Fanshawe Rotaract Club illuminates service, leadership

A photo of member of the Rotaract Club dressed in holiday attire. CREDIT: COURTESY OF ABASS AYONI BAKARE
Fanshawe’s Rotaract Club offers opportunities for students to give back to students and the community.

The Rotaract Club of Fanshawe has a goal to foster a spirit of community service, leadership, and personal development among its members. The group embodies the spirit of service above self, drawing together students from various disciplines with a shared vision of contributing to a better world.

“What we do is very simple. We provide a platform for students to promote a sense of social responsibility and personal development. At a certain level of consciousness, relatively speaking, there is nothing greater than the feeling of the heart of generosity,” said Rotaract Club president Abass Ayoni Bakare. “We foster the experience of community service among members by engaging in volunteer and charitable initiatives.”

The Rotaract Club offers Fanshawe students a unique platform to engage in community service, professional development and international service projects. It operates under the guiding principles of Leadership Service, aiming to equip members with the skills and experiences need to foster positive change. Under the guidance of dedicated faculty, advisors and the mentorship from members of the local Rotary Club, Fanshawe’s Rotaract members embark on a journey that transcends the conventional college experience. From organizing different types of events to humanitarian projects, the club’s activities are designed to address the pressing challenges of our time while promoting peace, conflict and resolution.

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Around the holiday season for example, members of the club recognized an opportunity to make a significant impact on the local community outside the confines of the college. They decided to reach out to a retirement home in London, planning a Christmas concert that would bring the festive spirit to its residents.

“It was such a beautiful day. We performed Christmas songs Mariah Carey’s ‘All I Want for Christmas Is You,’  Michael Bublé’s ‘It’s Beginning to Look Like Christmas’ and then we infused some pop songs to elevate the mood,” said Bakare. “We spent time with them, they didn’t want us to leave. It’s so heartwarming what warm, meaningful impacts can do and mean more than just a visit.”

Armed with enthusiasm and a repertoire of holiday classics, the Rotaract Club members embarked on this festive mission. This visit to the retirement home is something Bakare hopes the residents are going to remember forever.

In other ways of giving to the community, the club keeps the students of Fanshawe in the back of their mind during the colder season.

“In the winter, we go around handing hundreds of students balaclavas, and…gloves. These gloves you don’t need to take off and you can still use your phone with them on,” said Bakare. “We also visit people’s homes with disabilities. We will be helping them with their laundry, dishes, cleaning, and even shovelling the snow in their driveways when it snows.”

The impact of this group is evident in the stories of the communities and individuals it has touched. Whether it’s through the smiles of students or the cheering and happiness of the elderly, the club’s contributions are a testament to the power of collective action.

The Fanshawe College Rotaract Club stands as a beacon of hope and a source of inspiration for students seeking to make a difference. It challenges the conventional notion of a college club proving that when young people come together under the banner of service, the impact can be profound and far reaching.

As the club looks to the future, it invites all Fanshawe students to join its ranks.

“I am going to say to the students of Fanshawe, join our club to make an impact,” Bakare said.

Whether one's passion lies in tackling environmental issues, promoting health and wellness, or advocating for peace and justice, the Rotaract Club offers the pathway to meaningful engagement and personal growth.