The month of September is designated as “New Generations Month” to focus on all Rotary activities that support the development of young people up to the age of 30.
It is the responsibility of each Rotarian to prepare the New Generations by improving their life skills to ensure a better future, while recognizing the diversity of their needs. All clubs and districts are encouraged to undertake projects that support the fundamental needs of the New Generations: health, human values, education, and self-development. The RI Structured Programs for New Generations are: Interact, Rotaract, Rotary Youth Leadership Awards, and Youth Exchange. Components of the Menu of Service Opportunities (e.g., Children at Risk, Health Care, Literacy and Numeracy) also address the needs of the New Generations.
Conferences for New Generations
At the community level, Rotary clubs should provide a forum for the New Generations to share with leaders of the community their concerns; express their hopes, dreams, and ambitions; and seek solutions to the problems that beset them and the communities in which they live. The purpose of New Generations conferences is to create a forum for dialog between community leaders and young people at the local level to:
1. provide young people with an opportunity to voice their concerns, articulate their vision of the future, and identify the support they need to achieve their goals;
2. encourage community leaders to include young people in the process of examining community needs;
3. instill a shared sense of responsibility for the success of the community.
Rights of Children
The RI Board has adopted the following statement with respect to RI’s position on the rights of children:
Rotary International, recognizing that:
1. children, because of their vulnerability, need special care and protection;
2. in all countries of the world there are children who are living in exceptionally difficult conditions;
3. all children should be able to grow into adulthood in an environment of peace, dignity, tolerance, freedom, and equality;
endorses and supports the rights of all children to food, shelter, health care, education, and freedom from abuse and violence. Rotary clubs around the world are committed to protecting these rights for all children, regardless of race, creed, or nationality.
Youth with Disabilities
Involvement by the disabled in youth projects should be sought and Rotary clubs and districts should contact and give every assistance to existing organizations with experience in providing service to the disabled. The statement concerning a club’s proper relationship to youth service organizations is also applicable to a club’s relationship to organizations that provide service to the disabled.
Rotary clubs and districts also are encouraged to:
1. invite youth with disabilities to join Interact clubs when possible;
2. invite the disabled to participate in career conferences and, at such meetings, have disabled workers or members of organizations that deal with the disabled provide information with respect to careers available after their schooling is finished;
3. invite disabled young people to participate in the Rotary Youth Leadership Awards program;
4. contact local, national, and international organizations which are involved with the disabled in order to find out how to be of assistance to them, and involve the disabled in local projects and others which are suggested through contact with such organizations.
Addressing Youth Problems
Clubs are encouraged to study the involvement of youth in criminal conduct and determine what can be done to alleviate the problem in light of local circumstances, seeking the help of Rotaract and Interact clubs where appropriate. Clubs and districts are encouraged to initiate and promote peer support programs through all appropriate vehicles available.