PH Rotaract Clubs’ Member Engagement Models shine at Singapore RI Convention 2024

By Louie Boy de Real | Posted on June 20, 2024

The unique ways of four Rotaract Clubs in the Philippines in creating positive club experience and engaging members were featured in Rotary International Convention 2024 held at Singapore through the breakout session “The Club Experience Matters” conducted last May 28, 2024.

Louie Boy de Real, a Filipino Rotaractor and Rotarian and is a member of the Rotary International Membership Committee, was one of the breakout session speakers along with Doris Grimm from Spain and Julie Ramchandani from Jamaica.

The breakout session dwelled on how Rotary and Rotaract clubs around the world can create an inclusive and energetic club experience that influences member satisfaction and retention.

Louie emphasized that there are a lot of available tools in My Rotary that can be used to understand how to better improve the club experience. The Rotaract Club of Lucena South, for instance, uses the Club Health Check resource of Rotary International and enhances it with additional questions relevant with the club. 

The Rotaract Club administers the survey to its members every year and uses the results in crafting the club’s training and strategic plan. The Rotaract Club pays very close attention to top club issues based on the survey results and treats these as top priorities for addressing by the incoming Rotary year. By putting premium on what matters most among members, the Rotaract Club establishes confidence in club leadership.

The Rotaract Club of Lucena South discussing the results of their Club Health Check

Louie also shared how the Rotaract Club of Zamboanga City West leveraged on the professions and interests of its members and tapped on the strengths and needs of the community in developing and implementing a sustainable service project for ATIWA, a progressive women-led farmer organization in Zamboanga City, Philippines who came from displaced families of a local rebel attack way back 2013.

Together with various community partners such as Kids Who Farm, the Rotaract Club has been able to set up a 2,000 square meter urban farm for ATIWA which soon became their main source of livelihood. The club’s members who are architects and engineers designed and constructed the ATIWA’s urban farm site. The members who are creative writers used their skill in marketing the produce of ATIWA. The success of the club’s interventions for ATIWA also inspired their sponsoring Rotary Club to sponsor a bakery for ATIWA members as an additional source of livelihood during off-farming seasons. 

The farm site constructed by Rotaract Club of Zamboanga City West and partners for Atiwa

Louie also shared how a unique club culture and identity can be used to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion in the organization. The Rotaract Club of Chinatown-Manila, whose members come from families of Chinese descent, used their club activities and projects to collaborate with other Rotaract clubs so they can know more about the Filipino-Chinese culture. Some activities they have conducted included dice games during Mooncake Festival and Chinese festivities during Lunar New Year celebrations.   

The Rotaract Club also treats each member as family members. In fact, they call fellow members as brothers or sisters during club meetings or activities. They even support fellow members with their personal or work problems, staying true to their club mantra that they are part of one family. The Rotaract Club also strengthened their council of Past Presidents to provide advice, inspiration and training for new members.  

The Rotaract Club of Chinatown-Manila during a Lunar New Year celebration

Louie also shared the positive club experience existing in his home clubs, the Rotaract Club of San Francisco del Monte Malaya Achievers and the Rotary Club of San Francisco del Monte. The Rotaract Club leveraged on the interests of its members with different sports and leisure activities as opportunities to encourage membership participation and develop deeper connections among members. 

Since 2010, the Rotaract Club has been organizing unique weekend fellowship activities such as hiking, church visits during holy week, beach outings, karaoke sessions, bowling, golf, badminton, roller skating, and a day in an arcade to name a few. These activities also serve as opportunities to introduce prospective members to the Rotaract Club and deepen connection of new members with tenured ones. Some of these activities also introduce members to sports or activities they have no experience doing and thereby becoming a tick on the bucket list. Some are also being undertaken to raise funds for club causes. 

The Rotaract Club of San Francisco del Monte Malaya Achievers during an arcade fellowship

The Rotaract Club also prides itself for having a very strong connection with its sponsor Rotary Club of San Francisco del Monte built through years of collaboration for various service projects, being perpetually invited to all Rotary club meetings, allowing Rotaractors to be speakers and even host of Rotary club meetings, and be involved in the sponsor Rotary club’s crafting of plans and activities for the year.  

As a final thought, Louie emphasized that creating the best club experience actually relies on how successful we are in listening, engaging and in working with our members and other stakeholders. Club experience shall be a product of members and program participants’ interests. Hence, Louie is encouraging clubs globally to start asking their members how their clubs can create the best club experience.

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