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September 21st 2011: Celebrating 40 Years of Rotaract in Kenya with District Governor Eric Kimani

On 21st September 2011, Rotary International District 9200 Governor Eric Kimani together with his wife had visited over 80 Rotary Clubs in the district (comprising of Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania). On September 21st 2011, Past District Governor Abdulla Mohammed was in his 46th year in Rotary yet still so vibrant. On 21st September 2011, the Rotaract Club was in its 40th Year in Sub-Sahara Africa. On the same night, it was International Day of Peace. The same night saw 213 Rotarians, Rotaractors, Rotary Community Corps and their friends from different clubs in Kenya and from as far as Chambogo in Uganda and Nkawzi, Zambia gather in one room for an address by the District Governor.

District Governor Eric Kimani (Photograph: Otieno Nyadimo)

District Governor Eric Kimani (Photograph: Otieno Nyadimo)

This is the night Rotaractors got to sit back and reflect on their journey in Rotary as the District Governor Eric led other Rotarians in giving counsel to the young people present on Rotaract and Rotary. It was a night of rejuvenation, injection of fresh blood and charging these young men and women with the responsibility of carrying on with the objectives of Rotaract and make a change in their world.

The District Governor, Eric together with Rotarians PDG Mohammed Abdulla, Vickie Wickler, Evans Obuya, Christian Knochenhauer and the Rotary Rotaract Country Chair, Irene Wamakau challenged Rotaractors to rise up to the occasion and make use of the opportunities that Rotaract presents them most importantly Professional and Leadership Development which were the core objects of Rotaract and those presented by Rotary International such as the Ambassadorial Scholarships, Group Study Exchange, Peace Scholarships and so on. The Rotarians shared on how their experiences in Rotary had been worthwhile and in fact life changing and encouraged the Rotaractors to especially form strong mutually benefitting friendships which from their experiences had helped them go a long way in their journey in Rotary. Talk about getting 7 nights of an all expenses paid holiday in Hawaii; talk about being nominated by a friend for a grant; talk about getting a coveted job simply because you stood out from the rest as being a Rotarian or a friend to one.

The audience follows the DG's Address (Photograph: Otieno Nyadimo)

Great opportunities do exist in Rotaract but its up to the individual to make use of them. The Rotaractors and guests were challenged to make every effort to ensure that they are visible; to work with their Rotarians in their mother clubs or otherwise particularly for mentorship purposes; and to be part of the extension of the Rotary family by mentoring an Interact Club and inviting at least one friend to Rotaract over the next one year.

Rotarian Irene Wamakau, District Rotary Rotaract Chair (Photograph: Otieno Nyadimo)

The times are indeed changing, the world is need of great inspirational leaders. The District Governor together with other Rotarians and Rotaractors who have for the longest time served humanity are still blazing the trail. We as Rotaractors need to urgently realize that we need to provide the leadership that our own self need, our families need, our work places need and our country and in deed the whole world needs. Most importantly, it is important to realize that we need to provide continuity to the leadership Rotary is providing and that will only be possible if we harness from the Leadership and Professional Development opportunities that Rotary and Rotaract provides. Incase you are in Rotaract and you are in doubt as to whether you are developing your leadership and professional potential, Irene Wamakau advices: “The four way test by which a Rotaractor and Rotarian should live by will help you determine whether you are on track. Of the things we think say and do: Is it the Truth; Is it Fair to all Concerned; Will it Build Good Will and Better Friendships; Is it Beneficial to all Concerned?” Live it by heart and you will be the leader the world needs today!

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