Rotary Youth Exchange
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. Youth exchange provides thousands of young people with the opportunity to meet people from other lands and experience their cultures. This plants seeds for a lifetime of understanding.
The Rotary Youth Exchange programme provides Clubs with the opportunity to host an overseas secondary student (aged between 16 and 18) for a year to experience life and culture in a foreign country. Clubs can also provide the same experience for a New Zealand student to travel overseas for twelve months.
Kapiti Rotary has hosted students from Nepal, Argentina, France, Belgium, United States, Brazil and supported many Kapiti students overseas. Without exception the students return to their homes immensely more mature, enriched with new friends, networks, experiences and tools that will help them grow into leaders and valuable citizens of the world. Indeed some have gone on to become national and international business and community leaders, and many later join Rotary acknowledging the opportunity and privilege they got through this great programme. Nirjan Shakya was a RYE student from Nepal in 2004. Nirjan now leads his Rotoract Club of Yala, Kathmandhu with its earthquake relief and restoration efforts, which Kapiti Rotary is assisting with funding.