Rotary members know more about PH and Asia Pacific Rotaract MDIOs at RI Convention Singapore 2024

By Louie Boy de Real | Posted on June 22, 2024

Past District Rotaract Representative (PDRR) Louie Boy De Real, who is a Past Chair of both Philippines and Asia Pacific Rotaract Multi-District Information Organizations (MDIOs), was given the chance to feature the two MDIOs during the Rotary International (RI) Convention 2024 Breakout Session on MDIOs – Supporting Our People and Empowering Change held at Singapore last May 29, 2024.

PDRR Louie shared the breakout session with Taylor Huie from USA, Executive Director of Ascension Rotaract Network MDIO and Julian Seethaler from Germany, Chairman of Rotaract Germany MDIO.

The breakout session panellists acknowledged that there is still a lot to be done in spreading awareness, especially among Rotarians, of the vital role of Rotaract MDIOs in providing leadership training and beyond the club engagement for Rotaractors in certain countries and regions. 

Rotaract MDIOs are the RI-recognized Rotaract regional structures which are voluntarily formed by two or more districts in a country/region for the purpose of strengthening information dissemination and facilitating communication among Rotaract clubs in the participating districts. There are 27 active MDIOs globally.

Taylor Huie explaining what is a Rotaract MDIO

As per Rotary Code of Policies Section 12.090, Rotaract MDIOs purposes include building a sense of community and common purpose in the region; offering leadership opportunities that engage members beyond the club or district; and strengthening the relationship between Rotaract and Rotary at the club, district, zone, and regional level. Rotaract MDIOs also organize multi-district fellowship and service projects.

PDRR Louie shared how Pilipinas Rotaract MDIO collaborated with the zone leaders and the country’s unique Rotary structures such as the Philippine Rotary Magazine and the Philippine College of Rotary Governors to implement joint activities and initiatives as well as to tap Rotary regional leaders as resource persons for the MDIO’s learning events. Pilipinas Rotaract MDIO has an existing partnership with the Philippine Rotary Magazine for the provision of a digital platform for a Philippine Rotaract Magazine run by Rotaractors for Rotaractors.

Pilipinas Rotaract MDIO is also lauded for advancing Rotary’s public image by rallying Rotaractors to promote the public image brand of Rotary which is the People of Action. Rotaract Clubs create People of Action Ads, with the guidance of the MDIO, and featured in MDIO’s social media channels. The MDIO has also started recognizing clubs with the best People of Action ads.

Pilipinas Rotaract MDIO is also unique for having a national recognition program for Rotaractors and Rotaract clubs through the Groundbreaking and Exemplary Accomplishments of Rotaractors (GEAR) Awards running already for four years. 

Pilipinas Rotaract MDIO is also one of the firsts, if not the first in the Rotary world, to have sealed a local partnership with Toastmasters, an educational organization that operates clubs worldwide for the purpose of helping people develop communication, public speaking, and leadership skills. Pilipinas Rotaract MDIO and Toastmasters District 75 Philippines have been implementing a speechcraft program for Rotaractors for four years already using the RI-Toastmasters modules available at the Rotary Learning Center. 

The Asia Pacific Rotaract MDIO meanwhile is an MDIO focused on international connection and collaboration. Asia Pacific Rotaract MDIO covers almost 30,000 Rotaractors in around 1,700 Rotaract clubs in more than 100 districts in 8 Rotary Zones (Zones 1-3 and 8-12) and 25 countries/territories in East and Southeast Asia, Australia and the Pacific Islands. It works closely with national MDIOs in the region namely, Philippines, Taiwan, Australia, and Oceania.

Recognizing that some districts and countries in the Asia Pacific region do not have MDIOs to provide them with leadership training, mainly for their District Rotaract Representatives, the Asia Pacific Rotaract MDIO organizes an annual Leadership Summit inviting Rotary staff and Regional Leaders in globally and in the region as speakers.

The Asia Pacific Rotaract MDIO’s flagship event is the Asia Pacific Regional Rotaract Conference (APRRC). For 20 years, it has served as a platform to cultivate the leadership skills of Rotaractors in the region, provide opportunity for ideas and cultural exchanges, as well as promote fellowship and service project collaboration. It was initiated in 2004 and has already been held in Hong Kong, Taiwan, Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, Australia, Thailand, Japan, and Korea. The 2025 APRRC will be held for the first time in Mongolia.

PDRR Louie will be the Chair of Rotary International Subcommittee for Rotaract for Rotary Year 2024-2025. The subcommittee is tasked to provide the Rotary International Board guidance on what products, services and policies are needed to further support Rotaract as a distinct and valued membership type in RI.

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