By Justin Panayiotis Hadjilambris, 2017-18 Rotaract Europe Multi-District Information Organization President
Life has shown me that things do not always go as smoothly as one may anticipate. When my expectations are not only met, but exceeded, the experience becomes all the more remarkable. That is just what happened on numerous occasions during Rotaract Europe’s (E.R.I.C.) Multi-District Information Organization (MDIO) 30th anniversary celebration. E.R.I.C. supports 136 districts in 46 countries across Europe by exchanging information among the represented districts, fostering international contacts among Rotaractors, and encouraging Rotaractors to work together on international projects.
In 2017-18, we received a Rotaract Outstanding Project Award. It marked a symbolic end to a great journey for the E.R.I.C. team that worked tirelessly on our pan-European social agenda called the Fantastic Four, named for the four emphases of the project, including health, peace, economic growth, and the environment.
For the 30th anniversary, we wanted to focus extensively on collaborating through active relationships and developing sustainable solutions for the future. We believed we could only succeed by understanding where we came from as an MDIO and how the organization has evolved over the years.
We examined Rotary’s six areas of focus, the United Nation’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals, our personal visions and values to develop a social agenda that aligned with the essence of our MDIO, focused on improving health; supporting the green economy; growth through education and promoting peace.
To work towards these goals, we:
- Planted 30,000 trees in Europe;
- Packed 30,000 meals for those in need in Zimbabwe;
- Developed innovative tools and webinars aimed at increasing twin club collaborations, exchanging information and diffusing cultures, promoting peace, advocating for local/global issues, inspiring clubs and recognizing successful work to ultimately build a better world.
Rotaractors are not the leaders of tomorrow but the leaders of today, and we look forward to continuing to lead in our local clubs and across countries.