidential Conferences in Port Harcourt, Nigeria. This was a blended event physical and virtual event whose focus was to explore how to create meaningful connections between Rotaractors and Rotarians. Fast forward to February with its focus on Peace and Conflict Resolution and Prevention. During this month, we will not only endeavour to bring individuals, our communities and societies to understand each other, but to also to foster peace with one another. Peace is an essential component to the prosperity and health of any individual, community and ultimately, any nation. Peace is a core element of our mission and was introduced as on object of Rotary in amendments to the constitutions of Rotary International and that of clubs in 1921, following the first World War. The amendment – “to aid in the advancement of international peace and goodwill through a fellowship of business and professional men of all nations united in the Rotary ideal of service” – still rings true today. Projects undertaken in Rotary’s seven areas of focus address many of the underlying causes of conflicts such as poverty, ethnic tensions, unequal distribution of resources and lack of education opportunities. Action by Rotarians create environments where peace can thrive!

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The Rotary Foundation offers 130 Peace Fellowships each year. The program seeks to develop the capacity of peace and development professionals or practitioners to become experienced and effective catalysts for peace.


We have a personal responsibility to become the beacons of peace in our District. This may seem a difficult call. Peace does not come overnight but is achieved through targeted and resolute action taken over time. We must first be the example for others to follow. Our promotion and taking action through the objects of Rotary and the personal application of the Four Way Test will build the trust that is necessary for each of us to become true peace ambassadors. Across the District we have many Rotarians who are already involved in peace building activities. In South Sudan, Rotarians has been organizing football leagues within the communities where they live as a means of fostering togetherness. Football leagues across the world have an avid following in the country and it was only natural that the game would be the one to involve a large part of the community and especially the future generation. We are also acutely aware of the conflict that is affecting the northern part of Ethiopia. Many Rotarians are working to promote peace starting within Rotary itself recognizing that the diversity within could be affected by the external realities. Action is also being taken to promote peace within the communities where Rotarians live as well as in business and government. Rotary in Ethiopia has also just launched a new Peace Ambassadorial Scholarship programme jointly with the Institute for Economics and Peace. 500 selected individuals will be sponsored to attend a bespoke Peace Ambassador Education. The six-week program will be given online, via webinars, readings and peace projects following which the graduands will be deployed into the communities they were drawn from. The participants will be drawn from Rotarians, Rotaractors, Interactors, the creative industries and the Reconciliation Commission.

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“Rotaract started with a clear purpose of promoting, leadership, professional and community service amongst young adults.” Rtr. Kennedy Gayah | District Rotaract Representative (DRR) Rotary District 9212 (Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya and South Sudan)

Every year in the month of March, Rotarians, Rotaractors and Interactors across the world gather in small and large gatherings to celebrate the impact of Rotary in Action.

Message from the DRR

Rotary has always been a traditionalesque organization. Thriving in its fundamental values and objectives that signals its rich history of contributing to global good and community outreach. Being the world’s first service organization, it would easily slip into its comforts, however, that has never been the case. I would say it is the opposite. As an organization whose vision revolves around bringing people together to create lasting change, Rotary continues to

seek ways to attract more volunteers while fostering worldclass leadership exposure made possible through artistic innovation and flexibility to adapt.

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This was the case when on 13th March 1968 the first Rotaract Club was chartered in Charlotte, North Carolina, 1215 kilometers and 63 years after the first Rotary Club in Chicago. Rotaract started with a clear purpose of promoting, leadership, professional and community service amongst young adults. This year marks the 53rd anniversary of this youthful movement that many hold dear and true to its vision, its membership has had a lot to draw from their experiences.


anniversary should see us rethink the future of our beloved organization. How can we make it evolve more quickly? How can we attract more like-minded members? How do we grow our impact? What should we do to create more sustainability?

The world is changing quickly and so must Rotaract. We must adapt and improve the experiences at club level. We must look for opportunities where not sought before, get more people involved, offer guidance where required and foster vibrancy. We must renew our commitment to our communities and seek to create greater impact. Young people continue to be driven by a desire to make an impact. Looking for transparency in all affairs, in love with technology and the urge to find new solutions to past problems and innovative ones to current and future challenges. We must, therefore, be at the forefront of opening opportunities while encouraging commitment and ownership of ideals amongst our membership. I joined Rotaract just over 5 years ago and my journey has been nothing short of incredible. From being a guest to serving as a District Rotaract Representative, I have had valuable exposure which has created lasting impact in my life. When I became a member, Rotaract was still considered a program of Rotary.

To more Rotaract Anniversaries.

As a program, Rotary saw Rotaract thrive in more ways as initially expected. Many young adults have flourished into exceptional young leaders who have become so resourceful to their community and are now viewed as community partners and grassroot leaders. “Service above Self” is no longer just a phrase but a way of life. We have made tremendous steps and with progress. In 2019, Rotaract was elevated to become a membership option in Rotary. The last two years have seen a lot of changes from a policy point around the operations of Rotaract Clubs and I invite you to read more about these changes. Rotaract development has triggered my curiosity on what Rotaract’s future looks like. In 1968, Rotary started Rotaract as a path to growth targeting a younger age set with a clear vision and this anniversary marks the continued success of that plan. As Rotaractors, this

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A New Way to Cut Medicine Theresa Waliaula | Copy Writer, District PR Team, Rotaract Club of Milimani

Medicine has always been reluctant to change. It is as traditional as it gets. Some procedures have been performed for hundreds of years. They are still in practice because they not only have goodwill but medicine’s conservative approach to back up on. More specifically, I am talking about the teaching of medicine. If it wasn’t one on one, it practically never happened. Then came COVID-19. If you would have told me that we would have to learn Anatomy via Zoom, I wouldn’t have taken you seriously. And yet that is how we are navigating the digital shift. Doctors are now being trained via Zoom and WebEx. Ward rotations are what will have to be conducted physically. I, as a student doctor, and medicine in general, has learned to embrace technological advancements as soon as they are out. Our lecturers are teaching us from the comfort of their offices in their private practices. We have unlearned the whole aspect of sticking to archaic ways. Furthermore, we are relearning how to make the good old ways of teaching units like Anatomy through both physical lab sessions and 3D diagrams online. In Rotaract, we have been able to attend meetings virtually. From Kisumu, you’d attend Rotary and Rotaract meetings of regions like Mombasa and Nairobi. I, particularly loved this aspect as it broadened my reach when it came to attending different clubs’ fellowships. This now normal elucidates the human resilience in adapting to a different situation. Rotary membership has not dwindled but rather, the members have gained enough strength to attach 2021 and forthcoming years with new adaptive ways. Rotaract actively participated in giving out masks, water tanks and sanitizers. Rotary partnered with not only the government but also other organizations that sought to give relief to the needy in the society. The first lesson we picked was to be quick in seeking innovative ways that help us adapt to changing times. The other lesson was that we shouldn’t seize helping those around us especially when an extenuating circumstance like the Corona Virus pandemic. The frontline workers who are also part of Rotaract thoroughly educated us on the matter at hand and thus we were able to dissipate help meaningfully. Here’s to a year that showcases what resilience looks us. A year that ushers in numerous opportunities for us to display our lessons.

2021 will see us build better friendships that are beneficial to the society.

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Focus on the quality of your membership Rtr. Netsanet Asmelash | Rotaract Ethiopia Country Chair

All Rotaractors are young adults, but all young adults aren’t Rotaractors. Why not? In recent days, concerns of members shying away from responsibilities or watching a few members tirelessly engage in all the activities of a club, leading to burning out is no more news. This isn’t a sustainable practice of engaging our members for the long run besides we become responsible for ruining the chance of bringing a Rotarian out of those dedicated Rotaractors.

Message from Rotaract Ethiopia Country Chair

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When I first joined Rotaract; I was a fresh graduate, busy with work and hungry to learn all the new knowledge my surrounding has to offer. I wasn’t happy with my first club experience, that I had to switch clubs. What the second club offered was room to exercise my potential; more responsibility, engaging mostly solo. I was a newbie, I was enjoying the excitement. I believe my endless interest to learn and help others kept my battery charged enough to go on. Looking back to that experience, I can only say; I made it to where I am now because I had senior members who were next to me, who believed in my potential, grooming me, nurturing me, and reminding me to take some rest, so as I won’t pull a string. At the same time, I have witnessed members giving their all and getting tired after a few months where they end up not showing up to any Rotaract engagements.


There are common mistakes happening in clubs regards to members. The first one is creating a poor first impression on newbies. Prospective members join club events at different times and places. It’s the club’s duty to build a welcoming culture to enrich the essence of home feeling in the hearts of those new members. Most young ones have experienced ignorance of bad first impressions where they aren’t willing to hear the word of Rotaract and Rotary. This grows into a true danger as those unsatisfied people will share the disappointment, and how poorly they have been treated among their circles. This is a red flag besides hindering the opportunity of someone growing in Rotaract and serving his/her community.

times. Slowly, those members get tired, personal commitments catch up to them; where they leave Rotaract feeling burn out, never to return again. This is the third common mistake with clubs.

Other days, nevertheless how bad the follow-up has been, some members stay. It’s not because they have good knowledge of Rotaract nor because they have good intentions, NO. They

I would like to believe you have found yourself among the three above. The question now is what is the solution? Any young adult may join Rotaract for different reasons; what matters most is their REASON to stay. That’s what we shall be concerned about. Rotaract is a platform for the young to exercise, Self-development, fellowship through service. All three have to be included in club engagements and plans. As a club, be sensitive towards the experience of each member. Assign a certain member to welcome club members, guests, and so on during each activity. Link new members with senior members for follow-ups and mentorships. This will ensure new members get the right follow-up while senior members get a reason to stay around for guidance. Club’s dynamic change based on the membership type throughout the year and with the changing habit of happenings in the world. How Covid changed our interaction and priorities is the best example.

will stay because they get easy access to fellowships, endless club events, and the entities it brings along. This is the second issue, clubs oversee. Those types of members become an issue when they take office; due to their poor knowledge and no interest to learn; they leave the club’s status in jeopardy giving poor experience to the club members. Those members have the capacity to recruit members of the same interest; whereby the problem diffuses from certain members to club levels. There are clubs that give adequate mentorship and follow-up to newbies. Where the members are well equipped with the knowledge, serving their club and their community with full commitment. What’s the problem with this one? Good question; When the number of those types of members is small; they will be the ones who deliver, who plan out, who always save the day. They will be the ones who take on responsibility at all

Plan your club engagements after hearing out the heartbeat of your members’ needs. Your club shall be revolutionary, adapt to the surroundings to nurture the need, and bring opportunity for members to be able to give more. The experience of members in Rotaract is the brand of what the platform portrays. The responsibility lies on the shoulder of each of us. Be the hero!

Remember – Will it build goodwill and better friendship? 13


Adapting to the New Normal

Adapting to the New Normal

Annmary Mutegi | Rotaract Club of Embu

Mercy Njeru | Rotaract Club of Embu

We are one year into the COVID-19 pandemic and infections and deaths are accelerating in many parts of the world. There are now more than 40.7 million confirmed cases and over one million deaths. Before we know it, we’ve slowly let go of our old normal and now settling into what seems to be our new normal. COVID-19 came with its share of challenges but on the flip side, there are some great learnings and innovations. Some organisations were forced to lay-off all or part of their staff, or send them on unpaid leave, negatively affecting the labour market in Kenya. Mental illness has risen due to financial stress, domestic issues and anxiety. In Rotaract, the experience has been fairly good since we had to adapt to the usage of technology to attend meetings. Discovering new application such as Zoom and Google Meetings was a milestone. More so, social greetings have morphed. Gone are the days of greeting friends and extended relatives with handshakes, hugs and cheek kisses. Friendly gestures like these are now being curbed and replaced by elbow bumps and footshakes or waves from a (social) distance. As the situation of corona surged, the government managed to contain it by imposing serious guidelines. That is, in case of meetings, we had to put on masks and maintain social distance which was unique. Despite many terming 2020 as a worst year, for me it was a good year since I made up my mind to join Rotary International. Being a Rotaractor has taught me to be selfless in giving back to the community and taking care of each other both at work and in my social life in rotaract. I love the club organization and I always want to be there for the Rotaract Club of Embu. because since I joined, we have done activities such as beach cleaning, mangrove planting, visiting the Embu women prison, planting trees around Embu County and ‘the saving life’ Blood Donation Drive. Not forgetting the secret Santa activity, which was so amazing.

Truly, Rotary opens Opportunities. I am happy to be here. 14

Taking up leadership duties at a time the country was badly hit by a pandemic was not the best time to serve. I remember that I didn’t have a concrete speech during our club’s installation luncheon; reason, what would we achieve with so many restrictions from the government? I didn’t envy being president in 2020-2021. What legacy would I have in June 2021? The power of having a very supportive board was evident as we planned for activities that were achievable with COVID-19 measures in place. We have engaged our members throughout the period where four people were a crowd. We had to keep Team RCE fire burning and continue doing good in the community. By the end of the first half, the club had achieved almost all the set targets. By observing all the COVID-19 measures and regulations to ensure that the members were safe, we chose to be limitless; we chose to spread love by donating blood to help save lives; we chose to donate food stuff and sanitary items; we donated clothes; we chose to carry on with our wheels to live project. The team chose to network and professionally develop with other rotary and rotaract clubs in our district and other districts as well. We chose joint online activities and fellowships. Lest I forget, we travelled to Nepal (India) had a food exchange and language exchange programs virtually. We have learnt their culture and language by choosing to engage online. It’s possible to achieve great things amidst the pandemic. Keep checking up on other fellow rotaractors to ensure their sanity in our now new normal. Lastly, my handing over speech is half-way written, as I chose to focus on the positive and be unlimited.


Race to Zero: Rotaract Shaping History Post COVID Rtn. Brenda Cressey | The Rotary Foundation - Trustee 20172021 and Chair, The Rotary Foundation 2018-19

Rotary Foundation Trustee Rtn. Brenda Cressey Address during the Race to Zero Event hosted by Rotaract Club of Nairobi Central

Friends-In-Service, Granted; the COVID-19 pandemic has shifted our attention from our unwavering commitment towards polio eradication. However, this has consequently rubberstamped the need for Rotarians and Rotaractors to remain strongly committed in our fight against polio. According to United Nations statistics, there are 1.2 billion youth aged 15-24 globally as of 2015, accounting for one out of every six people (17%) worldwide. This is predicted to increase to one out of every four people, which means there would be 1.3 billion youth by 2030. Our generation will play a major role in global peace and justice; for good governance and inclusive development; and for global health challenges, such as eradicating malaria, polio, and coronavirus. Today we celebrate that the entire African is at last certified free of the Polio virus. Congratulations, this was only made possible by the tremendous support of Rotaractors and Rotarians. That is a tremendous achievement, thank you one and all! So, the main message that I want to share with you today, is that you are the leaders who will shape Rotary’s future and the worlds. You represent the future, but what does that future look like? Well, some would say it’s a dark future. Some people would see the daily images in the media of spiraling COVID-19 cases, economic and political turmoil, and severe climate change and conclude that the challenges your generation faces are unprecedented. But I have a different view. I am optimistic for several reasons. First, because you chose to be a part of Rotary and an equal partner as a Rotaractor you have demonstrated that you are part of a generation who wants to do something about our most serious humanitarian problems. Second, the reality is that our world in many ways is in better shape than it’s ever been. In terms of global health, poverty reduction, increased incomes and personal freedoms, and overall conflict levels, we’re on an upward trajectory. And, as you all know, thanks to Rotary’s signature initiative, we are coming closer to the day when polio — a disease which once brought terror to millions — will be eradicated from the face of the earth. You are aware of the immense power of technology for good, and you’re the most tech-savvy generation, growing up with all the resources of the internet and smartphones.

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But we know that making an impact in today’s world is about more than being able to use technology. Whether it’s an education project, a health project, an environmental project or a peace project, you are acting with passion and purpose to make a real difference. I want to thank you in particular for all you are doing to fight COVID-19. You have done an extraordinary job helping those in your community most impacted by this lethal disease. To date, the Rotary Foundation has awarded more than $21 million dollars in global and disaster response grants in response to COVID-19. I’ve been inspired to see our members taking action, and our clubs quickly adapting to hold meetings in a manner that is safe for everyone. The coronavirus has further forced us to rethink how we connect and serve. To give just one inspiring example, last month, Rotary’s first-ever virtual convention attracted more than 183,000 viewers during its weeklong program. And following the Convention, we are acting quickly to address some of our world’s most pressing challenges. We need your problem-solving abilities, your entrepreneurship, and your leadership for positive change. When Rotaractors and Rotarians work together, our accomplishments are limitless. Take for example Polio, which we have reduced by 99.9 percent worldwide since we kickstarted the Global Polio Eradication Initiative in 1988. But we also know that we need to adapt to thrive in this century.

After all, Rotary was designed to reflect the needs of its members and its communities. And these needs and communities evolve We need to evolve to serve the rapidly changing world in which we operate. This means sustainability for the impact and outcomes of our service projects, but also, as President Knaack has earlier said - sustainability for the environment. One of the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic is that it has shed light on the relationship between environmental degradation and threats to public health. In response, both boards of Rotary International and the Foundation decided to add a new area of focus—supporting the environment—that will offer Rotaractors another dedicated channel to increase our positive impact. Now that Rotaractors can submit global grant proposals to the Rotary Foundation, I invite you to get involved and work with other clubs to kickstart new service projects that you are passionate about, whether that’s the environment, entrepreneurship, public health, peacebuilding or anything that will make a sustainable impact across our areas of focus. This is an important year for Rotary. It is the year in which, despite the immediate pressures of fighting coronavirus, we must seize new opportunities to create a better future. And our success will depend on if we can really put our strategic plan into action. At the heart of this plan is our vision statement: “Together, we see a world where people unite and take action to create lasting change — across the globe, in our communities, and in ourselves.” Now, to achieve our vision of creating lasting change, I believe we must be both innovative and flexible.

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We must innovate because if we don’t respond to the rapidly changing world we exist to serve, we run the risk of being left behind by a new breed of disruptive innovators. And we must experiment with club models that are attractive to new generations - models that are flexible in meeting schedule, format, and membership types. We must commit to incorporating you- our Rotaractors - into Rotary. We will thrive if we unleash your talents to play a meaningful role as an equal, equal, partner in developing and carrying out projects. We must ensure that Rotary’s diversity reflects the diversity of the communities we serve and connect to them in meaningful ways. In the long term, our health and vitality as an organization will be determined by how diverse and inclusive, we are. Our strategic action plan focuses on expanding our reach and enhancing participant engagement because we need to ensure that every person who engages with us has an experience that demonstrates that they are valued, welcomed, and respected. Research tells us that organizations, workplaces and enterprises that are more diverse and reflective of society are considered more welcoming, more creative, more productive, and more stable and have more engaged participants. We need diversity in our clubs, and we need that diversity to be reflected throughout our leadership at all levels. That is the change we are trying to affect. Rotary leadership is determined to back our words with tangible, measurable action. Rotary International has made several changes recommended by the Elevate Rotaract Task Force, to give you the opportunity to amplify your impact. Effective this year, Rotaract clubs will be able to establish a new club with or without a sponsor. Rotaract clubs will be open to all young adults at least 18 years old. Rotary districts are encouraged to include Rotaractors in every district committee, so that you can have a say in the decisions which direct our future.

But we didn’t stop there. We also set a goal to increase the number of Rotaractors to 1 million by 2029. Just think of that possibility – 1 million dynamic social entrepreneurs, bringing us closer to the promise of a better future, bringing us closer to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals of zero poverty, zero hunger, equality, peace, justice and more. It’s an ambitious target, but I believe, as I hope you do, that anything less than high ambition will not bring the lasting change we need to come out of this crisis and build a world that is fairer, more resilient, and more inclusive. The world needs Rotary now more than ever. The world needs you – our innovators, our champions of change, and our pioneers of progress – to make it happen. Ultimately, we need your input on how we can do more. Your continued engagement, and that of all the Rotaractors in the world, will allow you to make an impact on the issues you care about. It will help to implement the changes we need to take Rotary to even greater heights. Now is our time to lead, to shape a new and better world as we emerge from this crisis. Together, let us seize the moment because that is what Rotaractors do.

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Rotaract Ethiopia: Professional Corner “Professionalism isn’t the JOB you do, It’s HOW you do the JOB.” Rotaract Ethiopia hosted the first pilot ‘Professional corner’ workshop on January 2nd, 2021. Our utmost gratitude to Rtn. Kokeb Ayele, Rtn. Esayas Yeyesuswork, and Rtr. Neftalem Binyam for sharing their experiences and taking part in the panel discussion. We would like to appreciate our facilitators and participants for attending and take part. We look forward to engaging on the post-workshop assignments.

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RYLA Virtual: Embracing the Chaos June Wambui | RYLA Virtual Chairperson

What is your earliest memory of the Rotaract experience in its true element? Mine is not doubt, RYLA (Rotary Youth Leadership Awards) 2017 when I got a taste of learning mixed with fun, mixed with adventure and surrounded by people I had previously only interacted with during uptight weekday fellowships. I attended RYLA 2017 and got out of my shell, met people I call friends to this day, and realized that Rotaract was truly family. At its essence, Rotary is about fun, fellowship and service to the community. RYLA is an event organized by Rotary and Rotaract Clubs that encapsulates all these whilst motivating young people to network in a learning environment. When the infamous global pandemic, COVID-19, struck our borders, everything spiraled into a chaotic mess. The RYLA committee had envisioned an event by the shores of Diani beach, but that eventually proved impossible. “What now? What next?” were the overbearing questions in my head. For months, we continued to fight for Diani with everything we had but the reality couldn’t be evaded for too long. After some much needed consultation and help from a couple of gracious Rotarians and the district leadership, RYLA Virtual was born. It was time to embrace the chaos. Organizing RYLA Virtual was a labour of love. It was absolutely amazing to witness Rotaractors pulling together and giving most of their time and expertise to make this event possible. Rotarians, especially Rtn. Dolly Sagwe of Rotary Club of Muthaiga and Rtn. Dixon Karani of Rotary Club of Lang’ata came through a big one with brilliant ideas that only served to elevate the RYLA experience! Rotaractors registered in the hundreds, bought the RYLA merchandise and eagerly awaited the first ever virtual RYLA to be held in Kenya. RYLA panned out as a four-day event themed “Embrace the Chaos”. Each day had its special theme which included: The Future of Work by international headhunter Natalia Polishchouk; My Money Journey by financial literacy coach Dolly Sagwe; Parental Wounds by Hisia Psychology Consultants CEO Nancy Kabiru; and Rotary in Action: A Mindset Shift by DG Patrick Obath and DRR Kennedy Gayah. I still remember with excitement that the sessions had an average attendance of 100 people who engaged the speaker, participated in the breakout sessions and were lively all through. Looking back, RYLA Virtual was a new experience, rewarding and challenging in equal measure. The attendees were able to discover essential skills meant to help them build their capacity to adult(v). It is truly my hope that every young person attends RYLA and experiences the leadership training that is availed during the event.

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Rotaract Club of Limuru: COVID-19 ain’t stopping us Monicah Wanjiru | President, Rotaract Club of Limuru

Who doesn’t love making new friends?? Atleast not us the Rotaract club of Limuru. Last year around June we begun our tree planting project,despite COVID-19 our goal was to reach out to our communities and educate them on the importance of environmental conservation. Our highest number of attendees was young professionals who were very much interested to know what Rotaract is all about. A few months down the line, we managed to have a mega induction where we inducted twenty one new members to the club. As a club, we had not inducted such a big number in a very long time. Every new member inducted has continued to show their participation in club activities and event and we look forward to growth of each and everyone of us. We have also planted around 7000 seedlings with atleast 90% survival rate.

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Rotary District 9212 COVID-19 Response Initiative Rtn. Martha | Chairperson, Needs and Disbursement Subcommittee, Rotary District 9212 COVID-19 Response Committee

I raised my hand! When the Covid-19 pandemic struck in Kenya in March 2020, I was six months into being a Rotarian and immediately knew I wanted to do something to help. The Rotary District 9212 came together and while brainstorming formed a committee that would lead this initiative. I raised my hand to help with carrying out the needs assessment and thereafter I was appointed as the chair of the needs and disbursement sub-committee. But I am a new Rotarian? Being a relatively new Rotarian, this was going to be an uphill task but I was up for the challenge! All clubs nominated a representative to join the sub-committee and It was quite the learning curve as I was learning all the abbreviations that are in Rotary and getting to understand the workings of clubs from the deep end. We had daily calls to review what we have at hand and what we needed to get through partnerships and through fundraising to be able to meet the needs of different communities that were in need. I experienced the power of the Rotary family (Rotarians + Rotaractors) coming together to gather resources and distribute them accordingly. Throughout the initiative we were guided by the Rotary four-way test. Of the things we think, say or do: 1. Is it the TRUTH? 2. Is it FAIR to all concerned? 3. Will it build GOODWILL and BETTER FRIENDSHIPS? 4. Will it be BENEFICIAL to all concerned? In a period of six months, we were able to have an impact in 47 counties in Kenya and the rotary clubs in South Sudan and Ethiopia were also able to have countrywide impact. (Insert image with statistics). Do you have a job? All this time as I was coordinating the needs and disbursements subcommittee, I still had to attend to my day job which at the point was Senior Program Manager in the Safaricom Innovation team. I remember one time getting a call from the president of a club and he asked me, “Martha, do you have a job?” I just laughed and said, “Actually I do!”

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Before the pandemic happened I had been scheduled to go and speak at a conference at MIT and so I had already applied for leave days so when this opportunity to serve came. I still took my leave days and used that opportunity to be able to apply myself fully in giving. This really helped me focus on other people who were in a less fortunate position and I was able to appreciate everything that I had and use it to be able to make a positive impact. Service above self, that pays… During the time that I served on the Covid-19 emergency response committee not only did I learn invaluable lessons but I also made great networks and formed meaningful relationships that I continue to carry both in rotary and also in my life as a whole. I encourage rotarians and rotaractors to continue living a life of service above self. It is in stepping up and stepping out that we will be able to change the community for the better one Rotarian, one Rotaractor at a time! About Martha Martha is passionate about digital inclusion and sustainable development. She has experience in Telecom field engineering, Mobile money integrations & technical operations, Regional expansion and Digital Innovation. She holds a BEng. Telecommunications Engineering and has ~10 years of experience in Project Management. She is currently a Senior Program Manager in Microsoft and previously worked in the Innovation team at Safaricom PLC, where she provided program leadership in the pursuit and delivery of new business solutions through Innovation. She was a charter member of the Rotary Club of Nairobi - Connect before transferring to Rotary Club of Karen. She was part of Rotary Emergency Response team as the Needs Assessment and Disbursement Strategy sub-committee lead. Martha is a biker, SCUBA diver, basketballer and footballer. She is a wife and a mother of one son.

HANDWASHING STATIONS

AS AT AUGUST 2020

47 1988 8M+ Counties

Stations

Handwashes

FLOWERS OF HOPE

FOOD HAMPERS

14,788 59,152+ Hampers

Beneficiaries

26 Hospitals

15,500+ Beneficiaries

approx.

22.3M 3,000 Kenya Shillings

Rotarians Volunteers

85 Emergency Team Members

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DRR Visit to Rotaract Clubs in Ethiopia

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DRR Visit to Rotaract Clubs in Ethiopia

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Rotaract Club of Naivasha: At-Cup Mashinani Rtr. Caleb Rabu | Fundraising Director In 2017, as a way of personal and professional development for its members, the Rotaract Club of Naivasha launched an event known as ATCUP (Afternoon Tea Caring Up Professionally). The event was organized by inviting seasoned professionals in different sectors and levels in their careers, businesses and life. As a show of good will the club opened the doors to other youths in the community. The event had been held thrice as;• • •

ATCUP – The Garden Affair (2017) ATCUP – The valentines Edition (2019) ATCUP – The Smart Professional (2020)

The events have reached over 500 young professionals as it kept evolving and attracting new trends. This was clear in the 2020 event that had international speakers from the USA and Uganda. After the COVID-19 pandemic hit, as with other organizations, a lot of plans were distracted. As a club, we engage with interactors by visiting them in school and sharing what we learn. This, though was impossible as the students had left for home. In keeping close with the students, we visited a group of girls for a reproductive health and menstrual health management talk in Gituru village. It is in this forum that the girls requested for more advanced talks on careers, also it was highly needed as the students had been out of school for more than half of the year. It is then that the club decided to customize ATCUP for this cause. On 28th November 2020, the fourth event was organized and dubbed as ATCUP – Mashinani. This is because it was held in the interior rural areas of Naivasha, Nakuru County.

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The event was a sounding success as over 100 students between the ages of 11-20 years benefited. The day consisted of different sessions that led the beneficiaries to being split into groups as well as receive one-on-one coaching from over 15 kinds of professionals and career choices in arts, sciences, humanitarian, and entrepreneurship among others. Other sessions covered life skills, mental health talk, drugs and drug abuse, Menstrual Hygiene talk for girls and a Man talk for the boys. The sessions were led by 40 volunteers who were present from our members, friends and partners like The Red Cross society and YMCA – Naivasha branches and Mtaani Connect.In appreciation to our sponsors of the day; The Superior Hotels Kenya, Water Equipment & Systems Limited, Ubuntu Life Foundation, SLEC International, Telkom Kenya, The Kenya Red Cross Society-Naivasha branch and MCA Joel Karuri Maina – Biashara Ward we were able; • To share a hearty lunch with all the volunteers and participants • A gift pack for participants • 3 boxer shorts, soap and mask for boys • 1 year supply of sanitary towels, 3 panties, soap and mask for girls • Transport of volunteers and day’s logistics to and from the venue

“A wonderful and fantastic day it was, I learnt a lot” ~ words from Peter one of the beneficiaries of the event.

More images can be found on this link: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1IORDONnuB0haVrbnto0TWQw5WigIk4or?usp=sharing

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Green Rotaract Concept (GRC), Ethiopia Rtr. Bethelehem Abebe | Rotaract Ethiopia Green Rotaract Concept Chair

Rotaractors and environmentalists aren’t the only ones focused on protecting and caring for the environment. Low income mothers are now on the list of environmental protectors as well. Green Rotaract Concept’s yearly plan includes the planned action of increasing knowledge on small scale fruit tree plantations and recycling. This November, GRC organized a training program for single, low income mothers. The training focused on two major areas: growing your own fruit trees at home and recycling and reusing materials. The training, conducted at the compound of one of the partners of GRC (ENSA), addressed ten (10) trainees due to the restrictions set forth by Ministry of Health to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. The training was conducted with the aim of educating these mothers to gain additional income while taking care of the environment. Rtr. Yared Tessema, the immediate past chair for GRCET, brought his own samples of the fruit trees he grows at home to show it to the audience and explain the concept of “plant your own fruit trees at home”. The session was deemed engaging, interactive and plenty of feedback was raised from the trainees. On the other hand, the training on how to recycle and reuse materials was given by Rtn. Tsegamlak Zerihun, founder of Gugu recycled crafts. It focused on the materials needed, recycle and repurpose the materials, and how to market them. For a more collaborative training session, Rtn. Tsegamlak brought samples of his work which received inquiries for future joint projects with the mothers. Overall, this training was a success in narrowing the knowledge gap regarding the environment and the recycling/reusing of materials faced by these mothers. GRC is excited for future projects with these mothers considering how successfully they have taken their first steps into becoming more environmentally conscious citizens.

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My Two Cents: COVID-19

My Two Cents: COVID-19

Rtr. Gabriel Gitonga Kagwithi | Rotaract Club of Embu

Rtr. Naomi Mwega | Rotaract Club of Embu

COVID-19 has definitely brought the word perspective to the forefront for us all. Across Rotaract Club of Embu and its members, COVID-19 placed us all in an unprecedented territory. Far from life as normal, members and leaders at all levels of our club were faced with decisions they never believed they would ever encounter. We were all asked to be socially responsible by the government . This wasn’t an issue since we have been socially responsible as a group since it was chartered. COVID-19 brought about the cancellation of events, fundraisers and meetings but thanks to technology (Zoom, Skype, GoToMeeting, and other platforms) which helped us to stay connected during the time. Nonetheless, the club adopted fast to the new norm and reality. The club, through adoption of new technology, was able to continue with online meetings and even expanded its limits by creating new friends and learning from other clubs. It’s during this period that we did a tree planting activity with the Rotaract Club of Malindi and we had language exchange program with Rotaract Club of Kathmandu. Individually, COVID-19 has given me an opportunity to connect with the world courtesy of R.C.E. It’s during this pandemic period that we were able to do environmental conservation through the beach cleanup and mangrove tree planting. This was an exercise which made one feel complete knowing that you are doing conservation for Sea animals. Also being in a position to learn other countries language courtesy of Rotaract club of Kathmandu is the reason I am finding Rotaract as my home. As a Rotaractor, I can’t fail to acknowledge the few beneficiaries who benefited from Wheels for Life, a program run by R.C.E to support the physically challenged also the young needy people whom we have clothed through clubs cloth donations. All this and others not captured here has made me feel the urge of serving others even more.

COVID-19 presented us with circumstances never seen before. Your normal coffee dates, social gatherings, school e.t.c. for a moment were halted or very limited. If someone told you schools would close for almost a year, you’d say that they were crazy to think that. Well, 2020 showed us the impossible can actually happen. As a club, we could no longer have our usual weekly fellowships, thus we had to come up with ways to keep members engaged. We resulted to holding online fellowships via Zoom/Google Meet. On atleast one fellowship in the month, we’ve been having online activities/game nights. This was to help keep members entertained and keep the fellowships as fun as possible given that there was no direct contact. With the ease on the COVID-19 regulations, we have resumed the physical meetings, with strict adherence to the rules. With the resumption of the physical meetings, we’ve held two game nights that every attending member actively participated.

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Doctor on Call Rtr. Pasca Chumo | Rotaract Club of Menengai

“Following the intensity of the message received, I will be gone for a longer time, the new virus is lethal but I know we are going to overcome and I will be back before you know it,” My brave dad said. “Please do not forget my Easter gift.” “Never,” he responded to my younger sister as we hugged goodbyes. One and a half months later, mum received a call from the government agencies and the next thing we heard was a loud cry, “your husband, senior doctor Jonathan has been admitted in the Intensive Care Unit and his condition is not good.” You could feel the pain of the lady on the other side of the call too and I knew this one was going to be tough on us. All we got were letters in soft copies. “I am not sure if I am going to make it out of this but always remember that dad loves you. Make sure to be safe and follow each and every regulation the government has in place. The virus is spreading like a wild fire. Be safe!” The pain, knowing that dad was slowly but surely dying, was crushing. My mind could not settle at anything. I wish I could be the one on that bed, at least my cells had a fighting chance. At least I had no one looking back to me for provision. At least my network was still countable, and maybe my death would not be of such an impact. Despite this tearing me apart, for mum it was a different story. Looking down to Jasmine, Kennedy and I, she said, “where are we going to start, what will happen to the future of this three innocent kids,” I could not really read her mind clearly but for sure, she was going into another level of depression. That evening, our dad’s colleague and a long time family friend called, “Hello Grace, I do hope all of you are fine, I wish I could come and be with you at this hard time but Jonathan could not…” Before the man could finish his talk, mum was already going crazy and wailing. I knew I was the depended man after dad but beyond doubts this wasn’t the right time to test my ability in me. My entire body refused to function and I sat on the dining table confused to the brim. Dreams shuttered, “2020 is your year,” the reverend shouted as we crossed over to the new year, lest did we know it would be a battle field, only the strong to survive, but dad was a strong one, he did good, he served the community, why him, I couldn’t get the answer. The following morning, a government vehicle with high speed escorted by a convoy of police land rovers full of armed to the tooth men approached our home. The same morning, the village elders had been summoned to plan on a proper send off ceremony that was supposed to happen according to our customs and tradition. But the Corona virus regulation had to take it all from us, not a single sense of dignity and respect to anyone. With masks and being sanitized with knapsack sprayer like cows, being pushed away from the grave site, my sweet father was laid, no one was sure if it really was him on that casket but the gun men around affirmed us. “COVID-19 is a monster.” Fallen hero/heroine (s), to those whom will never see their beloved again, no one will ever understand the grief, the cry, the pain, not even one person, but they died heroes and heroines. For those whom there pride was stolen, there is a new beginning, let us wipe it off and take to the challenge again. We are better than the past that is why we have a chance today. This doesn’t mean a child should sleep hungry, it doesn’t mean a widow should cry out for school fees, a child should not drop out of school, a youth should not fall go into drug addiction, we shouldn’t have mental tortures and suicides, Instead we need to build our strength from the scars of our wounds, let us embrace the now normal, make it better through more innovations, community advocacy, networking and most importantly, saving for tomorrow. If there is one thing that 2020 taught us is, ‘Today is here, yesterday is gone and tomorrow is never assured.

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An Opportunity for Sight Eye Project | Rotaract Club of Abugida

Worldwide, 1.2 billion people cannot see clearly enough to learn in school or work to earn a living simply because they don’t have a pair of glasses or can’t afford to buy glasses. According to WHO, in Ethiopia, the burden of low vision and blindness is infamously high with a proportion of 1.1/10 children having a vision lower than the normal. In fact, 80% of vision disorders which resulted in those children’s reduced vision is either preventable or treatable. Rotaract Club of Abugida, sponsored by Rotary Club of Addis Ababa Entoto and partners aimed to provide primary school children that have correctable refractive vision error with a pair of glasses. We have done our first screening for 700 students at Addis Fere primary school. The students will have two specific eye checkups in order to determine if they need glasses. So far, 21 students might need glasses.

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Celebrating the Rotaract family Rtr. Charles Rukwaro | Rotaract Kenya Country Chair

Remember... remember the fifth of November, the gunpowder treason and plot? This is a line from ‘V for Vendetta’, a movie that I would highly recommend. This November might not have had any gunpowder treason or plot, but we had a few significant activities happening in our District during the month. The month kicked off with the Western region luncheon and I had the pleasure of accompanying the District Rotaract Representative Kennedy Gaya to attend the event in Kisumu.

Message from Rotaract Kenya Country Chair

It was amazing to be part of the camaraderie that exists among Rotaractors from Kenya’s Western region. I was also encouraged by the impact they have had with their antijigger project, which has now been running for two years. It is my hope that this initiative can be replicated across the country with more clubs forming regional partnerships to make a greater impact in their projects. As always, the swallowship did not disappoint, with the sunset view of Lake Victoria while sipping my Tusker tea being quite unforgettable. We also had the first-ever virtual Rotary Youth Leadership Awards (RYLA) due to restrictions on travel and gatherings to curb the spread of the coronavirus. That notwithstanding, we managed to have the highest attendance ever recorded for the speaker sessions. We also had a panel discussion on leadership that was beamed live on YouTube and can be accessed here https://youtu.be/U-pAOTv0yOU I must offer my heartfelt appreciation to RYLA Chair June Wangechi and her team for the splendid effort in bringing this event together. This was certainly an exercise in adapting in the face of adversity and the work that this team put in will go a long way in redefining RYLA for years to come. As the curtain falls on 2020, we need to take stock of the year that has been and celebrate our successes. The year has certainly been tough for most of us financially and professionally. For that reason, I choose to celebrate you; for being part of the Rotaract family in the midst of uncertainty; for your creativity as clubs to start initiatives to combat Covid-19; for your bravery in organising activities that brought us together and for your kindness in bringing a smile to thousands of people this year.

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Rotaract Kenya - Western Region Luncheon

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Rotaract Kenya - Western Region Luncheon

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Our Halloween-Themed Charter Party Rotaract Club of Athi-River

Talk about superman, black widow, bumble bee, cinderella, blood dripping zombies, vampire, witch...we had them all. It was a “justice league” of all your favorite fictional characters at our Halloween themed charter party on the 10th of October 2020 at Enkasiti Resort. From the décor, to the props on the walkway leading to the venue, I’m certain all the spookiness would make Scooby Doo petrified. Guys were psyched up for this day so we made sure it was one for the books. Finally we were here, with friends, Rotarians and Rotaractors from different Clubs, a delegation from the District who were able to accompany our Chief Guest, DG Patrick Oath who graced the event. First things first…let’s eat. Delicious, delectable, toothsome, luscious, enchanting…all this words could describe the meal. No complains whatsoever in regards to “affairs of the stomach”. On to the next item, installation of the board and members of the soon to be Rotaract Club of Athi-River. We all took to the front and the DRR Kennedy Gaya and DG Patrick Obath facilitated the induction process. Woo Hoo!!!!!!!!there is a new Rotaract Club in the District!!!!! The jubilation in our faces told it all, it was now official. We then proceeded back to our seats and the DG gave imparted on us “golden nuggets” of wisdom in regards to how to make our grow and become better and inspired us to be selfless through his personal story of how a friend’s camping trip turned out to be an opportunity to help save a child’s life as well as help the community. We all left the event full of zeal and eager to begin helping our community in the best way possible to leave a lasting impact. And in the immortal words rap artist Ice Cube all we could say is...

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The day was a good day.


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How do we maintain membership engagement during the pandemic Mark Meg | Rotaract Club of Embu

These are certainly interesting times we live in. None of us could have foreseen these extraordinary circumstances brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, caused by the novel coronavirus. Rotary/Rotaract clubs everywhere were wrestling with the question, How do we maintain membership engagement during the pandemic?

from the coast region.

Rotaract club of Embu Board team came up with a guide to assist our club in efforts to have and maintain membership during these difficult times. The suggestions were not exhaustive, and many clubs will surely come up with new ideas as our ingenuity and adaptability found new and innovative ways to maintain our fellowships. As the International service director , we adopted virtual fellowship through engaging Different Clubs within our District 9212 and in other districts. Members networked and got to learn on an initiative by RAC Kitengela dubbed ‘‘Hustle Yangu”. To ensure the members kept sane and lively we participated in Mangrove planting, Beach clean up and held a joint fellowship with 6 rotaract clubs

To enlighten members on Rotary and Rotaract relations the Rotaract club of Thane Downton India RID -3142 engaged RAC Embu and clubs in Nigeria RID 9125 and Ghana RID 9142 where members got to learn from a senior Rotarian on the various ways that would see the smooth transition to rotary and establishment of new rotary clubs. Rotaract club Of Kathmandu -Nepal has established good relations with RAC Embu and we have been able to engage members on a good exchange program where we cooked nepali delicacies and later we did a language exchange program where team from Nepal got to learn Kiembu /Kikuyu and we learnt nepali. Through the engagement of All virtue activities and fellowshiped from different Districts, Rotary and Rotaract clubs made us learn alot and have many connections despite having pandemic on Covid-19, we Give thanks to God for keeping us safe.

Concept Art by Gabriel Wauye

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Rotajams: Mzuzi Park Edition Acoustic Session (Part 1) Rtr. Ajulu Wendy | Rotaract Club of Lang’ata

Rotajams is an initiative by the Rotaract Club of Lang’ata in Partnership with Jamhuri events that brings together music and art to fundraise for humanitarian projects. The 3rd installation of Rotajams was held at Mzuzi Park with the theme Acoustic Sessions and featured the amazing Watendawili a two-person band. The performances they gave was nothing short of amazing. They had the audiences dancing even those who have 2 left feet (hahaha) and singing to most if not all their songs. The pandemic has not been easy on any of us and it robbed us of moments like Rotajams where we sit down and catch up with friends and family of the Rotaract Club of Lang’ata. For me this was a first time event for me and I would definitely attend the next one without skipping a beat. Continued on page 52

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Choosing to See the Good Rtr. Wanja Janet | Rotaract Club of Nairobi Central

This year on the 20th of November, I commemorated 2 years since I was first inducted into the Great Rotaract Club of Nairobi Central. 2020 has been and will go down in history as one of the toughest years ever, and looking back it might be a bit hard to see the good that may have happened. It does not help that even on a personal level I feel like as a member I may have not contributed as much to the club, leave alone resigning from the club admin barely 3 months into the job (Story for another day, maybe). But wait, there should be some good somewhere in there. I fear I might need a magnifying glass to see the good, ha! I kid you not. The Lord is good, fear is just a natural mental construct and the good has a way of shining, even dimly awaiting its turn. Being a Rotaractor is a good thing. It has to be a good thing. You get to wear a shining pin and attend events: that you pay for :-), and have loads of fun with awesome people. Still not good enough? Let’s try again. When I was inducted, I became part of something, part of a family that by definition goes out of its way to touch and enrich communities for the better. I got involved in projects where after meticulous planning and preparation, we got to put a smile on a complete stranger, maybe even impacting a change in their life and perspectives. I got to participate in events where I made memories for life. I have made friends who come through upon a call to M-Pesa me cash in emergencies, without expecting explanations or interest on refunds. I have gotten to see what a whole fulfilling life is all about. What it is like having people to lean on when your life house is burning down and is not stable. Having a place to go to matters advisement through our very able mentors who happen to be in our mother club, the Rotary Club of Nairobi, and not feeling guilty for not having anything to give in return. Having people who do not sugar coat your weaknesses and call you out on character you need to amend. It is a place you get challenged to be better, do better, and give better till you are the best version of yourself. The two years have been a learning experience that even if it was a school-oriented course, no fee amount would be befitting. When the world paused in early 2020, Rotaractors were part of the smaller percentage that quickly adapted to the ways of doing things that were not as familiar. Project planning and execution did not stop. Meetings were not postponed but people learned how to meet and have fun virtually while still supporting each other. Despite not having physical installations which are highlights for any Rotaract club, I have seen clubs grow stronger in togetherness. I have seen innovation in fundraising means used for club projects used to continue impacting the community. Has there been some or a lot of good? I’d say loads and loads of good, despite the bad. Sometimes all we need is to smile and remember the good times. That way the cold times do not overshadow the warmth in our hearts. So smile, there was some good, and some more good will come. It is in the darkness that we look for the light, even as dim as it might be. Hugs…

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Hustle Yangu Rotaract Club of Kitengela

Our Rotaract district theme this year is Back to Basics and by basics we mean the core of Rotaract which is developing leadership and professional skills. It’s not enough to mention our classification as we introduce ourselves during meetings. It’s high time we get deeply involved in our members professions. And that is how Hustle Yangu was formed. Hustle Yangu is a quarterly premiere business and professional development virtual session whose main aim is to get involved in our members professions not just in one club but across hence nurturing partnerships across the country, at least one club in every region. Rotaract Club of Kitengela sat down and came up with this initiative because it doesn’t make sense to seek graphic designing services outside Rotaract yet the whole history of Rotary is forming networks and friendships within diverse professional backgrounds. It doesn’t make sense to seek engineering services when there are engineers in Rotaract and Rotary. Hustle Yangu goes beyond one particular session, where we get to share our members’ classifications on our social media platforms. Previously, we have had at least two of our members being contacted for business opportunities just by sharing their profiles on our social media. On the virtual sessions, we usually invite juries who are made up of HR Professionals, people in senior positions and people running businesses to give real time feedback to our participants who volunteer to talk about what they do on a day to day. Previously, we have partnered with the Rotaract Clubs of Hurlingham, Kakamega Central, Naivasha, Youthzone, Embu, Menengai and Kisumu Winam. It is our hope and prayer that we can maintain and nurture this partnership and the trust accorded by the partner clubs to ensure we are bringing value to their members. We hope that Hustle Yangu will evolve into a place where businesses owned by Rotaractors can get funding from angel investors such as what happens in Shark Tank or K CB Lion’s Den or even Loreal brandstorm.

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In My Thoughts: COVID-19 Itr. Dhruvi Shah | Interact Club of Oshwal Academy Mombasa

It never seemed possible, before now, to be in the comfort of your home and be able to access full-time education online. To be one out of the millions of students across the globe who have the privilege to access education even in the wake of a global epidemic. The global health crisis reminded us not only of how privileged we are, but also to celebrate the small things in life. The Covid-19 pandemic not only allowed us to explore the previously undermined ideas such as online learning and working from home, it highlighted the most marginalized groups in society. It left millions jobless and many more with pay cuts. In the lives of already struggling under privileged, it brought complications, millions of student left stranded as they lacked sufficient resources to shift from in-person school to online school. In the wake of the of the Corona virus pandemic, we have realized the significance and magnitude of the role we play in the society. As Interactors, we have an even bigger role to play in this era. We have a lot more to contribute to society as needs grow and people try to cope with the new normal. Covid– 19 has taught us a lot, in terms of being aware of your surroundings, it has given us a chance to relearn how to spend more time with your loved ones, it has made us unlearn being ungrateful and unsatisfied with all we have. The year 2020 has been a blessing in disguise and we will always remember the lessons that we have taken from this eventful year. Looking forward to more opportunities in 2021!

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Tightening the Long Knot Written by Rtr. Beatrice Karimi, edited by Rtr. Jejo Mapacha | Rotaract Club of Ngong Hills

It was a bright saturday morning on 15th of August 2020 when rotaractors Cedric, Caroline and i went for a hike at Mt longonot. Our journey began at 7:00am, that means that we had to be up very early. Our first stop was at Weder High way Hotel where we all waited for each other as well as waiting for the delivery of the hiking T- shirts broght by the daughter of Rotarian Mwangi who is the current president of Rotary Club of Ngong Hills which is my mother club. After everybody had arrived and a head count was done for logistics purposes,we continued with our journey at around 9:00am, ascended the escarpment and reached the Maii Mahiu viewpoint. We observed and admired the beauty and grandeur of the great Rift valley. Mt longonot could be seen from there as well.After few minutes we arrived at the entry gate situated at the base of mt longonot. The park attendants gave us an orientation talk on what to do and what not to do while climbing the mountain. They also said that mount longonot is a volcano and it hasn’t erupted since 1863 so there’s no worry about sudden volcanic action when waddling and riding up the winding trails. We began hiking at the first resting point; this is where a traditionally themed hut welcomes tired hikers who don’t want to proceed but this time round, we were charged up with energy so all we did was to wave at the hut and take a few pictures as we passed by it and continued to ascent. The view cleared as we went higher. It looked deserted but so peaceful.The second resting point was at the rim of the crater.The view was breath taking. This is usually where everyone who was short of breath ends the hike but many of us especially rotaractors still had a lot of energy in our reservoirs so we proceeded.It took us about 2 hours to the rim and now going round the crater it took us another 2 hours. This was a series of activities which are done by our mother club to conserve the environment and boost the health index by raising money and planting trees under the project dubbed “Walk and Hike.” It was fun to hike as a team because we enjoyed. In spite of us being tired by the end of the hike, we enjoyed and benefited health wise. Later on we went and ate together with all members present from Rotary and Rotaract and all presidents from different clubs who were in attendance where we bonded and interacted and ended the day in style. For sure, rotary opens opportunities.

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Love Loves My Essay Rtr. Zaya Kebeni | Rotaract Club of Youthzone

My favorite song as a teenager was Try by Colbie Caillat, I remember singing it at a competition then left the stage crying because I felt I didn’t do the song justice. I won though on a technicality. At that same time, for the first time I was on a social adjustment phase from a lifelong public school to a private one and I was soon exposed to this new life that seemed so different. Never had I ever felt fat, dark-skinned or less beautiful than when I tried fitting in with the crowd. So try for me was more than just a song, it was an escape from my then assumed perfect physical appearance. Over the generations, at least the ones man has been able to keep track of, from the traditionalists, baby boomers, Generation X, Millennials to our current Generation Z, the ideal shape for a woman is that of an hour glass. Though not paper legalized but verbally announced and visually pronounced. Just like visual arts; art that you look at, visual pronunciation is a word spoken out loud when you look at something/somebody. It is all over our virtual vast spaces, commercial advertisements, memes, Billboards, books, and even video games making it hard avoiding this subject matter to be infiltrated into our toddlers’ brains. Verbal annunciation is globally relatable. When you are asked whether you have a problem with girl clothes, why you fat? Why is your waist not smaller? Why do you have broader shoulders? Where is your junk in the trunk? You look better in trousers, you look like Winnie the Pooh when you wear a crop top, high waist jeans would look better on you if you trimmed a little bit of that waist and the list is endless. We have blindfolded ourselves with this artificial perfection from reality. The reality is that and I quote from Chizi Duru one of the realest social media influencer I have come across, “Instagram isn’t real and it has warped a lot of us into thinking NORMAL bodies are abnormal. NO. Not every girl, most especially a black girl has a shelf behind them, stomach pudge is completely normal, most boobs sag.” However, society displays otherwise, their ideal woman’s shape is characterized by hip and bust measurements nearly equal in size, with a narrower waist measurement preferably with abs. The shoulders are slightly round and the legs are in proportion with the upper body, no body hair, no acne, to be beautiful you must be slim. Due to these artificial perfection qualities the society has been normalizing, many of our women not only feel dissatisfied with their natural bodies but also undergo weight and body shaming in many forms. According to an online survey conducted by Ipsos on behalf of RiverMend Health, 79% of Americans reported feeling unhappy with their body looks at different times while in Kenya about 7 out of 10 women do not feel confident in their own skin. Ipsos studies says and I quote “At Least One in Three Would Give Up Alcohol, Pizza, and/or Social Media if it Meant They Could Achieve Their Perfect Body Overnight.” When it comes to body shaming the numbers are worse. Unlike body dissatisfaction where it is just your negative self-body evaluation, weight and body shaming comes in both ways: you, a 2nd and 3rd party’s negative evaluation on your body size, shape and weight. The latter aspect has become prevalent and fast spreading as it is being accelerated through the Internet. And yes I am going to mention it; memes, or should we call them intellectual jokes, they make jokes out of flaws and humorize cruelty. I am not against memes, what I am against is the act of people using them to pin point other people’s flaws and laugh it off like nothing just happened. It isn’t right, as much as we think the victim joined in the laugh gang and laughed it through. The following are reasons why jokes on someone’s body is not okay: 1. Genes determine up to 80 Percent of our weight and shape

Although our environment and personal choice plays a significant role in our physical appearances, studies have shown that

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inherited genes may determine up to 80 percent of our weight and shape. Therefore, your body type was predetermined even without your consent. I know you may say “that is why work-outs exists”, I won’t disagree, and it is true. But just like Newton’s laws of motion. Let us try and incorporate a little bit of Physics. I mean Physics is simply an explanation of our how our daily works are made to occur. Newton’s first law: a body will remain at rest or in uniform motion in a straight line unless compelled to change its state by the action of an external force. Newton’s second law: the rate of acceleration of a body is directly proportional to the force applied as long as no external force is acted upon, F=ma. If we apply this to our bodies, our bodies will continue to grow steadily in accordance to our predefined physical features (the genes) as we constantly engage in our daily work routines considered an external force is acted upon. These external forces are either surgeries, medications, body shaping aiding devices/tools, or extreme workouts. That is why dedicated athletes and fitness trainers have the “perfect bodies” or almost perfect bodies because they have dedicated their time in workouts unlike someone else dedicated in writing books. 2. People have underlying health conditions they are battling with About 5 to 10 percent of women ages 15 to 44 are battling with PCOS and one profound symptoms is weight gain, acne, thinning

and hair loss, excessive hair growth (hirsutism) that can lead to type 2 diabetes, depression, high blood pressure, and sleep apnea. Currently there is no test to definitively diagnose PCOS and if you are not regular on hospital visits it will be hard to tell when it started and hence difficult to maintain it. One out of eight women at any age develop an underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism) a condition where your thyroid gland is not producing enough thyroid hormones slowing down the body’s metabolism leading to weight gain. While others are on diabetes treatment intaking different amounts of insulin which has a side effect of gaining weight. 3. Not everyone can manage 4 hours workouts and still get enough sleep

Currently there is a notion that is vastly spreading that to be rich you have to sacrifice your sleep yet when you do not get enough sleep you are more prone to add on weight because lesser hours of equals to lesser production of satiety hormone, the Leptin hormone. People who sleep more or rather get enough sleep have higher levels of satiety hormones, not just during their time of sleep but rather throughout the day. Continued on page 49

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As much as we are all working towards success, define your success. What does it mean when youa re successful? Is it owning thousands of houses, owning a company, owning orphanages or just living in peace and contentment like His Excellency President Jose Mujica.

4. Many people are living with mental disorders, many are unaware, few are aware and about 40% of the few seek medical attention One of the most common mental health condition among teenagers and adults is depression, women are about twice as likely as men to suffer from it. Depression and suicide are linked, with an estimate that up to 60% of people who commit suicide have major depression. 5. Close your eyes and imagine a world with only one shape, weight and size in every object If that is even possible. Imagine building a house with bricks, cement and sand of all the same size, it won’t work. You will say a brick, sand and cement are not the same thing, but they are, sand comes from weathered rocks, cement is made from limestone

rocks. The same way, a mother cannot all look like a teenager, she might look young but she will have telltale signs that will distinguish her from the teenager. With all that been said, stop body and weight shaming even though the victim laughed along, even though you think the victim is over-sensitive, even though she is your brother or sister, and even if it is just for fun. Keep your opinions about someone else’s shape all to yourself because they already know. Someone knows when they have gained or lost weight when they do not fit into their favorite jeans no more so don’t rub it on their faces. Someone already knows they don’t have a thinner waist when they wear that high waist jeans or skirts or a crop top. Beauty isn’t just all about physical appearance because we all have been in a situation where we have seen someone look beautiful turn ugly maybe because of a change of heart or physical maintenance or harsh life, we can’t judge. Also we have seen someone ugly become very beautiful maybe because of a change of heart, mind, and physical maintenance. You are all uniquely beautiful.

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Give Blood. Save A Life. Get A Free Soda and Be A Hero. Rtr. Mergery Nyakio | Rotaract Club of Embu

The first time I attempted to donate blood, the outcome was disastrous. I took one long and hard look at the thick, sharp-pointed needle about to scar my skinny hand and just…bolted. The medical professional handling the blood donation looked at me exasperatedly, as if she had witnessed such cowardice a thousand times before. In my defense, I was in high-school. Admittedly, the only reason I signed up for the donation was to get the oversized soda, a rare commodity in a boarding school. Though I did not fully overcome my fear of needles, I figured getting a free soda was worth the pain, and my second time was much more successful. Over the years, I have donated blood many times, and if I was far too happy to get a free soda afterwards, I swear it wasn’t the only reason for donating. It was not until I joined the Rotaract Club of Embu that I really grasped the magnitude of such a simple, mostly painless action. The sheer lack of blood in many public hospitals is overwhelming. Coupled with the high number of people dying due to insufficient blood, my fellow Rotaractors from Embu and I have come to appreciate the significance of blood donation. When I visited the Regional Blood Transfusion Center (RBTC) in Embu for the first time, there was a middle-aged woman at the entrance, begging anyone who cared to listen to donate blood to her dying husband. It was one of the saddest sights I have ever witnessed, with relatives rushing to donate their blood, only to be turned down because they had the wrong blood type. Although I did not stay long enough to find out the fate of the couple, it was dismaying to learn the pervasiveness of such cases, with people losing loved ones because of inadequate blood. When the idea of conducting regular blood donations in Rotaract was suggested, I was deeply touched by the number of rotaractors who registered to donate. The blood donation event by RAC Embu was in November 2019, attended by more almost thirty Rotaractors and guests. Since then, the club members have donated blood after every four months. 2020 was no exception. First Blood Donation with RAC Embu In 2020, amidst the paranoia surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, I donated blood twice with RAC Embu. Donating blood during a time when people feared going to hospitals due to the disease was a humbling experience. COVID-19 did not stop Rotaractors from helping sick people in Embu who needed blood more than ever before. Blood Donation in August 2020 On 12th January 2021, we had our first blood donation for the year, and it was a wonderful and humbling way to start the year. I look forward to donating after four months with the RAC Embu family. Blood Donation in January 12, 2021 If you are in Rotaract and have never donated blood, possibly due to fear of needles, remember people who are dying in hospitals are in far worse pain. And if you think about the three lives your blood could save, you will become a donor for life. Besides, the free soda afterwards should be enough motivation, right? If you do not have the 50+ kilos required for donating, well, I’ll pray for you. So, how was my 2020? Yes, there was COVID-19, and the world was in chaos, but I donated blood and potentially saved some lives. Most importantly, the biggest lesson learned in 2020 was that everyone has a type (Blood, I mean blood type). So, go out there and be a hero.

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Restoration Rtr. Tedi Lewis | Rotaract Club of Kenyatta University

Ever heard of the word Kintsugi? It is an ancient Japanese art of restoring broken clay vases or pots using gold so that this time round they’d be more valuable than they were before. I believe 2021 is all about that. Restoration. 2021 started off on the right foot with the newly signed Return to Work agreement by the Ministry Of Health and doctors’ and nurses’ respective unions ending their days long back and forth. It was high time that service, dedication and dignity be restored to the public health sector especially in the midst of a pandemic when Kenyans need the doctors and nurses most. Takes two to tangle, right? It is in no doubt that Doctors, nurses and all other workers in the health fraternity have carried the gigantic obligation to safeguard the Kenyan public in these tough times and so the government should also have diligently played its part from the beginning by provision of the required PPE’s and also quick disbursal of their monetary dues. 2021 gives SME’s a chance to get back on their feet and hit the ground running again. In the previous year, profits plummeted, lots of redundancy letters were issued, a lot of businesses closed shop either temporarily or permanently. A lot of things have changed, but we will not despair, but rather, we will adjust. It’s up to the entrepreneurs and business owners to go back to the drawing board, get a grasp of the situation at hand, put the past behind them but also carry with them the invaluable lessons 2020 taught, restructure and morph themselves full of optimism and hope to not only survive but also thrive in this new year. The government also this year has a huge chance to redeem itself before the public’s eye. The Treasury and KRA need to come up with ways to seal tax evasion loop holes so that revenue targets can be met and in doing so money is disbursed efficiently, so that the nurse, the street sweeper and any other worker is paid his or her dues on time for they too have families to feed. In trying to make sure that revenue targets are met, the government should also create a favorable environment for blossoming of small businesses, encourage and support entrepreneurship and also attract foreign investors. All eyes this year will also be on the Ministry of Education with the decision to have all Kenyan learners back in school this January. This decision has been controversial from the start with most people disagreeing, especially from a logical point of view given the high number of learners in public schools, the sizes of shared facilities i.e. classes and dining halls begs one to wonder how social distancing will be maintained. However, the Ministry of Education seems adamant to believe they have everything under control. We can only hope for the best and see how things play out. The Kenyan Spirit rises again, the Kenyan Spirit rises above. Kenyans are a resilient people and 2020 definitely was tough on us but tougher we are and I see nothing but great opportunities in 2021. Have a Blessed 2021.

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Rotajams: Mzuzi Park Edition Acoustic Session (Part 2) Rtr. Sharon Lusambili | Rotaract Club of Lang’ata

There are many things I could count from the top of my head that have come to being at the Rotaract Club of Lang’ata, just from the playful conversations we have during our many adventurous hangouts. Rotajams is not an exception. We talked about it and we made it happen. Like we always do. Wazzzzuurrr. Creativity has always been close to our hearts and we are lucky that it is also close to our house, The Rotaract Club of Lang’ata, because a good number of our members are in this industry. Rotajams is a partnership curated by The Rotaract Club of Lang’ata and Jamhuri events. Jamhuri events is an events company that is set to promote artistic content, music being a major factor. The aim of Rotajams is to promote our music, poetry and other creative arts while raising funds that will go a long way in supporting our communities that are in need, through the Rotaract Club of Lang’ata’s service projects. A joint music and arts fundraiser event for humanitarian projects. Rotajams was created and launched, in the 2019-2020 Rotary year, to spread immense awareness of the creative world in Rotary to the world over and vice versa, with an ultimate goal of caring for those in need amongst us and others in our communities. So basically, Rotajams is a live musical concert event that the Rotaract Club of Lang’ata in partnership with Jamhuri Events uses to fundraise in order to fund our various projects. Imagine enjoying a concert and knowing in the back of your mind that the ticket you bought is going to repaint a primary school somewhere or dignify school going girls by buying them sanitary pads among other things. Wouldn’t you say the music will hit with a different beautiful taste? I say it will because I know that it does. The first Rotajams event was held at Creatives Garage in March 2019, featuring spoken word poetry and music. The second one was held at Michael Joseph Centre in November 2019 featuring among others, an album launch for the local artist Suzziah. We were forced to hold off on the events in 2020 for a while because of the COVID-19 pandemic. That did not stop us though. Towards the end of the year, last year, we of the creative and thoughtful minds came together at Mzuzi Park to enjoy acoustic music from the amazing Watendawili and SJ Ndigro among others, while fundraising for our projects at the same time. Having fun while serving others is what Rotajams is about. We catch up over music, good company and in good places. You really need to join us next time. Watendawili @rotajams We will hold another Rotajams live concert event, and then another one after that one and again another moving forward. Kindly plug in when we call upon you to buy tickets to the event and help others in return. Stay tuned to our social media pages for more information about our projects and how to be part of them, on Facebook and Instagram @rotajams. Watch out for the next Rotajams event and come have our kind of fun. Fun that doesn’t end in your minds and in your hearts because in the process, you’re reaching far into our communities through our projects.

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Adapting to the New Normal Rtr. Njeru Mugo| Rotaract Club of DeKUT

I can’t breathe, I’m literally suffocating in the very air I produce, I can’t see my friend’s smile, Neither smirk at the arrogant fools I come across by day, This seemed such a hopeful year, The very start of a new decade, how could it be bad? We as the human race could deem the world a better place, We... Who are human for real though? If not the most selfish race in the face of the earth, That’s not the point though, We as humans are taught to be positive, we ought to be, And blindly we oblige ignoring all the hazards to our intuition, We have a pack mentality and so far it’s worked seemingly good to us, But this year the pandemic is making the headlines, And I can’t shake this sombre feeling, It’s as if someone has died, probably the year has, All those necessities we took for granted, Like the right to walk at midnight, Like free to all air, I can’t believe that this is the new normal, One that threatens to have us all aid a murder, See the mask suffocating me is supposedly to save my life, and secondarily save another’s, And as a race we are tied with a decision, one that equates to how informed we are, I can’t believe normal will never be normal again, Cause of a virus... A fluke thriving in the very thin air, Cause of this fluke I can’t walk a night, Cause of this fluke police may kill a soul this very night, That’s if the Covid doesn’t get them first, The moral fabric that provided a sense of safety was being untangled before our eyes, A very testament to the anarchy that forms part of mankind, We are as strong as our weakest link, Sadly this fluke unearthed scenes and scars that proveq hard to heal, It exposed our most vulnerable state, brought us face to face with our naked self, And vividly we could see how sick a society we were,

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Suddenly the we in humans turned to I, It seemed like Armageddon as we all rushed to save ourselves, To clinch and stock month loads of the very scarce basic needs available, At the face of extinction all formidable rules fade, At the face of extinction natural selection takes its place, Tales of individuals doing all it takes to equate, It’s survival of the fittest, What a paradox mankind is , What a chase for our own tail, We did the complete opposite of our expectations in the face of a pandemic, We robbed the single most important mantras that defined our livelihood, Love, peace and harmony was just for play, As though we’d help ourselves, sadness loomed the air, We catalysed the same disease that ravaged our beings, Mass death encounters stopped making headlines in the news, Devastation and hopelessness grew awareness as a current state of affairs, Death has never loomed so closely to our beings, At some point the world was really silent, You could almost feel mother nature beckoning, We as human got to be alone by ourselves, Forced to relinquish the need to feel in control, We got to see the effects of adopted culture that we didn’t question, Got to be more close to our intuitive beings, It became increasingly apparent that we were all human, That we were in this together, A gleaming reminder that we need to love each other more and truly, To put the needs of humanity prior to our personal selfish desires, We are as strong as our weakest links, And at this juncture our weakest links are in dire need, Let’s merge to curb the fall of humanity, We all have a choice, each of our choice matters, Let’s turn this tide and ignite a positive fire in the history of time.


Seizing to Appreciate Interact Club of Glory School

It might seem strange to start a story with an ending. But all endings are also beginnings. We just don’t know it at the time. We never realize what we have. Truly, we never do. We never grasp just how much grace is in our hands when it is in our hands and we always forget to cling tight to it and cherish it and hold it like it is all we were ever meant to cradle in our curled palm. We always, forget the grace. There is no question that earth has been a giving planet and continues to be, everything humans have ever needed to survive and thrive was provided by mother nature if we may call it that: food, water, medicine, materials for shelter and even natural cycles such as climate and nutrients. The earth is so many things and we are many things as well. We are made up from the earth in a complex yet simple way. SAVING THE EARTH STARTS WITH YOU! was a challenge that arose during the lockdown of Covid19. Interact Club of Glory (IC GLORY) and interact club of Cathe’s Vega collaborated on this idea of further pursuing the already well advertised tree planting projects. Due to the new circumstance being creative was a requirement well needed. The challenges main target was to plant plants/ seedlings and make the environment & our surrounding a bit better. This challenge didn’t prevent and put us in a box instead it allowed everyone to use their creativity and imagination while widening up eyes to help see what lays around us. Consider various types of perspectives, gain knowledge by raising a question and understand what the true benefit of the entire project was.

sole reason of getting oxygen out of it; it’s a way of self-growth learning patience, nourishment & achievement. Paintings withhold different inspirations & lessons within it, starting with the colors and drawing itself. when combining plants with drawings it gives an invigorating & fresh fondness about life and the environment around you. Having this in mind we tried our best to intertwine our creativity, technology and planting of plants using the descriptions to tell the story of the pictures. While doing so besides relieving ourselves from stress it helped us interact with people and have a better understanding of what should be done to prevent catastrophic disaster in the near future. Also, the key to any successful outcome on a project is to enjoy yourself & have fun while doing the work, we certainly had a blast and gained satisfaction with the achievement we achieved. To quote the great Albert Einstein “imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited to all we know & understand, while imagination embraces the entire world & all there ever will be to know &andunderstand.” Outside the box thinking shows you a perspective that the plain sight will not.

Take notice of the small things in life. Appreciate them!

By accepting to participate in this challenge IC of GLORY wanted to show the effect and use of plants in human’s life associated with poetry, photography, gardening and painting. Since the early time of the big bang to the 21st century, technology has surely taken twists and turns to be where it is now. From flip mobiles to the smart phones than can bend and work underwater, from the 1,800 square feet occupying 50tons weighing computer to Robots and artificial intelligence we truly have come a long way. Nevertheless, the repercussion that it has, the good use of technology can and has been benefiting us greatly. With the use of these UpToDate technologies we can now know what our planet has to offer to us beyond the things visible and in plain sight and what also lays beyond and around it. And that is exactly what we did, explore what our planet has been offering us by being down to earth and using eco-friendly tech to showcase the beauty and usefulness of nature. Art allows one thing to have different types of definition through the eyes of the definer, photography captures the form of life’s beauty in a form of picture to tell thousands of words in one of the most creative & refreshing ways to captive the humans eye. Poetry never fails to enlighten us with many aspects of life like growth, creation and refreshment. Gardening shows us that taking care of plants can have other deep meaning than for the

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Adapting to the New Normal Anthony Kariuki | Rotaract Club of Embu College

We all appreciate change in different ways, since we are all different when we talk about adopting to new norms this translates that our way of life will be affected to an extent that we can only realize after we see the results of what we could have been resisting being beneficial. In the recent past we have been trying to fight against change but, the same change gave us an opportunity to learn, innovate, accept, uphold, manipulating trends to our benefit. Rotary gave us a platform to make networks, interact with, build friends, exchange new ideas with friends but with the emerge of COVID-19 no one thought that we could embrace use of virtual meeting to be our order of the day, yes it has been very hard to adopt due to economical constraints and other outstanding factors which were with us back to back, but to our advantage we did tremendously good, if I may cite some of this; full employment of internet as the only means of meeting for clubs around the world, this helped in creating more networks thus expanding our thinking capacity since one key of creating this networks is not only to see new faces and keep smiling to them when you meet them, it kept us on toes that anything can happen to add to that we all should a standby contingency plan that can help you solve a challenge. The new norm has greatly affected operations of Rotarians and Rotaractors right from their personal and general life and taught them that; “the best safari experience is the one that you get to mingle with strangers and see life differently”. We believe in building networks and this has been great been influenced by use of virtual meeting, we say experience is the best teacher and this has been proven since we were all wearing the same shoe and experience how it’s hard to walk with smaller number that don’t fit you and also for oversized ones. We were all prepared on how to manage time with restrictons that were at our benefit, and also to use available resources to thrive in a challenging environment, co-operations was also enhanced since distance was no longer a factor or an excuse connectivity was over the media and set up goals of clubs were met as they had been planned. The new norm left us at spot where we all had to think on how to reach out to other clubs, and better friendship through joint projects which flock minds of many club Leaders, with the use of media to pass information a large number of people felt the impact of Rotary right at the ground level through food donation, tree planting, social working, etc.

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Fun and Exercise for Funds Rotaract Club of JKUAT

As part of a long-term community service project, the Rotaract Club of JKUAT holds an annual Christmas Party with the

our club in one day. Many members from our club and various clubs, around 45 members, came in full gear that morning ready to give their whole. We rode for close to 36 kilometres from Juja to Thiririka Water Falls-Gatundu and back to Juja, riding in groups according to our speeds. For some of us who didn’t do some work out during quarantine, a great pain was felt the following day but it was all worth it knowing we had raised funds for

children at Muthiga Hope Centre. We raise the funds using various internal fundraisers and donations from other Rotary and Rotaract clubs as well as individual well-wishers. However, as it is known the year 2020 was greatly affected

the year’s Christmas Party with the children at Muthiga Hope Centre. We had a great time during both occasions and the regulations set against COVID-19 by the Ministry of Health were adhered to strictly. by the COVID-19 pandemic and our club being an institution based club and with our members scattered all over due to the closing of our university, our greatest challenge was how we were going to hold fundraisers to fund our visit to Muthiga Hope Centre because we were not going to cancel it. Bike Riding! This idea popped into our brains. We hadn’t seen each other for a major club activity for close to a year and what better way to come together other than to have fun, exercise, reduce the quarantine weight, site see all while raising funds for our Project. To be honest, we’ve never raised so much funds in

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My Thoughts: COVID-19 Rtr. Njoroge Njuguna | Rotaract Club of Embu

Covid 19 has had its ups and downs, merits and demerits, but today I choose to go with the positives. As a devoted rotaractor, covid 19 has not deterred me despite the various challenges it has posed since it was declared a pandemic. Though at first, the pandemic seem to have limited us, Rotarians and rotaractor were quick to react. From physical meetings to online meetings. I can vividly remember how it started from one online meeting to a buzz of meetings right left and centre upto a point where I could not keep up with the online fellowships. The pandemic opened opportunities from attending one physical fellowship per week to attending upto ten in a week. The most interesting part is I could move from a local fellowship to an international fellowship just by a click of a button. (This made me an expert in handling online platforms). I have interacted with like minded young men and women locally and internationally. This has not only extended my networks but also my knowledge and experience. The pandemic has not only taught me to be open to chances but also to be limitless and that change is inevitable. As a rotaractor the pandemic also presented an opportunity to serve. I remember distributing food and face masks to cancer patients and to the elderly in the community. I remember distributing hand washing stations in the community and food hampers, the cloths drive and pads drive, not forgetting the wheels to live project. For sure the pandemic could not lower the spirit of rotaractors. As the effects of the pandemic became bearable, we started opening up from blood drives, tree planting to even prison visits. The pandemic did not dampen the fun spirit of rotaractors, from online gigs to controlled physical activities, installations and bonding sessions.. As I conclude, all I can say is that covid 19 has given me opportunities as a rotaractor that otherwise I could not have experienced if it did not happen. I did not imagine myself making a Nepali dish while speaking Nepali. Dhanyabaad!!

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Rotapoem: Lost and ALone Rtr. Squishy Poet | Rotaract Club of Kenyatta University

Sometimes you are at the theatre alone! Somehow you wish you had some family support Someone to believe in you or see you through A bloody human who will hold your hand See you stumble, fall and again stand Surviving is what you do when you lack one And you were born a man. So When you get none See remember Well life is a matter of death and you will face yours alone. I have tried finding myself the harder the more i get lost Trying to live a singular life with no cost. From nowhere in the cold emptiness there is that one friend who will offer you a coat Bail you in court Sleep with you in the same cell Wish you well. And that’s where you see family In people who make you learn Create time with you to have fun Then you will know the dictionary has a wrong description of the word family You will have to find your own meaning.


Rotamemes

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ACROSS:

3. Rotaract + Jamuhuri Events 8. Zone that Rotaract Africa is in. 11. First Rotaract Club to be formed in our District 9212. 12. Name of the District Director for Corporate Relations 13. The month when Ethiopia’s Rotary Day is held.

DOWN:

1. Region in Kenya which hosts the Annual Anti-jigger Project. 2. Patron for Rotaract Africa. 4. Number of Rotaract Club in our district 9212. 5. Ethiopia’s Rotaract Country Chair. 6. Rotaract Club that initiated Kenya’s famous Emoji Party. 7. A rare breed who’s been in the trio (Interact, Rotaract and Rotary) and served in a district committee. 9. Number of e-Rotaract clubs do we have in the district 9212. 10. Rotaract club forming a Rotary Club in the district.


CONTACT US ROTARACT DISTRICT 9212 Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya and South Sudan Director, Corporate Relations: corporate@rotaractdistrict9212.org District Rotaract Representative: drr@rotaractdistrict9212.org Rotaract District 9212 Website: www.rotaractdistrict9212.org SOCIAL MEDIA: Facebook: Rotaract District 9212 Twitter: @Rotaract_D9212 Instagram: @rotaractdistrict9212 LinkedIn: Rotaract District 9212 ROTARY INTERNATIONAL WEBSITE: www.rotary.org/rotaract

District 9212

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The Rotaractor March 2021  

The Rotaractor March 2021  

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