Published On: Tue, Nov 12th, 2019

Rotary celebrates World Interact Week, commemorating the first club

INTERACTORS WITH AERNOUT - World Interact Week - club

PHILIPSBURG — Every year, in the week of 5th November, Rotary celebrates World Interact Week, to commemorate the founding of the first Interact club in 1962. Interact Clubs are Rotary’s youngest leaders, who make a difference in their schools and communities.

To celebrate World Interact Week, the Rotary Club of St. Maarten-Mid Isle hosted members of the Interact Club of St. Dominic High School and Charlotte Brookson Academy at their weekly dinner meeting on Tuesday, November 5th. Present were, from the St. Dominic High School Interact Club, President Chanae Davis, Vice President Saheli Kirpalani and Sergeant at Arms Diya Chatani and from the Charlotte Brookson Academy Interact Club were President K’Maya Lake, Ma Lyesha Cannegieter and Jamelia Smith.

Interact is an international organization of service and social clubs for young people of secondary school age 12-18 that fosters leadership and responsible citizenship and promotes international understanding and peace. The name “Interact” was created by combining the words “international” and “action.” Interact clubs are sponsored by Rotary clubs as a program of Rotary International. The sponsor Rotary clubs provide guidance and inspiration, but the Interact clubs are self-governing and self-supporting. Clubs vary greatly, with both single-gender and mixed as well as large and small. The membership base of a club can be drawn from the student body of a single school or from two or more schools from the same community.

Each year, Interact clubs complete at least one community service project and at least one project that furthers international understanding and goodwill. Interact’s five primary avenues of service include the following: community, international, school, environmental, and fundraising. Interactors develop a worldwide network of friendships through exchanges with local and overseas clubs. Along the way, Interactors develop their leadership skills and initiative while meeting new friends.

Interactors often spearhead the formation of Rotaract clubs and participate in Rotary Youth Leadership Awards (RYLA). Interactors also often go on to become Rotary Youth Exchange students or Ambassadorial Scholars.

The first Interact club was initiated on November 5th, 1962 by the Rotary Club of Melbourne, Florida, USA. Two months later, the first Interact club outside the United States was established in Tanjore, India. There are over 20,370 Interact clubs in 159 countries and geographical areas, 80% of the world’s countries have Interact clubs. Interact is truly a worldwide phenomenon.

Through service activities, Interactors learn the importance of, developing leadership skills and personal integrity, demonstrating helpfulness and respect for others and advancing international understanding and goodwill. Most importantly, World Interact Week celebrates Rotary’s youngest leaders making a difference in their schools and communities.

The Rotary Club of St. Maarten-Mid Isle meets Tuesday at 7:30 pm at Pineapple Pete in Simpson Bay. For more information please contact rotarysxm.mi@gmail.com or visit the facebook page Rotary Club of St. Maarten-Mid Isle.