In 2019 calendar year, 24 Rotaract Clubs were chartered in our Rotary District 9212 which covers Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya and South Sudan. In the same period, no Rotaract Club was terminated by Rotary International. As such, we have recorded an annual net growth of 32.43% in the number of Rotaract clubs in Rotary District 9212 to close at 98 Clubs with a membership of slightly over 2700. This must be the best absolute growth we’ve had in the longest time.
32.43% annual growth is more than decent and is worth celebrating. Corporates in our geographical region pop champagne when they post anything above 10% annual growth in their revenues. I am glad to be in the leadership, as the District Rotaract Representative (DRR) during such exciting times of growth. A party or two, probably three, shall be staged at our annual District Conference and Assembly scheduled for 02nd to 05th April 2020 in Nairobi, Kenya. (Register for the DCA HERE).
The growth in the number of clubs imply to me that Rotaract’s value proposition is attractive to more young adults. Rotaract offers students and young professionals experiences that lead to personal development; an extensive professional and social network and, engagement in impactful community and international service. Assessment of the fulfillment of Rotaract’s promise on each Rotaractor’s life is a task my leadership shall take up for the better part of the second half of the 2019-20 Rotary year. As such, we shall roll-out a questionnaire within January 2020 to learn how Rotaract compliments your life. Further, we shall enquire what we ought to improve as an organisation at district and club level to sustain a 32.43% annual growth or more year upon year.
Personally, Rotaract has been a blessing in my life over the 5 years I have been around. Being an analytical mind, I have continuously looked back to decipher the key milestones in my Rotaract journey. Further, I analysed my attitude that led to the said milestones. Follow with me and I hope that my thoughts influence your 2020. I believe if you adopt the below, you shall have a more fulfilling Rotaract journey.
The first is a lesson I learnt from DG Joe Otin, a lesson he learnt from David Wilson who seconded his membership at the Rotary Club of Nairobi East. This is a practice to accept every task one is asked to engage in. I adopted this practice without a second thought. I took up club roles and within a year or two, I was shifting between district assignments. In a relatively short period, I have become fluent in Rotary / Rotaract matters; grown in character, soft skills and will. Most importantly, I continue to nurture a network of mentors, peers and mentees who I engage in as we deliver on the various tasks. In 2020, say YES to more requests to engage.
Second and third is a bias for action and desire for progress. I love motion; positive motion both in my life and that which I put my hands on. I take to heart the fact that ‘talk is cheap, and action is rare’. At the beginning of any task, I take it upon myself to understand the overall objective. Thereafter day in; day out; I act to contribute as much as I can towards the objectives achieving each set metric. I look for the collective progress the team is making, and when we are not moving towards our goal, I pursue a change of actions and not change of objectives, if they were well thought-out. I practise this in and beyond Rotaract. In 2020, I besiege you to have a bias for action and desire for progress.
In 2020, I pray that our membership in Rotaract shall add value in our individual lives and that of our communities. I look forward to another year of impressive growth in our reach across all our 4 countries: Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya and South Sudan. Above all, may your dreams and aspirations come to life.
Samuel Karanja, SK, is the District Rotaract Representative (DRR) for Rotary District 9212. He is a member of the Rotaract Club of Nairobi Central and a past president of the Rotaract Club of JKUAT. Professionally, Samuel is an assurance (financial audit) associate at EY, formerly Ernst & Young, based in Nairobi, Kenya.