By Erika Emerick, Rotary Programs for Young Leaders Staff
For 23 years, Rotary International has recognized high-impact, sustainable projects by Rotaract clubs with the Rotaract Outstanding Project Awards. This year, over 600 clubs and districts nominated their best local or international service projects. Six were chosen from these nominations as the best projects in their regions, as well as the two top honors—the international single-club award and the international multi-club award.
The projects were evaluated by RI’s Rotaract Committee and RI staff for their sustainability, impact in Rotary’s six areas of focus, project promotion, and collaboration with local organizations and Rotary clubs. All nominated projects show how Rotaractors are applying their skills and expertise to address issues in their local and international communities.
The 2020 Rotaract Outstanding Project Award recognized the Rotaract Club of Colombo Central, Sri Lanka for supporting sustainable development in four villages across all of Rotary’s six areas of focus. Over 5,500 people directly benefitted from the project. The club ensured its project had a positive and sustainable impact, innovated throughout the duration of the project, and collaborated with local Rotary clubs and organizations.
The award for the best multi-club project went to Rotaract District 2420, Turkey for working with clubs around the world to promote breast cancer awareness, including early diagnosis and self-examination. For over five years, Rotaractors in District 2420 have organized seminars for clubs to learn self-examination, and this year, they believed they could make a larger impact by expanding the project’s scope.
Are you interested in working with Rotaract clubs in your district? The District Rotaract Committee course in the Learning Center outlines how to organize a district-wide service project.
The following clubs also earned awards for the best service projects in their regions.
Asia Pacific region
The Rotaract Club of Cebu South, Philippines constructed a day care center for displaced children, including water and sanitation facilities and classroom materials. The project reached the attention of local civic and government organizations, volunteers, and other Rotary and Rotaract club partners through their club and district social media pages. They also partnered with local TV stations and newspapers to share their activities and fundraising events.
Learn how you can promote your club members as People of Action.
South Asia region
The Rotaract Club of Hassaram Rijhumal College, India supported holistic development of rural villages in the state of Maharashtra, including water, light, education, sanitation, and economic and human development services. The club was able to innovate throughout the project by learning from community members, developing activities to understand community issues, and collaborating with local restaurants and shops to help fundraise. Learn how Rotary’s Project Lifecycle Resources can help you innovate your project.
Central Asia, Europe, Middle East
The Rotaract Club of Amman Jerash, Jordan created a center for children with special needs and provided training and certification to workat the center. Club members also worked to achieve sustainability by supporting certification for local community members to be employed in the center. This helped the continued success of the center after the club member’s involvement ended. Learn more about how to make a sustainable impact in your upcoming project, with Rotary’s six steps to sustainability.
The Rotaract Club of Abidijan Excelsior, Cote d’Ivoire provided literacy training to young street vendors, including personal finance and business management. Learn more about Rotary’s Basic Education and Literacy area of focus.
The Rotaract Club of Salvador-Aratu, Brazil provided tutoring, reopened the school library and science lab, granted scholarships, and promoted career and health discussions. The club engaged Rotary clubs and local experts throughout the project, including working with their district governor, presenting the project to all Rotary clubs in the city, and consulting with engineers, teachers, and business professionals. In communities worldwide, Rotary and Rotaract members work side by side to take action through service. Consider reaching out to your District International Service Chair to connect with experts within your District’s Resource Network. Experts such as The Rotary Foundation’s Cadre of Technical Advisers or Rotary Action Group members can provide assistance in planning your next project.
Canada, Caribbean, USA
The Rotaract Club of Barbados, Caribbean prepared and served breakfast bi-weekly, and supported career and family counseling for homeless people in their community. As part of the project, the club conducted a community assessment to learn more about the individuals served. They contacted the government and local organizations to learn more about current programs, and they found there was seldom hot and nutritious meals served. The club then partnered with several nutritionists to develop a menu that was both cost-efficient and healthy. Great projects like this one start with learning and listening to the local community, learn more about how to conduct a community assessment.
Rotaract clubs thrive when they work with supportive Rotary clubs. Download the Rotaract handbook to learn more.