Table Speech

Observing World Rotaract Day
Active Roaractors

March 9th 2005

President of the Tokyo Rotaract Club
Mr.Kumiko Kojima

The term Rotaract is a combination of the words Rotary and action. Members are men and women of the ages of 18 to 30. Some are students and some are active in our society.

There are more than 7,600 Rotaract Clubs in 150 countries, with a total membership of 170,000. In Japan, we have more than 420 clubs with 7,000 members.

The 3 main roles of the Rotaract Club are 1. develop professional skills 2.engage in social service projects 3.develop leadership skills.

We are trying to cover all three. The members of the Tokyo Rotary Club are helping us in developing professional skills by speaking to us at our regular meetings.

The Tokyo Rotaract Club was organized on March 28, 1973 at this Imperial Hotel and we are greeting our 32nd Anniversary. In those days, the idea of serving as volunteers had not taken root, and the organizers had a difficult time in explaining its aims to the young people.

Former members of the Tokyo Rotaract Club now are quite active in our society today, and some are members of the Tokyo Rotary Club. This year, our club has chosen the Pioneer Spirit as our theme for the year.

Listening to the Tokyo Rotary Club’s elders is quite important, but we feel that we should been more active in carrying out our projects. We meet twice a month, and one of them we hold on the third Saturday of each month from 6 p.m. at the Gakushi Kaikan in Kanda, where Rotarians and other knowledgeable persons are invited and listen to them speak.

Although in the past there was a time when we had 40 members, the present number is 27. We are recovering well from our low of 4 members, and when meeting were not held for a year.

We are laying stress on the development of professional skills and as there are many frontline businessmen in the Tokyo Rotary Club our meeting are mainly consisting of having them come to address our members. As there are only 20 or so attend each meeting, it becomes an intimate occasion with a question and answer session. After the meeting we go over to a neighboring club for dinner where we enjoy our fellowship.

For our Community Service projects which derive from the Rotary creed of Service Above Self, we are engaging in volunteer activities such as cleaning up our streets and serving as helpers for the Special Olympics. We have also held meeting with the mentally handicapped, and in December every year we hold a Charity Christmas Party with the proceeds going to various charities.

Last year we donated funds to overseas NGOs and this year to the Niigata Rotaract Club to help victims of the recent earthquake in their area.

We are able to obtain skills as leaders by engaging in these projects and obtain the know how of managing an organization.

We feel that our scope of social knowledge has been broadened by association with Rotarians and by meeting persons whose backgrounds and system of values differ.

As for international exchange, as the Tokyo Rotary Club is now a sister club with that of Washington D.C., we are looking forward to closer this ties with their Rotaract Club.

Our members are increasing, but we wish to increase our members so that we can be a more active club. Please remember that we meet on the 3rd Saturday of every month and we would like to welcome as many of you as possible.