Programme for week commencing 29th January, 2015 and continuing the theme Rotary Awareness Month
As Rotary International considers about how it changes an organisation to be relevant to the 21st Century, there is a real need to understand how our communities of today operate and what is being advocated to ensure they are sustainable in the future. In doing so Rotary can then develop its involvement as a facilitator based on its strengths.
To give an example of this, the Second Object of Rotary is: High ethical standards in business and professions; the recognition of the worthiness of all useful occupations; and the dignifying of each Rotarian’s occupation as a opportunity to serve society.
A current consideration in community development is Community Asset Building, the identification of what people living in the community can contribute to its development. Not too far from what is expected of Rotarians, in other words the skills, talents, experience individuals can contribute to help build strong, cohesive and caring communities, by helping with projects and activities. If we want to get people being more aware of Rotary as an organisation that encourages civic engagement and service, our ability to engage, facilitate and help with asset building is essential.
One of the key factors in creating an asset built community, is an ability to get people together, so they can get to know each other and find out what each person can offer. Our First Object of Rotary states: The development of acquaintance as an opportunity for service. Rotary with partners are in a perfect position within the community to hold an event or party to bring people together and start building relationships and talking to each other whilst having fun.
Our Third Object of Rotary states: The application of the ideal of service in each Rotarian’s personal, business and community life. This is very much what we need to encourage of everyone if we are to help build sustainable communities. Once people are identified with different skills or experience, how do we get them using these in specific projects or activities that can help our communities through service projects? A good example of current things that people are wanting to get involved in are Foodbanks, Assisting with Health Awareness, Let’s Loop Swindon, Community Gardens, Good Neighbour Schemes and the list goes on.
Finally with Rotary as a partner organisation with others, we can bring an added dimension to Community Asset Building by Our Fourth Object of Rotary: The advancement of international understanding, goodwill, and peace trough a world fellowship of business and professional persons united in the ideal of service. We can help link our communities to others in different parts of the world and learn from their experience of building and developing communities.
Rotary has so much to offer communities through an organisation built on great principles, but it is important we adapt these to how communities are developing in a modern world. We need to help engage, involve, empower people to be part of the solutions as to how they live together, work with and care for each other. Rotary has been advocating Asset Building within itself for 110 years, the time is now to use this experience to help to refresh, revitalise and regenerate how our communities develop in our modern society.
Our foundations of Rotary are built in how we help communities build their assets, let’s use this experience so we re-engage with potential members who live in our communities. Do watch this video from Australia that shows Rotary using its objects to give service to others.[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zebbGisX3AE?rel=0]