Youth Services


By District Governor Julie Mason

Children have never been very good at listening to their elders, but they have never failed to imitate them.” 
 James Baldwin

A lovely  and pertinent saying is that ”It takes a village to raise a child” and I am convinced that our work in Rotary plays a significant role in creating opportunities for children to thrive and become caring, thoughtful citizens of the world. I would suggest that every Rotary Club in District 9800 has a program or project that supports children and young people. I am aware of weekend camps that enable disadvantaged youth to have challenging and indeed life changing experiences. The programs that enable young people to have a voice through Public Speaking and those scholarships that are awarded to enable further education to occur are often the motivation to better education and a successful work life. The mentoring that occurs when Rotarians commit to sponsoring EarlyAct and Interact Clubs should never be underrated, and how wonderful it is to hear the Rotarians from Brighton North regularly go to school to listen to young people, who are often not supported at home, read, and share literacy enhancing conversations.

Then I remember the wonderful work that is done by our Rotarians and friends at the Donations in Kind store who gather, sort and send books, clothes and school resources to children in need all around the world. I am impressed by the Rotary Foundation funded projects that provide clean water and crops to villages, toilets for school children to use and opportunities for families to develop small businesses to create a better life.

When all is said and done our Rotary world is a small place and the importance of peace and understanding is a priority for now and for future generations. Two signature District Programs, Youth Exchange and the Peace Fellows provide the impetus for young people to gain a deep understanding of all that is needed for a future world free from conflict, where children from all cultural backgrounds really do live as one. As I say to my students regardless of the colour of our skin, our brains where we think and make decisions, and our hearts where we feel, are the same colour!

It is now acknowledged that Family Violence has a significant impact on children. Children exposed to family violence have difficulties controlling their emotions often develop depression, poor reading and language skills, and have difficulties making and maintaining friendships. Unfortunately I see this on a regular basis, and acknowledge that it will remain a societal problem for some time. I do know that thanks to Brighton Rotary, with the Violence Free Family initiative, as an organisation, Rotary in District 9800 is part of the solution. I do know that if every Rotary Club in our great District made a connection with a local school with a promise to provide assistance to children affected by family violence, then enhanced resources would ensure better educational opportunities. If you want to get an understanding of the impact that family violence has on a child, and you have a box of tissues handy, please got to You Tube and watch a video called ReMoved.

The Rotarian Action Group for Family Safety, in formation stage and supported  by Clubs in District 9800 and overseas, is creating a resource bank to help Clubs address family violence issues in their communities.  The idea is that you let her know the programs that your club is supporting. I commend this request to you and ask that you support Gladys Liu in her endeavours.

Please let Gladys Liu know whom to contact in your Club to follow up this initiative.

Please email: cc

May we in our Rotary work, continue to do whatever is necessary to support our young people to have a safe and happy life.

We cannot always build the future for our youth, but we can build our youth for the future. 
Franklin D. Roosevelt

Enjoy Rotary as you are……. a Gift to the World.

Ubuntu: I am, because you are.

Julie Mason

District Governor

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