Demonstrating Vocational Service by: Frank Deaver

Posted By rotary

Among Rotary’s Avenues of Service, probably the one least discussed and promoted is Vocational Service, the emphasis for October. A past RI President said that “it can be so hard to define.” Perhaps it’s because vocational is, to a large degree, inter-related with other Avenues of Service. Nevertheless, he emphasized it as the monthly theme of Rotary International for October.

Vocational Service can be better understood, appreciated, and credited to our club accomplishments if we consider it within three categories.

International Vocational Service

Ambassadorial Scholarships equip young people to maximize their career potentials; Group Study Exchange includes vocational days for an international comparison of vocations; and PolioPlus rescues potential victims from a life of limited vocational options.

Young Russian entrepreneurs have been offered vocational training in job skills ranging from Advertising to Wholesale Distribution. This is largely through three-week programs hosted by American Rotary Clubs. The trainees return to a developing free-enterprise economy, creating vocational opportunities for colleagues and employees.

In Portugal, the unemployed and handicapped are offered tools, materials, and instruction in producing handcraft items; then assistance in marketing their wares.

Rotarians participate directly or through financial donations to these international programs, advancing the vocational opportunities of countless individuals.

Community Vocational Service

Rotary Clubs do many things that can be classified as vocational. Locally sponsored Interact and Rotaract Clubs, for example, offer opportunities for job shadowing, practice interviews, programs on business ethics, and much more.

Rotarians volunteer as speakers in schools, sharing experiences and observations of the business world, and counseling students on vocational choices. Rotary Clubs often sponsor career seminars and vocational training workshops.

After natural disasters such as the tsunami in Southeast Asia and the hurricanes along the American Gulf Coast, Rotarians offered immediate aid to displaced victims. Evacuees were assisted in training for new jobs and in relocation to places of economic opportunity. This is nothing less than vocational service.

Individual Vocational Service

Vocational Service occurs almost invisibly in every Rotary Club, and in the daily activities of most Rotarians. Through their daily practice of business and professional ethics, Rotarians have earned the trust and respect of people throughout the world.

Whether a club activity or the example set by individual Rotarians, Vocational Service plays a vital role in quality of life and ethical standards of a community. This is the recognition, and this is the message, that should be conveyed at all times, but emphasized in this Vocational Service Month. 


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