Posted by MIKE MARKLEY on Jul 31, 2019
Rotarians provide international service here at home.
Rotarians from Boise, Meridian and Nampa participated in an international service project without leaving their home town.  
During June and July, Boise State University hosted a cohort of 25 young leaders (Fellows) chosen through the Mandela Washington Foundation's annual Young African Leader Institute (YALI) program.  This institute is intended to provide YALI Fellows with information and exposure to public management, as well as build their network amongst the local community.  Rotary played a key role in providing hospitality and cultural exchange experiences. 
Over the course of the six-week institute, Rotarians organized home-hosted meals, trips to the grocery story, rides cultural festivals, a boating trip, a cooking class, and an Idaho-culture favorite: target shooting.  In addition to cultural exchange, YALI Fellows received mentoring and vocational experiences from community members, which included visits to various workplaces and nonprofit organizations. 
Cornelia Sprung, of the Boise-Metro club organized her club's participation in the project. "I think it demonstrated the Rotary value of 'service above self,'" said Sprung. "The variety of ways that Rotarians connected with the visiting fellows—shopping, eating, driving, volunteer events, recreation events—was pretty cool to see, and it reminds me that people are the same all over the world. We all want to connect and help others."
According to reports from Boise Sate, hosting institutions are selected each year in January or February.  The school intends to apply to host the institute again in 2020.
To learn more about the Mandela Washington Foundation's YALI program, see their website: