Youth development

Rotary Youth Exchange

A 12-month stay with a host family in a different country.

The most powerful force in the promotion of international understanding and peace is exposure to different cultures.

The world becomes a smaller, friendlier place when we learn that all people – regardless of nationality – desire the same basic things: a safe, comfortable environment that allows for a rich and satisfying life for our children and ourselves.

Rotary Youth Exchange provides thousands of young people with the opportunity to meet people from other lands and to experience their cultures. This plants the seeds for a lifetime of international understanding.

An exchange also offers a very unique experience whereby a student is immersed in another culture for 12 months in a way that is not possible as a tourist. Students experience the daily challenges and rewards of this experience as they make friends and get to know their new cultures.

An exchange brings significant personal growth and development from which the student builds their self-confidence, independence and general communication and social skills. In 12 months and exchange brings experiences that develop life skills that otherwise would take years to accumulate.

Rotary’s objectives for the RYE programme are:

To enable students to advance their education by studying for a year in an environment entirely different from their own, and undertaking the study of courses and subjects not normally available to them in their own country.

To give students opportunities to broaden their outlook by learning to live with and meet people of different cultures, creeds, and colours and by having to cope with day-to-day problems in an environment completely different from the one they have experienced at home.

To have students act as ambassadors for their own country by addressing Rotary Clubs, community organizations and youth groups in their host country; by imparting as much knowledge as they can of their own country, its attributes and its problems to the people they meet during their year abroad.

To provide sufficient time to study and observe another country’s culture so that upon returning home students can pass on the knowledge they have gained by addressing Rotary clubs and other organizations and assimilate the positive aspects into their everyday living.

Learn more here.


Educational support and skills development

Our members put their time and effort into some community education projects, while the Club as a whole funds many others.

Our Dictionaries for Schools programme is perhaps the best-known example of our work in this area. Through this we distribute dictionaries to every pupil in every Mid North primary school.

We co-ordinate the Kerikeri Primary School Speech Contest and provide financial assistance to the Kerikeri High School Science and Technology Fair.

We recognise achievement, sponsoring the Dux awards at Kerikeri High School and Okaihau College and the Colleen House (Food Technology) Award at Okaihau College. And we’re enthusiastic backers of the peer support programmes at both Kerikeri High School and Okaihau College

We help select and support Mid North students to attend academic events that are useful to their career planning and further education. These include the Rotary National Science and Technology Forum at Auckland University, the NorthTec Science and Technology Programme, and a ‘hands on’ summer science programme at Otago University.

We also support the kids of our community through a wide range of leadership programmes.


Sport and Culture

Sport and cultural involvement play crucial roles in the character and educational development of the youth in our region.

In recent years we’ve provided logistical marine support for the marathon hoe waka challenge and travel funding for both the Mid North Special Olympics team and the Kerikeri High School Sailing Team. We’ve also helped the Kerikeri Scout Troop with travel funding so its members can attend a skills development Snow School.

We helped fund construction of the ‘Jock’s Drop’ feature of the Waitangi Forest Mountain Bike Trail, named after the late Jock Hodgson, a member of our club.

And we support the Kerikeri Community Fitness gym’s student sponsorship and betterment project.


Rotary Australia/New Zealand Student Exchange

The Rotary Australia and New Zealand Student Exchange (RANZSE) programme is run by some Rotary Districts in Australia and all districts in New Zealand. It is designed for 14 to 16 year old students to experience a true ‘exchange’ with a family in the other country. Learn more here

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