The rotary club of Virunga is one of the four rotary clubs in Rwanda. This club like all the other clubs is dedicated to giving voluntary service to the community. Rotarians meet every Wednesday to plan for new better ways to help the community in which they live.
The Rotary club of Kigali –Virunga has helped change a lot on the Rwanda scene by working with other clubs and NGOs to help the needy. It is for example, involved in the Public Library project together with the ministries of Infrastructure (MINAFRA) and Education (MINEDUC).
The club is determined to see to it that Kigali gets a well-stocked and modern Library. The club helped raise some of the funds that have been used to embark on the project. It is also involved in building boreholes in a bid to provide safe and clean water to the people of Rwanda and other projects.
It also works with NGOs like Send a Cow Rwanda and Hope to Hope by providing marching grants, which help these organisations. This helped them access funds that they would not normally get due to a lack of trust on the side of the donors/sponsors.
Rotary club of Kigali –Virunga also contributes to an international Polio Plus fund. This fund is used to help fight the spread of polio throughout the world, by giving free immunisation drugs to governments and NGOs around the world.
The club is also involved in mentoring young people through the interact and Rotaract clubs throughout the country. Developing the potential of the young generation is one of the club’s major contributions towards the young generation.
Young people are provided with leadership training, guidance and counselling. The club firmly believes in preparing for a bright future by preparing the youth. It is, however, about not only work and no play. Members are given a chance to have fun while at the same time working to serve the community.
At each meeting members share jokes, discuss and share different ideas and each month they take part in a home hospitality event. At a home, members meet for ‘swallow ship’ as some people call it, a gathering to eat, drink and have lots of fun.
This November the home hospitality was hosted by Rotarian Nils and his wife Chantal at their home in Kimihurura. The Rotarians joked, laughed and enjoyed each other’s company but occasionally, you would hear someone raise a concern about a suffering section of the community that needs attention.
This led me to believe that these people actually live by their motto “Service above self”. Can you imagine thinking of the plight of the rest of humanity even at an event like this?
The ‘swallow ship’ spiced with lots of laughter and garnished with the spirit of friendship, went very well and was highlighted by the induction of new members. Four members in total were inducted after undergoing a short training to allow them familiarise themselves with the working of the club.
They were then given a flag from the club and a lapel pin from the Rotary club international. Yours truly here was also inducted and that’s why she knows about all this. This function was presided over by the current president of the club, CP Mutanguha Zephyr.
He encouraged the inductees to uphold the standards of the club in the community and always remember to give service above ‘self’ and try everything they do with the four-way test. Is it the truth? Is it fair to all concerned? Will it build good will and better friendship? Will it be beneficial to all concerned?
This year’s club theme is “making dreams real”. The club is committed to making dreams real for many sections of the community, as its members are ever ready to extend help in every way possible. It is done both in monetary and non-monetary terms and especially by simply being there.