When one speaks of Rotary, one tends to think of only the adults who
are leading professionals in their fields of work, devoting their time and
efforts in the service of others, bringing relief to the millions of needy
people the world over. Sometimes we tend to overlook the fact that Rotary’s
mission is also to care for the welfare and future of today’s youth.
Pratheep S. Malhotra, presides over the opening ceremonies of the District
Rotary International has two important youth organisations under their wing.
One is called the Interact Club and the other the Rotaract Club.
Interact is Rotary International’s service club for young people ages 14 to
18. The clubs are sponsored by individual Rotary Clubs, which provide
support and guidance, but they are self-governing and self-supporting. Club
membership varies greatly. Clubs can be single gender or mixed, large or
small. They can draw from the student body of a single school or from two or
more schools in the same community.
Rotaract, founded in 1968 by Rotary International, is an international
program for adults ages 18 to 30 who want to make a difference. Today, there
are more than 7,300 Rotary Club sponsored Rotaract Clubs with some 170,000
members known as Rotaractors in over 150 countries.
Premprecha Dibbayawan addresses the Rotary children.
Clubs are either based in the community or in a university. Rotaract Clubs
enable Rotaractors to grow personally and professionally, address community
needs, and promote international understanding through friendship and
In Thailand the Rotary movement has almost 300 clubs with almost 7000
Rotarians in the 4 Rotary districts and many of them sponsor Rotaract and
Each year clubs in their respective districts hold a District Conference
whereby youth come together in fellowship and proudly display their
achievements in humanitarian projects to each other and more especially to
This year youths from clubs in district 3340, which covers the northeast and
the eastern regions of Thailand, and district 3360 encompassing the north of
Thailand, held a joint District Conference at Banglamung School from January
31 to February 1.
85 Rotaractors and Interactors attended this gathering to summarize and
review how well they’d done providing community services in health and
education to children and the elderly in the past year.
Waiyakul, president of the Interact Club of Banglamung School makes his
report to the gathering.
Pratheep S. Malhotra, district governor of Rotary International District
3340 presided over the opening ceremonies. He was joined by past district
governor, Premprecha Dibbayawan, and assistant governor, Stefan Ryser along
with members of Rotary Clubs in and around Pattaya.
Sarawut Waikul, president of the Interact Club of Banglamung School, which
hosted the meeting, reported that the attending clubs were from Khon Kaen
University, Mary Technology in Nakhon Ratchasima, Mae Jo University in
Chiang Mai, Sappawittayakom School in Tak Province, Payao School, Chiang Mai
University and the Ban Huay Jorakae School.
DG Pratheep said that this annual meeting was the venue for clubs to review
their annual performances and to exchange experiences among members of the
various clubs. The Rotary youths are no different to the adult Rotarians,
who are people from different backgrounds and jobs joined together by the
common ideals of service. “Our mission is to help people in need as we have
done continuously for over 100 years.”
“This year Rotary’s theme is Make Dreams Real and our work emphasises very
young children who are at risk of losing their lives as a result of
preventable causes. Thousands die every day because they drink contaminated
water. We want to give children clean water, good health, sufficient food
and a decent education, which in turn will give them a chance for a future.
The Rotaract and Interact Clubs are following in the footsteps of the adults
by reaching into their communities and helping to care for those who really
Pratheep presents the Most Outstanding Interact Club Award to Kiattisak
Athiwong, president of the Interact Club of Sappawittayakom School.
Youngsters were also asked to help in campaigns for safety on the roads and
on the playgrounds.
During the seminar the Interact Club of Banglamung School reported on its
work to promote the protection against sexually-transmitted diseases. The
club had received an award for a show performed on stage the previous year
in the “Love is to Protect” campaign at Robinsons Sriracha Department Store.
President Sarawut said his club aims to reduce the number of youngsters with
The Rotaract and Interact Clubs of Mae Jo University in Chiang Mai, with
Chang Puak Chiang Mai Rotary Club’s support, presented ten community
projects, such as the ‘Moral Principle Camp of 2008 for Youngsters’.
They also showcased a dam construction project to conserve water which is in
compliance with His Majesty the King’s advice to preserve water resources
and conserve forests for the future.
Francois Le-Cot president of Rotary Club Pattaya-Marina presents a
certificate of achievement to a conference participant.
The Rotaract and Interact Clubs at Chiang Mai University emphasized new
environmental activities for teenagers such as a mahout seminar and forest
It was not only all work and no fun. The hosts invited their guest to a fun
day out at Horseshoe Point where the children were treated to an
“intelligent horse” show and were given a guided tour of the awesome Sam Kok
Garden in the vast grounds of the ‘ranch’.
At the close of the conference DG Pratheep presented awards to the Rotaract
Clubs of Udon Thani and the Sappawittayakom School in Tak Province for the
most outstanding presentations of their projects and achievements.
Suthida Photpromsri, president
of the Rotaract Club of Udon Thani receives an award for Most Outstanding
Rotaract Club from DG Pratheep.
Kiattisak Athiwong (left),
president of the Sappawittayakom School Rotaract Club, receives an English
teaching CD from Stefan Ryser.
Rotaractors are ready to make
A Thai Classical Dance is
performed to welcome the Rotaractors and Interactors.
A pleasant dinner to welcome
Youngsters learn to relax by
massaging each other.
Rotaractors and Interactors
pose for a group photo at the annual meeting.
The kids enjoy the varied
activities at The Horseshoe Point.