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The way forward

Vocational service offers each and every Rotarian the chance to share his or her personal and professional skills with groups or individuals that we as an organisation seek to assist.

The list of what has been done in the past is only matched by the potential for what will be done in the future, not the repetition of past events but in finding new challenges and matching Rotarians' talents to them.

A way to do this is for clubs to look within and ask members to register their professional and personal skills on a club database that will enable the various service committees to draw on appropriate individuals when their talents are needed. Such a database should also consider interests and hobbies as these can be as valuable as professional skills when a need arises. Once clubs have these databases then it can spread to districts to widen the availability of specialist skills and ultimately to the RIBI network.

Imagine a club receiving a call from a school that needs help with specialist knowledge in stamp collecting. The local club may not have a member who can help but from amongst the 56,000 members in RIBI there will be an expert who can fill the need.

Vocational service is not just what we do for Rotary activities it is the Rotarian in us that affects how we act in our vocation.

Our ethical stance as an organisation is an area that, currently, we are not as well known for and there is an opportunity to alter that. Business and personal ethics are a hot topic and although many people are talking about it there seems to be no discussion about what it means. As adherents to the Four Way Test and the Declaration of Rotarians in Business, Rotary is ideally placed to take the initiative and start a process of discussions that has a wide range of implications for business, individuals and education establishments.

Just like the skills database, this will not take place overnight and it had been planned for a seminar to be held for district representatives who would produce a template for clubs to follow in holding their own events with local businesses or schools to discuss ethical behaviour. This was cancelled but a questionnaire had been produced that aimed to show a snapshot of Rotarians' views on ethics. There were 75 respondents and their replies are shown in the related document ‘Ethics survey results 2011' in the related downloads area at the end of this page.

Although a small sample of our membership, it is suggested that the views are representative of the views of Rotarians in general. The challenge now is to take these views and see if others can be stimulated into joining a debate on how to can promote the best types of behaviour and reduce the worst.

Rotarians are in a unique position, with a non-political or religious stance, Rotary has an impartial voice and an unbiased platform and, as representatives of the local business community, Rotarians are ideally placed to know what is going on in communities.

So how can these ideas be progressed? Here are a few suggestions:

  • Draw up the skills database of your club members and then share it with others in your district?
  • Have a discussion in your club based around the questions and answers from the survey.
  • Look at ways in which you can promote Rotary's ethical stance in your community.
  • Hold discussions in schools on the Four Way Test and ask ‘can it always be adhered to?'
  • Produce posters of the Four Way Test for display in schools
  • Invite local businesses to your club meeting to take part in a discussion on the Rotarians in Business declaration

Do not forget to share your ideas and take the opportunity to attract new members to your club.

The Vocational Service Committee welcomes your success stories.

Ethics survey results 2011 Ethics survey results 2011 Download Ethics survey results 2011
Vocational Service 'What can you do' Vocational Service 'What can you do' Download Vocational Service 'What can you do'
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