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Dokuz Eylül Interact Club is a service club for the youth, which operates under the sponsorship of Dokuz Eylül Rotary Club.  Its members are 12-18 years of age or at primary-high school age. Interact gives teenagers the opportunity to joyfully take part in meaningful service projects. During such work, Interactors develop their leadership skills and make new friends. Interactors can have access to many sources of International Rotary (IR) and Rotary Foundation. International Rotary provides administrative support for the development of Interact clubs. While traveling around the world when he was in the office in 1959-60, the IR president Harold T. Thomas realized that Rotarians had a common and far-reaching belief that Rotary potential to develop Youth services was not fully understood. In 1960, Thomas appointed a committee consisting of 5 Rotarians to investigate the matter and two years later, 23 students from Melbourne High School came together to establish the first Interact club in Melbourne, Florida, USA. Interact means “International Action” and nearly 200,000 teenagers and 8,700 clubs in more than 110 countries today make Interact a totally international entity. With the far-reaching gear of Interact service activities, young people have spread fellowship and international understanding all over the world.

From service activities, Interactors learn the importance of

  • Developing their leadership skills and personal integrity,

  • Showing helpfulness and respect to others,

  • Understanding the significance of their responsibilities and hard work, and

  • Improving international understanding and goodwill.

How did Interact join the Rotary Family?

With its 31,000 clubs and more than 1.2 million members, International Rotary is a worldwide service organization featuring women and men who are leaders in their area of business or profession. Interact clubs are self-supporting and self-managing entities but they receive consultancy from their sponsoring Rotary club. Such sponsorship is the result of the belief of Rotary, the youth or the New Generations in actively engaging in social life and finding the opportunity for professional development. Founding an Interact club is one of the most rewarding activities a Rotary club can undertake in its community. The Interact program gives young female and male Rotarians consultancy with the condition that they direct their attention to not only their own society but also the global population. Rotarians act as a route for Interactors to become occupational and social leaders. An Interact club may bring new energy to a Rotary club, inspire new ideas for service, increase support to projects, and foster Rotarians of the future.

What does an Interact Club do?

The goal of international service among Interacts is to promote, develop and advance international understanding, goodwill, and peace among the worldwide group of youngsters who unite for the ideal of service. Interact clubs organize various projects and activities in line with the interests of the club members. In addition to this, all clubs included in the Interact program undertake the activities of developing leadership skills, serving their own communities, and advancing international understanding. These activities as a whole require a balanced club program and enable Interactors to have important experiences and opportunities for their personal development. The most important guiding principle of Rotary is Service Before Yourself. The service projects of Interact clubs are designed in a way to improve quality of life at home and in the community. These projects often target today’s very important issues such as violence, drug abuse, AIDS, famine, environment, and illiteracy. Each Interact club is supposed to complete at least two projects in a year, one aiming at social service and the other helping develop international understanding. Each project should be carried out with the participation of all or the majority of the club members.

Why to Establish an Interact Club?

Today’s youth will be tomorrow’s mothers and fathers, professionals, business leaders, and social leaders. With the help of programs like Interact, they can gain the experience and skills to become responsible and productive members of the society. Now is the time for Rotary clubs to focus on the future by directing New Generations to utilize their natural talents, develop their skills and endure difficult circumstances they will face throughout their lives. Interact programs may impart life skills to their members, which they can share with future generations.

What have Interact Clubs done?

Each Interact club is encouraged to implement two service projects every year. Below are some examples of Interact projects from across the world:

  • By combining their powers, four Canadian Interact clubs joined the Singapore Rotary Club’s ‘aid to Cambodians with chronic vision difficulties’ program.  Interacts collected approximately 500 pairs of glass and small medical equipment and sent them to the Rotarians in Singapore.

  • They raised money for the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund. Interacts in South Africa worked 48 hours to make the world’s longest spaghetti. A huge social and media support helped them promote this event and receive donations of money and materials from people. After finishing the spaghetti one mile in length, Interacts divided it into edible portions and distributed them to various local shelters as a charity.

  • They helped protect the environment from the effects of old batteries; Interactors collected used batteries in Ayacucho, Argentina and put them in cement tubes, and sealed them to prevent the harm of acid leakage. This project has provided inspiration for similar environmental efforts in other parts of the country.

  • Madera Interact club in California, USA has been traveling to Ensenada, Mexico every year to implement an international project. They join their forces with the other Interact and Rotary clubs in California to build a playground in Ensenada. They start preparations months before their journey by repolishing the playground equipment donated in California. They cross the border to transport the equipment and install them in various places for more than two days with the help of Rotarians in Ensenada. They have built more than 50 playgrounds in 18 years.

  • Interact clubs collected more than 1,500 pieces of clothes in Juti district of Brazil, they repaired them and distributed to more than 300 families in need.

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