Every minute every day, you and I have a chance of doing good – selfless deeds: service to humanity. I think of service as that act that shall outlive us. Let’s face it, we live in a world of less equity – the gap between the so called rich and the so called poor is wide – a world in need of selflessness to foster shared prosperity. Ladies and gentlemen journey with me, shall we?
Probably you have heard of Rotaract, most likely the Rotaract Club of JKUAT. Rotaract is an international service organization whose purpose, among others, is to provide an opportunity for students and young professionals to address the physical and social needs of their communities. Our primary motto is “Service above self” and on the rainy and muddy 19th day of November 2016 we trooped to Muthiga Hope Centre – a home of the underprivileged and vulnerable kids in Muthiga, Gatundu South Constituency, Kiambu County in Kenya.
Over the past few years we have made it upon ourselves to support the young ones at Muthiga; to basically be a gift to them. During the previous visit on the 16th of July 2016, we promised to be back bearing Santa Claus gifts and there we were with as many balloons and ribbons; gifts and donations; smiley faces and the most important of all: THE WILL TO SERVE. Our sponsor Rotary Club – the Rotary Club of Thika – had graciously donated two sheep for the early X-Mas feast and we were ready to feast and celebrate with our mentees.
The rain didn’t dampen the mood, we were happy to dance in the rain courtesy of the DJ of the day, @yobes_mr_right (on Instagram). From face painting to sheep slaughtering; from potato peeling to chapatti rolling everyone was literally on the move. The best feeling of them all is to interact with the kids; share in their wisdom and loosen to their laughter. It is always motivating to listen as upper primary kids tell of how hard they strive to better their grades in school over and above the inadequacy of resources. The fun-filled spirit of the three or four year old, who like the birds of the air believe that they shall never lack, is infectious.
As I had earlier highlighted, Rotaract is a global network of students and young professionals and on this particular day, the Rotaract Club of JKUAT was joined by the Rotaract Clubs of Thika, Mt. Kenya University, Zetech, Thika Technical Training Institute, NIBS and Karura from Kenya and Rotaract Clubs of Lewet and Abugida from Ethiopia. From the Rotaract Club of Lewet was the District Rotaract Representative i.e. DRR Abenezer Feleke. A district in Rotary terms is an administrative unit which consists of 80 – 120 Rotaract Clubs and the DRR is the head of Rotaract in the district. The Rotaract Club of JKUAT is a member of district 9212 which comprises of Rotaract clubs in Kenya, Ethiopia, Eritrea and South Sudan. Accompanying the DRR was the District Secretary, Michael Isayas, from RC Abugida.
Long story short: we roasted meat, ate chapatis (what’s the English name of chapatis?), danced, shared with our mentees and laughed out loud. The feeling in the evening was nothing but satisfying. We had bad days struggling to fundraise, long hours of planning, unfulfilling Whatsapp chats (but not with Rotaractors) but if that’s the cost of service let it be. We have a duty to serve. “Volunteering is the ultimate exercise in a democracy. You vote once in a couple of years, but when you volunteer, you vote every day about the kind of community you want to live in.”
In the fireworks, is a library for the Muthiga Hope Centre. It is said leaders are readers, and YES out of children raised in rather unstable backgrounds and / or have had traumatizing childhood experiences; we desire to raise leaders of character; captains of industry and great innovators – introduce to our mentees a world of infinite possibilities and we believe stocking a library will go a long way to achieve our goal. Click here to donate or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org for partnerships or inquiries.
Besides community service, Rotaract has numerous programs aimed at enhancing one’s professional and leadership skills. I do welcome you to join Rotaract and if a student at JKUAT, Rotaract Club of JKUAT is home. We hold weekly fellowships every Monday at CLB 002 from 7:00 P.M. to 8:30 P.M. We are also available on Twitter (@RC_Jkuat)
The writer is the President 2016-17, Rotaract Club of JKUAT.
The Rotaract Mission in Pictures