Ambassador Peter Bodde served as chief guest at the inaugural ceremony of the Rotary Youth Leadership Awards recently at Bode, Sano Thimi. In line with the program’s theme of “Awakening Youth,” Ambassador Bodde delivered a speech to more than 300 young Nepalis about the importance of volunteerism, a value he said is deeply ingrained in American culture and society.
The Ambassador discussed the pervasiveness of volunteerism and community service in the United States, citing the Peace Corps, Teach For America, and the National Day of Service held each Martin Luther King, Jr. Day and on the anniversary of the September 11th attacks each year. In a typical year, about one-fifth of the United States’ population – more than 62 million people – serve as volunteers, he said.
Ambassador Bodde went on to discuss ways to increase the spirit of volunteerism in Nepal. He encouraged each listener to take his or her own initiative to make a difference in their neighborhoods, schools, and organizations, saying: “I firmly believe that as individuals, we all have the power to improve our own communities with just a little time and energy.”
According to the Rotary Club’s organizing committee, the organization will reach more than 100 young people from age 18 to 22 during the four-day program. Participants will take part in professional development activities and learn about civil society, leadership qualities, and the values that Rotarians embody.