By Erika Emerick, October 5, 2018, Published in Rotary International

Every October, Rotary celebrates Economic and Community Development month. To combat unemployment, underemployment, and lack of training, Rotaractors around the world work to empower entrepreneurs and community leaders in local communities.

Check out these projects focusing on Economic and Community Development that were nominated for the 2017-18 Rotaract Outstanding Project Awards:

  • The Rotaract Club of Fresh Start Shanghai, China organized the Impact Job Fair where participants sharpened their professional skills, improved their interviewing skills, and interacted with social entrepreneurs, NGOs, and start-up representatives to find a job with impact. Rotaractors provided counseling to students on diverse topics ranging from exploring current opportunities to personal branding on social media.
  • Over the course of six months, young people between the ages 16-19 were trained in gastronomy, thanks to the Rotaract Club of Sao Paulo Liberdade’s Chef Apprentice project in Brazil. The apprentices, previously in search of their first job, learned about healthy food, sustainability, recycling in the kitchen, and nutrition. At the end of the training, the Rotaractors hosted a cooking competition in which the apprentices prepared an appetizer, main course, and dessert to impress jurors who could, in addition to good grades, offer employment opportunities at their restaurants.
  • The Rotaract Club of Kisumu, Kenya partnered with community leaders and organizations to plant fruit trees at the local primary school. Through this project, the Rotaractors educated the local community on environmental conservation, increased availability of nutritional food for students, and generated income for parents—all at the same time. Parents of the school children received mentoring on how to build a tree nursery and generate income, and the children continue to receive the fruits of their labor.
  • The Rotaract Club of Hassaram Rijhumal College of Commerce and Economics, India educated women and youth on the construction and installation of solar street lights in local villages, where electricity is otherwise unavailable to community members. Rotaractors stayed in the villages for additional week to teach entrepreneurial skills to the participants. At the end of the week, the participants presented their business ideas, and the top ideas received capital and additional support.

Northwestern University Rotaractor Lauren Coffaro (left) and Pisco Rotaractor Jassu Zamudio dump sand that will be used to build new latrines in El Molino, Peru. Members of the Rotaract Club of Northwestern University, Illinois, USA, are volunteering with Pisco Sin Fronteras, a local organization that provides sustainable disaster relief and rebuilds local communities, during a spring break service trip to Pisco, Peru. 23 March 2010.

These projects were nominated for the 2017-18 Rotaract Outstanding Project Awards. Does your club have an outstanding project? Nominate it for a chance to earn US$1000 toward a future service project. Learn more at

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