Pic Nimalsiri Edirisinghe
By Nishel Fernando
Rotary International, a leading international service organisation, plans to woo new youth members to the organisation through its new action plan with an aim to stay ahead of unfolding global trends.
“This year, we are rolling out a new action plan, which would increase our impact for the next five years, expand our reach, enhance participants’ engagements and increase our ability to adopt,” Rotary International President Mark Maloney said at an event held in Colombo, yesterday.
He highlighted that the action plan in particular recognises the value of human connection at a time when technology has become a barrier to connect with the other.
“We may know more about what other people are doing but I suspect that we are in fact connecting less,” he added.
Maloney also acknowledged that the expectations of the younger generation have to be met while remaining true to the values of Rotary.
“With respect to the younger generation, they have different expectations about how to spend their time, which they spend it with and what motivates them,” he said.
In order to face the changing global trends, Maloney stressed that Rotary needs to stay ahead of these changes.
“I believe Rotary must respect professional commitment and not require Rotary leadership to be a full-time job. We need to respect time and responsibility of young people. We are ready to seek out fresh opportunities, open up conversations and simplify how we operate with confidence. Let’s stay true to ourselves and stay ahead of change in our next 100 years,” he added.
Rotary is also planning to deepen its collaboration with organisations such as the United Nations (UN), to achieve shared goals.
Maloney noted that Rotary would expand its collaboration with the UN in terms of achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) while citing success in eradicating polio through a global initiative by partnering with governments and organisation such as the World Health Organisation (WHO) as well as foundations and individuals.
“It shows that how together we can serve the world,” he said.
Rotary, which commenced in 1905, is a global organisation, the membership of which now exceeds 1.25 million in over 200 countries with the motto of ‘Service above-Self’. In Sri Lanka, it has over 1,400 Rotarians in 70 Rotary Clubs.