District 3450 Rotary Foundation Committee 2023-2024

By PDG Belinda Yeung, JP, Rotary Club of Hong Kong Harbour

Rotary International’s Structured Programs for Youth Service are: Interact, Rotaract, Rotary Youth Leadership Awards, and Youth Exchange. The month of May is designated as “Youth Service Month” to focus on all Rotary activities that support the development of young people up to the age of 30.

Youth Service recognizes the importance of empowering youth and young professionals through leadership development programs.

Rotary’s programs are developing the next generation of leaders, providing funding to make the world a better place, and making peace a priority.

Youth Service includes:

  • Rotaract
  • Interact
  • Rotary Youth Leadership Awards
  • Rotary Youth Exchange

Rotary Showcase

Learn more about how Rotary supports youth:



Interact clubs bring together young people ages 12-18 to develop leadership skills and learn about the world through service projects and activities.

Interact clubs organize at least two projects every year, one that helps their school or community and one that promotes international understanding. Rotary club sponsors mentor and guide Interactors as they carry out projects and develop leadership skills.

  • World Interact Week
  • Interact Video Awards
  • Rotary Youth Day at the United Nations
  • Global Youth Service Day

RYLA is a leadership development program for young people who want to learn new skills, build their confidence, and have fun. Events range from one-day seminars to weeklong camps.

RYLA events are organized locally by Rotary clubs and districts for participants ages 14-30. Depending on community needs, RYLA may take the form of a one-day seminar, a three-day retreat, or a weeklong camp. Typically, events last 3-10 days and include presentations, activities, and workshops covering a variety of topics.

The community might host a RYLA event for secondary school students to hone their leadership potential, for university students to develop creative problem-solving strategies, or for young professionals to learn ethical business practices.

Rotary Youth Exchange builds peace one young person at a time. Students learn a new language, discover another culture, and truly become global citizens. Exchanges for students ages 15-19 are sponsored by Rotary clubs in more than 100 countries.

Long-term exchanges last a full academic year, and students attend local schools and live with multiple host families.

Short-term exchanges last from several days to three months and are often structured as camps, tours, or homestays that take place when school is not in session.

Room and board are provided, as well as any school fees.

Each program varies, but students usually need to pay:

  • Round-trip airfare
  • Travel insurance
  • Travel documents
  • Spending money; and
  • Any additional travel or tours

New Generations Service Exchange is a short-term, customizable program for university students and professionals up to age 30. Participants can design exchanges that combine their professional goals with a humanitarian project.

With your host Rotary district, you’ll plan activities that can include networking, relationship building, humanitarian service, professional development, and leadership training. Exchanges:

  • Last from a few weeks to six months
  • Can be arranged for individuals or groups
  • Need not be reciprocal

Costs vary by Rotary club or district. To reduce expenses, Rotary members often provide homestay options, arrange no-cost internship or job-shadowing programs, and offer other financial assistance. 

Lorelei Higgins’ youth exchange taught her to be adaptable and flexible, skills she is using as an employee of the City of Calgary, redirecting restaurant food to those in need during the pandemic.

Isabelle Roughol’s Youth Exchange to New Jersey launched her on a global life and global career.

Tim Pfrogner took part in a water filter project in the Dominican Republic during his Rotary Youth Exchange. The experience altered his career trajectory.

Trustee Chair Message

Barry Rassin
Foundation Trustee Chair 2023 – 24

The environmental threats my country is facing are real. Our coral reefs, vital for biodiversity, are in danger due to warming seas and pollution. Hurricanes and tropical storms seem to get more intense with each passing year. Rising sea levels pose an existential threat to the Bahamas, eroding our beautiful coastlines as saltwater intrudes on our precious and limited freshwater resources.

Late last year, I was fortunate to represent Rotary at COP28, the United Nations climate change convention in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. The consensus coming out of the meeting was that progress on addressing climate change has been too slow. Participants said the world needs to pick up the pace to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, help communities become more resilient to climate change, and better support countries that are most vulnerable to it.

Rotary can be part of the protecting the environment is one of Rotary’s areas of focus. solution. As you know, Many clubs are active in their communities with projects such as beach and roadside cleanups. With The Rotary Foundation, you can increase your impact by pooling resources with clubs and districts around the world. Foundation grants let you put the generous contributions of your fellow Rotary members to work to make the world better.

Imagine the possibilities. Perhaps Rotary districts in Canada and Australia could protect wetlands in New South Wales in Australia. Rotary leaders from Brazil, India, and Taiwan could lead grant projects to train farmers in the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh in sustainable agriculture. Rotary and Rotaract clubs from the Bahamas, South Africa, and New York could work with their districts to help my country restore its natural resources, one reef or mangrove at a time.

The problems our environment faces seem overwhelming until you realize that many are fixable. There are so many ways to help through Rotary. Even if we don’t lead a grant or volunteer on the project  we can all help protect the environment through our giving to the Foundation. Rotary can’t save the planet all by itself. But as our progress in ending polio proves, Rotary’s impact is great when we put our vision for a better world in motion, and just get started.

D3450 Rotary Figures (2023-2024)

Language learning corner: Let’s speak Mongolian!!!