Friday, 11 November 2016

Palmerston North Rotary - Youth Plus promotes citizenship and leadership for young people and more

When I visited Palmerston North Rotary they had just last weekend provided a very successful outing and lunch for Massey University international students to Cross Hills Gardens.  For many of the students this is their first time outside of their academic environment in Palmerston North, having arrived at the airport and being delivered straight to their university accommodation.

Youth is a key focus for Palmerston North Rotary which they have branded "Youth Plus".  Their overall goal is to promote citizenship and leadership for young people aged 5 to 25 years.  I encourage you to have a look at their Youth Plus website for some ideas about youth projects.  They have even appointed Rotary youth ambassadors at several schools,

President Ron Schalkwijk
As well as Rotary programmes such as RYLA, RYPEN and the National Science and Technology Forum, they also provide or support the Rotary Youth Music Festival, Primary and Intermediate Students Speech Festival and much more.

The Youth Music Festival is an innovative idea that I think would work well in many other communities. On one day in May, school students playing a range of instruments are matched with caf├ęs, providing talented music students with experience and exposure while entertaining cafe patrons.

Among many programmes for youth, the Icon Speaker series brings high profile speakers to as many as 250 to 500 students.  Previous speakers have been the Prime Minister, inspirational speakers Cam Calkoen and Jake Bailey, and comedian Terry Williams.

The stories Clubs tell are indicative of their culture.  A "can do" culture was demonstrated by the story of Palmerston North Rotarian Johan who persuaded a farmer to gift some land for the Sixtus Lodge Outdoor Education Centre which is now widely used by schools.

And then there are the many other projects and activities Palmerston North Rotarians are involved in.

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