June is Rotary Fellowships Month. Fellowships are crucial in Rotary’s success and member engagement, whether they are achieved through formal fellowship groups or through relationships informally built with other members along the way. During Rotaract Preconvention and the Rotary International Convention in Toronto, we interviewed some Rotaractors and Rotarians from around the world to get their thoughts on fellowship, and here’s what they had to say:
Amanda Simao, Member of Rotaract Club of Bauru-Norte and President of Rotex of District 4510, Brazil
Amanda is happy to have been able to experience attending this years' Convention because she feels that Rotarians are so very welcoming and kind because we are all part of an international Rotary family wherever we go.
Rich Brew, Rotarian, San Jose, Jacksonville, Florida
When reflecting on Rotary International fellowships groups, motorcycle and yachting fellowships stood out to Rich. He has already joined one and plans to join another.
As for friendships in Rotary, he highlighted the value from relationships: Everyone has something going on and you can learn a lot from each other. It’s an opportunity to meet people with diverse professions.
Andrew Long, District Rotaract Representative for District 9675, Sydney, Australia
Attending my first Rotary International Convention in Toronto as a Rotaractor was absolutely inspiring and a highlight in my Rotary journey.
The best thing I took away from the Convention were the friendships that I formed with incredible Rotaractors and Rotarians from all across the world. I have gained some incredible insights that will considerably help me grow Rotaract and strengthen the partnership between Rotaract and Rotary in my District as an incoming District Rotaract Representative in Sydney, Australia.
Above all else, the Rotary International Convention in Toronto has inspired me to work even harder to create lasting change in the world that Rotary has been achieving for over 113 years.
Johanna Johnson, District Rotaract Representative for District 5040, Delta, British Columbia, Canada
Johanna has been extensively involved in the Rotary world, with experience in Rotary Youth Exchange, Interact, and RYLA. When asked about building fellowship with others in the Rotary world, Johanna said that knowing that no matter where you go there are friends and family. You can meet Rotaractors on a trip or go to a Convention like this and find 60-100 new friends.
Tobias Oelfke, Member, Rotaract Club Wiitten-Wetter-Ruhrtal, Germany
Tobias met his best friend in Rotaract 4 years ago, and they continue to do many things together. For him, Rotaract is an opportunity to meet and socialize with the most powerful and energetic people.
Deb Snider, Member of the Rotary Club of Toronto, Ontario, Canada
I am a new member of the Rotary Club of Toronto, and only started in March this year but decided to jump right into helping out with the volunteer events the club has been holding which has been a great way to get to know the people and learn about the initiatives of the club. In a very short time, I have learned that this club is made up of such quality outstanding people, I am so proud to be a part of it. The Rotary Convention 2018 is clearly my first convention and although I was not able to participate in all of the sessions due to the Host Club volunteering…..I was able to attend the opening ceremonies and go through the House of Friendship. I was also fortuneate enough to be a part of one of the Hospitality events that were held by our members to entertain out of town guests. 2000 guests were treated to being entertained by various club members either at their homes or at an event space. The one I was at was hosted at a members home and it was such a great way to meet people from all over the world on a more personal level and really get to know them and learn what they do as Rotarians. The entire experience, (including the volunteer portion because I met so many great people this way as well), was inspiring and reinforced to me that my decision to join the Rotary was the right one and I am only beginning to scratch the surface of what looks to be an endless opportunity to be a part of something amazing, with so many wonderful people working together to make a difference.