The Rotary Foundation Seminar : New Ways to Serve the World

‘’The Rotary Foundation transforms your gifts into service projects that change lives both close to home and around the world.’’

The Rotary Foundation has spent more than $4 billion on life-changing, sustainable projects.

As Rotaract Mediterranean, we are determined to inform our fellow Rotaractors regarding how they can benefit from the work of the Rotary Foundation as Rotaract Clubs, and how they can implement the global grants to their projects. Hence, as the Med Times Team, we are hosting today the president and past president of Rotaract Mediterranean Maryem Sehli and Jad Salame, concerning our upcoming Seminar.

L : Welcome Jad and Maryem, it is a pleasure to host you here today. First of all, can you introduce yourselves to our audience?

M: Hello everyone! My name is Maryem Sehli, I am from Tunisia and I am the past president of Rotaract Club Rades. This year I am the president of Rotaract Mediterranean MDIO. I am twenty seven years old and I am doing my PhD in Computer Science. That’s all!

J: I am Jad Salame. I have been a Rotaractor for nine years, during those nine years I have held most positions in my club except Secretary. Then I joined Rotaract Mediterranean and started serving on an international level. Being first Treasurer, Vice President and finally President last year. On a professional level, I am an engineer and I am managing a division in my company.

L: Perfect. As you know, we are here today to discuss our upcoming Seminar with the Rotary Foundation.What is the vision of the Rotary Foundation ,can you inform us a little bit about them?

M: Starting this year, we have lots of changes in relation to elevate Rotaract. Rotaractors can now pay their fees directly to Rotary International, we also have the age limit change and the benefits from the Rotary Foundation. So, starting this year, Rotaractors can apply to the global grants and we would like to make the process clear to each Rotaractor, especially in our region which is the Mediterranean. We started last year with the Rotaract-Rotary Seminar ,and this year is a continuation of what we have done in the past. In this Seminar, we are welcoming participants from all over the world and not just our own region.

L: So Jad, as the past president, can you tell us about what was done in previous years by Rotaract Mediterranean in regards to global grants? And why did Rotaract Mediterranean organize this seminar in the first place?

J: Of course. I would firstly like to remind our audience that the Rotary Foundation is a separate entity than Rotary International. The Foundation is the entity that gathers all the funds and redirects the funds to the projects, such as the polio fund. Since Rotaract is elevated now, the Rotaract Clubs will also be a contributors and beneficiaries of the funds. Concerning what we have done, since this is a new topic, we have raised our own funds in the past. But after Elevate Rotaract we are a part of the Rotary Foundation. As Rotaract Mediterranean, one of our goals is to provide training and information to the Rotaractors regarding what is happening. Since all Rotaractors were requesting such kind of knowledge, we have come up with the idea of the Rotary Foundation Seminar with other MDIO’s such as Rotaract Africa and Rotaract SEARIC. We have also hosted the vice president of Rotary International and also Christina Covotsou-Patroclou from RRFC Zone 21 , covering this topic as an introduction.

L: This has answered a lot of questions our readers may have in mind. Yet, I still have some more. Maryem, can you provide us with some more information regarding this year’s seminar? When is it going to be held and what does it entail to pique the interest of our fellow Rotaractors?

M: The Seminar will be held in three sessions instead of one. We will have one each Thursday starting with November 17th, at 8.30pm CET. And also we will have the first session as a one and a half hour introduction to inform our participants regarding the Rotary Foundation ,featuring interactive seminars and quizzes as well as a training, while also including a Q&A Session.After we will have second session as a formal session, and the last session will feature the members of the grant office to provide us with a training. The participants will be provided with a certificate and also we will offer appreciation certificates to all the Med Clubs that have joined us in the seminar. So make sure to follow us on Instagram and Facebook to inform yourselves regarding the event.

L: Definitely, make sure to follow our Instagram and Facebook pages by typing Rotaract Mediterranean, and the Med Times of course by typing Frankly, I am looking forward to attending this seminar. As a last question though, Jad and Maryem, do you have any ending remarks for rotaractors and rotarians who are reading our article, and maybe some words to motivate them to join?

J: I would like to add that Elevate Rotaract has a lot of opportunities for Rotaractors, one of which is being a part of the Rotary Foundation. We should firstly obtain the most possible information as clubs and individuals to benefit from these opportunities so that we can apply for a grant. That is what we as Rotaract Mediterranean are doing as a first step, informing ourselves regarding the Rotary Foundation, and sharing this information with Clubs and Rotaractors.

M: I would like to mention that in our organization ,Rotary International, many opportunities are provided for Rotaractors. As an MDIO, it is our responsibility to share the information with all Rotaractors. Especially this year, we have a lot of new information and changes, hence this seminar will be quite important for Rotaractors to obtain such knowledge. We are aware that we have lots of ideas and projects that we would like to realize as Rotaractors, and the funding is usually the most difficult yet most essential part to make that happen. Here, we are providing this opportunity for Rotaractors to know more about the Rotary Foundation so that we can help them to fulfill their goals.

As you can see, dear readers of MedTimes, Rotaract Mediterranean has come up with another great event to provide more information for clubs to pave the way for effective and innovative projects. We think that everyone can benefit from this seminar and we are all encouraging you to join!

Written by Melis Leyal Gürel

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