Posted by Sharmila Bhatt on Aug 05, 2018

When someone asks “What is Rotary?”, what do you say?

Extending the Value of Membership

The question itself is deceptively simple and it wouldn’t surprise me if you were to find yourself at a sudden loss of words. Even the most articulate among us can have a hard time capturing the essence of our organization in just a few sentences.

As I continue to visit clubs, I ask Rotarians to explain to me what Rotary means to them and have been getting amazing answers. I’m happy to share some of these answers in this issue of the Wave.

As we celebrate the life of RIPE Sam Awori (May he Rest in Peace) at the first anniversary of his passing, it is worth remembering how he described Rotary as “an engine which harnesses every project to become one of peace and prosperity “.

“Membership and Extension” is Rotary’s theme for this month and there is good reason for us to remind ourselves of the importance of membership early in the Rotary year. In order to keep serving, Rotary always needs to be growing.

We recently completed the membership workshop in Tanzania and planned growth in numbers of new members in existing clubs, as well as formation of new clubs and set ourselves a target of 400 members. The workshop in Uganda will be held on the 25th of August.

Whenever I tell a group of Rotarians that we need more willing hands, more caring hearts, and more bright minds to move our work forward, everyone applauds. But those hands, hearts and minds won’t magically appear in our clubs. We have to ask them to join. An invitation is a gift. It is saying to someone “I think you have the skills, the talent and the character to make our community better and I want you to join me in doing that”.

Therefore, as a Rotarian, I believe that the least one can do is ask that every member extends an invitation to a friend or an acquaintance. When you meet me during the year, allow me to see ways that you are being the inspiration by introducing me to the new member you have brought in.

As district and club leaders we have a job to make sure we continue to run our clubs with outstanding professionalism. When we attract busy, successful and caring people, we should show them that their time in Rotary is well spent and appreciated. Wishing you all success during the Rotary year and “Be the Inspiration”.


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