Rotaract is a space for connecting, learning, and collaborating –which are, according to Ala Abdesslam, Country Representative of Tunisia in Rotaract Mediterranean, three founding principles of the National Coordination of Rotaract Tunisia (CNRT). In this post, he will walk you through the Tunisian Rotaract experience.
Tunisia takes part in RI district 9010 along with Morocco, Algeria, and Mauritania. At the same time, it belongs with the Rotaract Mediterranean MDIO. Tunisian Rotaractors are well connected with the rest of the district and MDIO by participating in the different projects and events available. This continuous engagement is the result of the motivation of members to learn and discover and of the continuous work of the Tunisian national coordination.
The National Coordination of Rotaract Tunisia was founded in 2008 with the main objective of connecting all the 8 Rotaract clubs, back then, and members in the country. Today, it is composed of 54 Rotaract clubs and 2000 members. The clubs meet in national reunions organized by the coordination each first Sunday of the month in different locations around the country. During the national meetings, clubs and/or their representative in the national coordination receive all available updates on Rotaract in the country. They are also given the chance to announce their projects and ask for any kind of assistance from other clubs and/or the national committee.
How the National Coordination works
The national committee is composed of 6 officers; national coordinator, vice-coordinator, secretary, treasurer, sergeant-at-arms, and past-coordinator. All members of the national coordination are elected in the national convention (every June) after meeting specific requirements to present their candidatures. The coordination’s work is governed by its bylaws. Clubs vote on all additional points or modifications to these bylaws during a general assembly.
The elected committee has the authority to appoint members in positions such as committee-directors, coordinator assistants, country representative, event chairperson, and national-project chiefs. The appointments are made after a call for candidatures and a collective decision from all 6 members of the national committee.
The 54 clubs in Tunisia are divided into 8 groups and a Coordinator Assistant is appointed for each group. The assistants’ main objective is to ensure efficient information flow between clubs and national coordination. They assist clubs to develop and meet objectives without interfering in their internal matters unless they are asked to.
The International Committee
Promotes the work of the national coordination and Tunisian clubs on the international level. This committee is also responsible for exploring cooperation opportunities (twinning and projects) for Tunisian clubs to participate in, as well as opportunities and events for Tunisian Rotaractors to check or attend.
The international committee director represents Rotaract Tunisia on the international level and provides clubs and members with the latest updates from Rotary International. He/She can also help clubs in preparing candidatures to win Rotaract/Rotaract Mediterranean Outstanding Project Awards.
The Professional and Personal Development Committee
Ensures the adequate training of Rotaractors in various areas of the Rotaract, professional, and personal environments. The committee director is responsible for matching each of the 54 clubs with one of the 8approved trainers by the national coordination.
The training covers the fundamental aspects of the Rotaract work, Rotary/Rotaract history, and detailed club/coordination structure and ethics.
The Communication and Public Image Committee
This committee’s name speaks for itself; it works on promoting the work and effort of Rotaract Tunisia through various media channels. This committee’s mission is divided into 2 main parts; the first is internal while the second is public.
On the internal level, the committee provided all the updates on the coordination’s events and projects. On the external level, it promotes the work of Rotaract Tunisia, ensures its visibility, and supports its image.
The Fellowship Committee
The fellowship committee works on establishing and maintaining ties between Rotaractors on the personal/human level. The fellowship committee director can also assist the coordination’s national committee in organizing the different events and national meetings.
The Digitizing Committee
This committee works to provide digital solutions to the coordination’s work, database, and online flow of information. The digitizing committee director suggests the appropriate digital methods to use depending on the coordination’s need. He/She presides a carefully-selected team to develop these solutions and ensure their successful execution and usage.
The National Projects
Every year, the national coordination starts at least one national project in which all clubs can participate. The idea of this project can either come from the coordination’s leadership or any club through the online suggestion box.
- –Youth District Conference
Organized by the national committee in collaboration with the professional and personal development committee and with assistance and supervision from the district governor and DRR.The conference is organized to train Rotaractors through various speaker-interventions and workshops. It also welcomes and receives guests from all member-countries of the district.
Rotaract Tunisia believes in “work hard, party harder”. The annual party event is Dating, which takes place each December during the holiday and after most clubs complete their recruitment sessions.
It is a theme-based team-building that gathers old and new Tunisian Rotaractors to meet, greet, and party. Each year, the Dating gathers between 600-800 participants and is held in different locations around the country.
- –The Convention
Back to formal events, the convention takes place at the end of each term to evaluate the ending term and elect the incoming national committee for the following Rotarian year.Every year, the convention represents the occasion in which Tunisian Rotaractors recognize the effort of the outgoing members of the national coordination and congratulate them for it. The event ends with the transfer of responsibility between the outgoing and the newly-elected coordination committee members.
Efforts of the National Coordination During the COVID-19 Crisis
The Rotaract Gift
This project was a series of online interventions and performances to keep Rotaractors entertained at home during the confinement. From March, 20th to April, 23rd, the Facebook page of Rotaract Tunisia featured a new intervention or performance by a Rotarian or Rotaractors. The guests included artists from Rotaract Tunisia, the president of Rotaract Mediterranean, and the president of Rotary International.
The COVID-19 Jackpot
This project was the coordination’s effort to collaborate with all the Tunisian clubs and provide a hospital with some of the necessary equipment to fight the virus safely. The project received around 15.000 Tunisian Dinars (donations from Tunisian clubs and allocated budget from the national coordination).
Today, each weekend, the coordination’s team delivers a part of the equipment to the hospital.
The national coordination organized an awareness campaign as soon as the first COVID-19 cases were announced in Tunisia. The campaign featured online posts on the coordination’s social media pages and through posters in Tunis.
The campaign aimed to educate people on healthy practices and safetymeasures to protect themselves and their loved ones from the virus.
Distribution of Meals During the Holy Month of Ramadan
Due to the lockdown and confinement measures, many people lost their jobs including families that have been suffering from limited income even before the COVID-19 crisis. The streets of Tunis have been empty, but not from municipality and sanitation workers. Another group that was affected by the crisis are students from Sub-Saharan African countries.
The project aims to provide the 3 groups mentioned above with 400 daily meals. The national coordination allocated a budget for the project but also received donations from clubs and citizens.
Rotaract Tunisia is one of the finalists to host Interota 2023 (along with Rotaract Italy. The national coordination assembled a solid team and presented a bidding proposal that you can find here.
The National Coordination of Rotaract Tunisia is the perfect example of what Rotaractors can do when they collaborate and work together. Today, the Tunisian Rotaract family is growing every single day as more people are learning more about the movement and discovering its work all over the country.
Photo credits to the rightful owners.