Addis insight, throughout the year has been giving you an in-depth insight to what’s happening within our community, beyond borders, behind the deeds of society and most importantly, introducing you to those astounding yet unrecognized groups striving to bring the best out of their generation carving ways to the next one’s alongside.
And so, for the coming six weeks, we’ll introduce you to some of the volunteer groups that are executing gallant projects creating leaders, possibilities, a way of paying it forward and friendship and family hood above all.
This, you can say is Rotaract 101. For the next six weeks you’ll get to know a bit about the 12 Rotaract clubs based on our city Addis Ababa.
“It’s not how much we give but how much we put into giving.” Mother Teresa.
We have come to an epoch where the world seems to spin a lot faster and we propel along to catch up to whatever is there to hook our claws on, not to stay behind. We worry a lot about “making it” in life that we think so little of those who can’t even move and so they wait upon the time the world would stop at once. And yet throughout this process, there are few, stopping here and there, lending hands to those in need. Benevolent about their time, their energy, and a lot of what it takes to revitalize those and lead them to the better ground. And these are, “Rotaractors”. With the motto “Fellowship through service.”
As it is a very vast area to cover in just weeks, we will give you a highlight on the term insightful enough for you to get the idea and join the circle. Rotaract is a result of years and this is a starter to kindle the giving hand within you. To know more about its history and areas, well what better way than to visit the clubs on their weekly meetings, fellowships and coffee times?
What is Rotaract?
Rotaract (which stands for Rotary in Action) is a Rotary-sponsored service club for young men and women ages 18 to 30. Rotaract clubs are either community or university based, and they’re sponsored by a local Rotary club. All activities to take place within Rotaract first go through the Four way Test, which is:
- Is it the truth?
- Is it fair to all concerned?
- Will it build goodwill and better friendships?
- Will it be beneficial to all concerned?
That’s is how it’s generally defined, but how do members define it ? What does it personally mean to them?
“For me, Rotaract is an awesome environment where you can get all the fun, wonderful people and develop your leadership skills.” Beantamlack Feleke, From Rotaract Club of Atrons.
“Rotaract is where I have learnt love,life and everything in between and beyond.” Lea Mehari, From Rotaract Club of Solyana.
“I had a desire to give back to my community and the world and Rotaract was the best platform that hooked me up and make me stay, loving people, awesome friends and positive surrounding.” Mathias Aklilu, From Rotaract Club of Wodiya Mado.
Meet Rotaract Club Of Mella
- Tell Us A bit about your club, year of establishment and founding members?
The Rotaract Club of Mella was established on February 2002 and was officially chartered by Rotary International in February 2003 as a member of the clubs of District 9200.
The Founding Members were: Brooknut Tecola, Eaman Mohamed, Helina Tadesse, Henock Alemayehu, Henock Fantahun, Ibrahim Mamma, Kidist Chala, Limia Mohammed and Samson Tesfaye
- What was the inspiration behind forming the club, and the name of your club?
The direct translation of the Amharic word “Mella “is “Solution”. It was the member’s desire to come up with a name which conveyed their unification under the Rotaract club of Mella, lending hands in striving for and seeking solutions to the societal ills of our community.
Rotaract club of Mella owes its conception to a few enthusiastic youth who initiated an HIV/ AIDS prevention and awareness project, and were in quest of modes of implementing it. Thus the Rotaract club of Mella came to be to serve, as a conduit of solution implementation that was believed to make a difference in the community.
- What Challenges did you face when forming the club?
Finding committed Members.
- What’s your club’s slogan?
Rotaract slogan- Fellowship through service
Our Club Slogan – We Do Things Because we Can
Club Vision – Members of the club share a common vision to utilize pooled resources in giving back to the community in areas where they can intervene within the capacity of their combined expertise. Moreover, the club envisages the professional and leadership development of its members and instill a sense of amity among Rotaractors.
- Tell us what Rotaract means especially to your club?
Friendship, leadership, networking, giving back and business etc…
- How do you recruit members?
We recruit members using different kinds of mechanisms.
From Public Relations and people’s circles. The most used is bringing people from your circle and help the club to sustain.
- What kind of projects have you worked on so far? Which project do you say was a success? What project are you currently working on?
- Rotaract Club (RC) Mella became part of Timret le Hiwot (which means ‘Collaborating for Life’) HIV/AIDS Network and is in an ongoing process of supporting 20 households by visiting them on holidays (Christmas, Easter, New Year, Maulid) providing them with clothes, blankets and other items. RC Mella has also supported the care givers of HIV patients that helped through the network by providing them with umbrellas and easy-to-use sanitary soaps.
- RC Mella was able to secure 29 free eye treatment cards from Sun Optics, to provide eye treatment for people in need.
- Some 20 members and families of RC Mella were part of the joint project of Rotaract Clubs in Ethiopia to donate blood at the Blood Bank to commemorate the Rotaract Week.
- RC Mella is a member of the Ethiopian Children’s Heart Fund Association. The Club has helped in providing guidance in financial matters of the association and has supported a fundraising event organized by the association.
- We helped PEFAN Orphanage (a local NGO) in organizing a fund raising event by providing assistance in the organizations and by selling tickets.
- RC Mella has collaborated worked with a local NGO to screen out 50 commercial sex workers for the provision of trainings in different skills.
- Throughout the four years since its establishment RC Mella has been part of the National Polio Plus Committee. Club members have participated in the National Immunization Days by vaccinating children. RC Mella has also participated in the social mobilization aspects of the Polio Campaign.
- The international service committee was able to share our club profile with Rotaract clubs who’ve responded to us asking them to share it with club members and other clubs in the district, thus promoting not only our country and club but also our projects.
- As part of the World Rotaract Week, the Rotaract Club of Mella was part of a small but humanitarian project of donating blood. The project was part of a worldwide project of donating blood during the Rotaract month of March. Rotaract Clubs from Slovenia, Brazil, Egypt and Ethiopia were part of this worldwide blood donating project. Please check out the link http://www.rotaractmd.org/news_distrikt.php?S_ID=15&dok=31&type=d&archiv=1 and/or http://www.rotary.org/newsroom/programs/060320_blood.html
- We were part of the special bulletin celebrating World Rotaract Week that was prepared by Rotaract Club of Calcutta. We were one of the 15 Rotaract clubs which submitted an article for the bulletin.
- As part of the international project of Rotaract Club of Alex SanstefanoAlexandria-Egypt to make an online library for different Rotaract Clubs logos. Rotaract Club of Mella sent it’s club logo & some of our club information like Club name, District, Country, Chartered Date, Members strength, Club theme, President and information of our club outstanding project so that our club and project can be introduced in their digital library that they intend to create.
- Our club has committed to be part of Rotaract Club of Nairobi Central’s Flag project and will be giving Ethiopia’s flag during the District Conference on 17 May 2006.
Professional and Vocational Service
- A carrier development project was developed that would help young professionals on how to prepare and present their resumes to employers. The write up for this project has been finalized. A local Newspaper to publish the series of articles on this carrier development strategy has been contacted and a letter our mother-club has been submitted to assist in sponsoring the column.
- We were able to organize a school trip for the HIV positive kids of “AHOPE Ethiopia” (philanthropic NGO) to get an official visit of the Ethiopian Airlines. The field trip was a success in that it was very much appreciated and enjoyable for the children.
- The professional service had arranged for club members to attend and participate in the Toast Master’s Club meetings. The Toast Master’s works towards the development of effective communication. Club members have benefited from the attendance and considerations are being made to attend these meetings on a sustainable basis.
- RC Mella has helped “AHOPE Ethiopia” to secure a fund worth 6,000 usd from an international NGO. RC Mella provided assistance particularly in filling out forms and giving guidance on how to develop their project proposal.
- RC Mella has invited the Director of EZNA Ethiopia in the Club meetings and has made arrangements to work in collaboration as far as professional and leadership development is involved. EZANA (which stands for Earnest and Endless Zeal Against Not-in-my-back-yard attitude) is a local NGO working towards personal and career development trainings and motivational schemes for young people in Ethiopia.
- RC of Mella is a founding club of the Young Leaders Network that was established amongst youngsters from different youth clubs and associations in the city.
- Through out the year Members of RC Mella have been attending different trainings, lectures and seminars that were organized by different organization.
- Members have effectively advocated the Club and Rotaract in general on various social events and at the diverse institutions members are involved in.
- Two members of the Rotaract Club of Mella were selected from District 9200 to be part of the outgoing GSE team who went to San Diego.
- Through club service we have been able to organize fantastic get-togethers (our Ramadan feast; European New years dinner comes to mind). Through the get-togethers we have been able to create a stronger bond not only as club members but also as friends.
- Membership extension and retention: we were able to induct at least three new members to our club.
- We have been having fellowship almost every month to celebrate Birthdays’ of members who are born in a particular month.
Public Awareness about Rotary
- Rotaract Clubs in Ethiopia have initiated the idea of establishing a National Rotary Website to bring Rotary in Ethiopia much closer to the world. Our club has submitted full information on the various activities of Mella in the different avenues of services. The site is fully sponsored and maintained by Afro Link Studio.
- Club members run 10 Kms for the Great Ethiopian Run, with the Club banner and the headband portraying the message “Mella Runs” advocating the work of our Club and Rotary. A field report was written about this event on the April issue of “THE ROTARIAN” dispatched to the Rotary family all over the world. Reference can be made to this link on more information on this: http://www.rotary.org/newsroom/features/0604_run.html
- A featured article with the “Volunteers Experience a meaningful New Year” was published on the Lion Newsletter, which is the American Community in Ethiopia, was published on October 19, 2005. The Article was about how Members of the Rotaract Club of Mella passed there Ethiopian New Year’s in by visiting families who are affected by HIV/AIDS.
- Awards received?
- We received an award from the Joy Autistic Center for Mella’s involvement in their project in creating awareness about Autism in Ethiopia and supporting fundraising schemes of the Center.
- Mella won the first place in the Bowling Fellowship Tournament between different Rotaract Clubs in Ethiopia organized by the new Rotaract Club of Alegnta.
- Rotaract Club of Mella got the Trophy in the Basket Ball tournament in the yearly sports festival organized by the Rotaract Club of Lewet,
- Rotaract Club of Mella was awarded the Best Club of the District Award for the year 2003-04. The received the award from District Governor Sur.
- Rotaract Club of Mella was awarded the Best Attendance award on the 78th District Conference, which was held in Mombassa, Kenya.
- What do you prioritize?
We prioritize friendship and self-development as we want to change/build our community
- What is your club signature project?
Currently Anti- Hepatitis is our signature project
- Professional Development programs you hosted?
We have organized many professional development programs in the past 15 years. Some of them are cooking class for one day, identifying and disputing irrational beliefs and the so.
12.What are your long term goals for the club?
Creating professionals, networking, building better community, To sustain and create more Rotaract and Rotary clubs.
When they first formed the club they had an idea of what it could one day become. What they have accomplished, the awards and even their union, was once a dream they sketched on their vision boards, something they had their agendas around. And most importantly, their 15th year anniversary was a long term plan, once. But it all came to life on the night of February 26, 2017. The name was not just a name, it wasn’t just “Mella” a name given to hopefully bring a solution. It was a night where they showed that they remained true to the name delivering nothing but solutions to all in those 15 years. And so the club celebrated the fruit of their name.
If you want to know more about the club visit them at:
Meeting Place – Rotary Center, Bole Behind Mega Building
Coffee Time – Every Thursday at My Burger starting 6pm