|founding||March 13, 1968|
|Seat||Evanston (Illinois) United States|
|motto||Learn, help, celebrate|
|main emphasis||People between 18 and 30 years of age|
|Members||about 250,000 worldwide|
Rotaract is the youth organization of the international Rotary movement. It is an international service club (charity) for people between 18 and 30 years of age. In addition to Rotary, the organization is part of Rotary International , which represents the ideals of humanitarian service, commitment to peace and international understanding, and “service in everyday life”. In German-speaking countries, its members call themselves Rotaractors. Other service organizations, such as B. the Lions Club have established a club for young adults to further their charitable goals.
Rotaract was founded by Rotary International in the 1960s. Rotaract aims to promote the recognition of ethical principles as part of professional responsibility among young, active adults. The clubs cultivate friendship, hold lectures, discuss current topics and organize and carry out social activities. Like Rotary, Rotaract aims to promote understanding and peace among peoples. Rotaractors connect with one another through regional (district), national, and international meetings, and club partnerships.
Rotaract is a word created from Rot ary in Act ion.
The club boards are re-elected every year. This should lead to constant revitalization and great diversity. In addition, the individual club members should continuously learn to take responsibility and practice new roles every year.
Every Rotaract club in Germany designs its own club life, which is based on the three Rotaractic pillars "Learn - Help - Celebrate".
Anyone who is committed to the ideals of Rotaract can become a member. On request, you can be a guest at the club meetings and see club life.
Members over 30 years of age can still show that they are connected to their club as part of a so-called past membership. While most of Rotaractic life takes place in the club itself, there are also many opportunities to meet Rotaractors from other clubs during the Rotary year. In addition to activities that are carried out by several clubs at the same time, the many charter celebrations and the annual Germany conference, which brings together over a thousand Rotaractors from all over Germany, are particularly worth mentioning.
In Germany there are currently over 3,700 members in 192 clubs. (Status: October 2018) Worldwide there are almost 11,000 clubs with around 250,000 members in 184 countries (status: October 2018).
Each Rotaract club is formed under the sponsorship of one or more Rotary clubs. The clubs maintain a partnership relationship. The Rotaract club can develop independently and organize its club life independently within the framework of the Rotarian idea.
The "three pillars"
Learning particularly includes lectures or company tours organized by members or external parties. Visits to exhibitions, concerts or theaters are also included. Occasionally, Rotaractors are invited to speak at the Rotary clubs (their sponsoring clubs). Worldwide there are seminars and workshops, group study exchanges and exchange years offered by Rotary International to get to know other cultures and to cultivate friendships. Rotaractors meet at district conferences, German conferences, European conferences (EuCo's, REM's) and world conventions.
Helping refers to projects or events such as Take the Rotaract.Live.Give campaign. The funds raised by Rotaractors go to people in need. One project is the "Buy one more" campaign in supermarkets, where customers are asked to buy one more product for a good cause and give it to the Rotaractors. The collected goods are mainly given to the food banks on site or to other needy people. Presents are often packed for children in poor countries or orphanages, especially at Christmas time. There are also benefit events, often together with the Rotarian sponsorship clubs. This also includes selling mulled wine and home-baked cookies at Christmas market stalls. A distinction is made between regional projects on site, district-wide campaigns, projects across Germany such as the federal social campaigns and international projects such as "Wells for Africa" or "Extermination of POLIO" together with Rotary International.
Celebrations take place at all levels. There are e.g. B. charter parties, Christmas parties or benefit parties. At Rotaract, in addition to further education and social engagement, team spirit and friendship in the club are important.
The clubs are completely free to organize their social commitment. Many clubs look after orphanages and old people's homes. However, there are also projects offered by Rotaract Germany in which the clubs can participate. Exemplary examples: (1.) The federal social campaign is organized and coordinated by the Rotaract Germany Committee and supported by the Rotaract clubs through fundraising or menpower.
In 2013/14 "Plant-for-the-Planet" was supported as a federal social action (BuSo). The goal of planting 3,300 trees was clearly exceeded. The BuSo was also supported by lectures on, for example, plant and tree science and climate change, through hand-on campaigns when planting small seedlings or trees that have already been sprouted, and through fundraising campaigns to support plantings in other regions.
(2.) The “Buy one more!” Campaign was developed in cooperation with the Tafel. To this end, people in supermarkets are asked to buy some more and donate it to the food bank. The food bank regularly supplies around 1,000,000 people in need.
The student unrest at the end of the 1960s gave Rotary International an opportunity to appeal to the 18 to 30-year-old generation to promote an organization that, unlike the student protest movement, corresponds to the political convictions and values of Rotarians. So Rotaract emerged as an independent member of the Rotarian world community. In 1968 the first Rotaract club was founded in the United States.
The Rotaract Club Marburg / Lahn was founded in 1971 and is the oldest still active Rotaract club in Germany. A club was founded in Homburg / Saar in 1968, but closed again in 1971. Mainz followed in 1973, Giessen 1974, Trier 1975. To accelerate the development of Rotaract in Germany, the German Govenorrat decided to set up an organization for the expansion of Rotaract. Each district also received a Rotaract chairperson. The youth ministers of each Rotary club have been assigned to look after Rotaract at the club level. In the recent past, Rotary clubs have increasingly adopted a "Rotaract chairperson" service for Rotaract clubs. A Contact and Information Point (AIS) was set up in 1978 to enable better information provision and distribution within the clubs and districts. "Rotaract NEWS" was founded as a national body. Due to the rapidly growing number of clubs and the almost uncontrollable coordination of information, appointments and the many inquiries about support for start-ups, the AIS was established on a trial basis at the Germany Conference in Hildesheim in April 1989 through a new organization, today's Germany Committee (DAS) replaced. This form of organization created the office of the district speaker and the representative of the Germany Committee. The new national structure of Rotaract Germany met with a great positive response and was adopted by a majority at the Germany Conference in Höchst near Frankfurt in April 1990. In 2004 the Germany Committee was renamed "Rotaract Germany Komitee" (RDK). The establishment of Rotary clubs in the new federal states also offered Rotaract the opportunity to become known in the eastern part of Germany and to found further Rotaract clubs there in an appropriate time.
Structure in Germany
The clubs are grouped into 15 districts. Each year they elect a district spokesperson who promotes communication between the clubs and represents the district on the Rotaract Germany Committee (RDK). The RDK still consists of eight departments and a chairman who support and inform the clubs in terms of infrastructure. In addition, several assessors, with whom the chairman determines the main topics for the year, are determined. In addition, the Rotaract and Interact representative of the German Governor's Council is automatically part of the RDK.
The Germany Conference (DeuKo)
The annual DeuKo is the highest and only national decision-making body of Rotaract Germany. Every founded German Rotaract Club that is present at the DeuKo has one vote in votes on proposals from the committees, workshops and from the plenary, as well as in the elections of the departments of the RDK.
The organizational framework of the conference is designed by the hosting Rotaract club. The content of the DeuKo is the responsibility of the Rotaract Germany Committee (RDK) and the conference is chaired by the current RDK chairman. The main goal of the Germany conference is the exchange of information and ideas among Rotaractors. Committees for the departments of the RDK as well as workshops on topics such as office preparation, public relations, project management, "What is Rotaract?" Etc. serve above all to further develop Rotaract.
In the final plenary on Sunday, the proposals from the committees and workshops will be voted on and the plenary will elect the representatives and the national social campaign for the coming club year. The new RDK chairman is elected by the newly elected representatives of his committee.
- Sebastian Gradinger: Service Clubs - for the institutionalization of solidarity and social capital. VDM Verlag , Saarbrücken 2007.
- Service Clubs: "Quality counts more than vitamin B", Simon Hage in conversation with Dr. Sebastian Gradinger in: manager-magazin.de, November 16, 2006.