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OSS Global Awareness Club joins forces with Rotary to become Interact
The Global Awareness Club at Osoyoos Secondary School (OSS) has joined forces with the Rotary Club of Osoyoos to become an Interact club.
Discussions of the change having been ongoing since the summer, but at a ceremony last week, the two clubs got together for the investiture of the new club.
Interact clubs cover ages 12 to 18 and although they are self supporting and self governing, they receive guidance and sponsorship from a local Rotary club.
Rotary club president Brian Rawlings said Rotary can provide connections and logistical help to the students through its network of 32,000 clubs worldwide.
Interact is a service club for youth with more than 11,000 clubs worldwide involving more than 250,000 youths.
OSS teacher Natasha Schroeter, who will be acting as a faculty advisor, first discussed the idea with Rawlings last summer, along with her daughter Shelby Schroeter, Rawlings said.
When school returned in September, they discussed it with other members of the Global Awareness Club and got their support.
Natasha Schroeter said the Global Awareness Club has been active on its own for six years, but the idea of working internationally through Rotary’s network was attractive.
The Global Awareness Club has been involved with a number of projects over the years, primarily to raise awareness about important issues, she said.
For three years, the club has done a global lottery dinner at which guests receive a luxury meal, a middle class meal or a meal typical of the world’s poor majority.
Guests who receive each meal are determined by lottery in roughly the same proportions of rich, middle class and poor as the world’s population.
The students have also been involved in anti-bullying and anti-homophobia campaigns, as well as a campaign to raise awareness about disappearing honey bees.
The club hasn’t yet decided on any international projects to do as Interact, Schroeter said, but it sets goals each year.
Among the possibilities, she said, is an exchange with an Interact club somewhere else in the world.
“If we do plan to do an overseas trip or project, we can contact a Rotary club in that particular area and ask them what their needs are,” said Schroeter.
Shelby Schroeter was elected as the Interact club’s first president.
Rawlings said Rotarian Marieze Tarr will act as Rotary’s liaison with the Interact club. Tarr is also active with the schools as chair of the local school board. Rawlings has been assisting as liaison in Tarr’s absence.
The Rotarians were impressed by the energy of the young club members, especially when they heard how many projects the group has already taken on, Rawlings said.