When I look into the past year, most of my vivid memories are of Rotaract. Today, I am in the second year of my Rotaract journey. The journey that has shaped me into a ”Rotaractor”, an identity that I couldn’t have without The Rotary Effect.
Hi, I am Boniat Tilahun, a fourth year Pharm. D student at Addis Ababa University, College of Health Sciences, member and Vice-President of Rotaract Club of Solyana in Ethiopia, District 9212. And my Rotaract journey has been nothing short of a road of wonders, but like any road it has had its bumps. Coming into this youth program I had expectations, expectations that weren’t met. Early in January 2018 I came across a post about Rotary and became so highly fascinated by its pillars and values that I decided to join a Rotaract Club. Every Rotaract club is different and has its own club culture and I couldn’t find one that I belonged to. I had to plug and re-plug to find a niche in Rotaract, and after getting frustrated for not being able fit in anywhere, I decided that even if I couldn’t have fellowship, Rotaract could still be a place where I would serve my community and develop professionally. I went ahead and joined a club that executed projects in areas of focus of Rotary that interested me.
A few months into my membership I learnt that I am not only a member of a Rotaract club but a global citizen and that I fit in everywhere, with an internationally recognized identity that is a Rotaractor, which is interpreted as a selfless volunteer and a reliable professional, everywhere I go. I was stimulated by The Rotary Effect and ignited with positivity and volunteerism across different community service projects, boosted through mingling and networking sessions plus personal and professional development trainings that kept enabling me to grow into my best self. I made irreplaceable friends and got priceless mentors in my own club, clubs in Ethiopia, across Africa and organizations that I’ve been introduced to through Rotary.
So I chose to make Rotary my way of life, determined to give the youth the privilege of such a life by serving and leading in my club and creating awareness about Rotary and Rotaract both in and out of the organization to promote the joy in “Service above Self”, “Fellowship through Service and Professional Development” and the prestige and honor of its membership. Rotary is invaluable. It gave me a life outside of the student bubble and a platform to grow, discover myself and serve to my heart’s desire!
Article by Boniat Tilahun |Vice President, Rotaract Club of Solyana |Public Relations Director, RYLA Connect, Ethiopia