สโมสรโรตารีพระสมุทรเจดีย์ โรตารีแอนน์และสุภาพบุรุษ์ โดย นย.อาริน ดวงสวัสดิ์ พร้อมด้วย Rotary Club of Masan-East (D.3722) Rotary Club of Changwon Dasom Rotary Club of Shimonoseki Kita in Japan ประเทศเกาหลีใต้ ประเทศญี่ปุ่น
ส่วนด้านมูลนิธิ ยอดบริจาครวมทุกกองทุนมีทั้งหมด 452,817 US ซึ่งเราได้ทำโครงการ Global Grants ไปทั้งหมด 18 โครงการ โครงการ District Grants ของสโมสรโรตารี 41โครงการ และโครงการ District Grant ของสโมสรโรทาแรคท์ 20 โครงการ
ด้านภาพลักษณ์ เรามีการรณรงค์ให้สโมสรใช้โลโก้อย่างถูกต้องจาก Brand Center โดยการจัดอบรม Workshop 3 ครั้งในการประชุมระหว่างเมือง สอนการใช้โลโก้โดยใช้ Tiktok ทั้งหมด 15 ตอน ส่งสมาชิกในภาคอบรมทำสื่อผ่านมือถือกับคนทำสื่อมืออาชีพ ให้รางวัลแก่สโมสรที่ประชาสัมพันธ์โครงการผ่านสื่อต่างๆ อย่างน้อย 4 สื่อ โดยใช้โลโก้จาก Brand Center อย่างถูกต้อง จัดการประกวดภาพ People of Action และการประกวดคลิปวีดิโอในระดับภาค เพื่อส่งประกวดในระดับโซนต่อไป โดยมีคลิปวีดิโอที่ภาค 3330 ส่งประกวดในระดับโซนได้รับรางวัลดังนี้
นอกจากนั้น เรายังได้ทำโครงการระดับประเทศ คือโครงการ Safe Roads Save Lives ซึ่งเป็นโครงการต่อเนื่องที่เราจะทำในปีต่อๆไป เพราะเราได้จด MOU ร่วมกันระหว่างโรตารี 4 ภาค ภาครัฐ ภาคเอกชน และ WHO
ดิฉันหวังว่าช่วงเวลาที่ยังเหลืออยู่อีกเกือบ 2 เดือน สโมสรที่ยังมีงานคั่งค้างอยู่ เช่นยังไม่ได้ทำรายงานโครงการ Global Grant หรือโครงการ District Grant ส่งให้ทางโรตารีสากล จะรีบดำเนินการให้เสร็จสิ้นตามเวลาที่กำหนดไว้ เพื่อพวกเราชาวโรทาเรียนภาค 3330 จะก้าวเข้าสู่ปี “Create Hope in the World” ได้อย่างพร้อมเพรียงกัน
I believe it is a time in our world for brave, courageous, intentional leadership.
Last month, in this column, you heard from my dear friend Anniela Carracedo. She is an amazing member of our Rotary family, and as a past Interactor and now Rotarian, she is this kind of leader.
Anni shared a very personal story about coping with a panic attack, something that I have also experienced. The outpouring and response to this story have been tremendous and punctuate how critical it is that we acknowledge not only our strengths but our vulnerabilities too.
When we talk about finding space for one another — creating comfort and care within Rotary — we’re describing a club experience where we can all feel comfortable sharing like Anni did, and we can all empathize with and support one another. Whatever we are facing in life, Rotary is a place where we know we’re not alone.
We spend so much time helping our world, whether it’s working to end polio, cleaning up the environment, or bringing hope to communities that need it most. Sometimes we can lose track of the need to apply some of our energy and care to our fellow members and partners in service.
The comfort and care of our members is the single greatest driver of member satisfaction and retention. We need to ensure that it remains a priority — and that we further strengthen these bonds by performing service that helps reduce the stigma of seeking out mental health treatment and expands access to care.
That is why I’m so heartened by President-elect Gordon McInally’s wonderful vision to help improve the global mental health system, not only for Rotary members, but for the communities we serve.
When Gordon announced our focus on mental health at this year’s International Assembly in Orlando, Florida, he reminded us that helping others benefits our mental health by reducing stress and improving our mood. Studies show that performing acts of kindness is an effective way to improve your own mental and physical health. Rotary service brings hope to the world and joy to our lives.
Our new focus on mental health will take some time to do right, and yet it builds on something that has been part of who we are for 118 years. We are People of Action, and behind that action is care, compassion, empathy, and inclusion.
Becoming champions of mental health is not only the right and kind thing to do, it is a tool that can Create Hope in the World, Gordon’s inspiring theme for his upcoming year as president.
If we serve our members, we serve our communities, and if we can meet people where they are and lift them up, they will imagine Rotary in a new light and come to fully understand our value and our infinite potential.
“Do all the good you can, to all the people you can, in all the ways you can, as long as ever you can.”
While we don’t know its exact origin, this widely quoted saying summarizes what Rotary and The Rotary Foundation are all about: We do quite a lot of good, serving people around the world in myriad ways, and we are in it for the long haul.
How many other charities do so much good in so many ways for so many as The Rotary Foundation?
Not only do we, the volunteers, fund most of our projects, but we often contribute significant volunteer hours in organizing and executing them. The “regional offices” of our charity — also known as Rotary and Rotaract clubs — are our reliable go-to partners in the more than 200 countries and geographical areas in which we operate. And when we lack expertise in an area, we partner with outside organizations whose trust we have earned, such as the World Health Organization, to deliver results on the ground that truly change lives.
Unlike some charitable organizations, we don’t take the “parachute approach” to humanitarian work. We solve problems in a sustainable way. Before we lift a shovel to start any Foundation project, we conduct community needs assessments and work closely with members of the community. The Foundation also acts quickly when needed, such as through our disaster response grants, as we did with the recent earthquake in Turkey and Syria.
Accountants like me and business and community leaders like you pay close attention to the numbers, and in this area, the Foundation is a cut above. In funding projects, we apply Rotary’s traditions of fiscal responsibility and ethics to ensure the best use of the resources of our fellow members. We in Rotary are excellent stewards of our grants, with most of the funds going toward humanitarian support itself and relatively little going to grant administration costs. This is why Charity Navigator has consistently given its highest rating to The Rotary Foundation, year after year.
Because our worldwide operation is dedicated to seven areas of focus, volunteers and donors alike have ample opportunities to make a difference where help is needed most. Indeed, the potential to help through the Foundation is limitless.
So, if you are looking for a great charity to support or a way to do all the good you can, look no further than The Rotary Foundation. It is truly one of the greatest charities in the world, and it belongs to you.
Rotary International President 2022-23 Jennifer E. Jones is visiting Phuket, Thailand during 12-15 May 2023 to attend District 3310 RI Conference at Angsana Laguna Phuket and meet Rotary leaders of Districts in Zone 10B&C before flying to Singapore.
Tuesday’s lunch meeting was attended by 22 members and guests and welcomed back John Laroche, CEO of Phoenix Aviation, to give our members and guests an update on the progress with Hua Hin airport, Tourism in Thailand and new education programs in Hua Hin.
A special guest this week was Honorary Member Noriaki Murao from the Rotary Club of Pohnpei in the Federated States of Micronesia which is part of Rotary International District 2750.
Noriaki spoke briefly about life in Micronesia and his work in Japan in healthcare and work with the World Health Organisation.
We also welcomed David Troxell from Rotary Club of Jamestown in New York State.
This week also celebrates the Rotary Club of Royal Hua Hin’s 13th Birthday since being Chartered on the 12th April 2010.
On 12th April 16 Rotarians, Rotary Ann’s and friends celebrated the Rotary Club of Royal Hua Hin 13th Birthday at the Mong Do Lay restaurant on Soi 77. Charter President Alan Cooper, Charter members PP Paul Grab PP Brian Anderson and Rotarian Arnold Ruijs attended the event.
None of us will forget how the pandemic altered our world and our lives. Each of us had to traverse this period of uncertainty, and no one had a free pass from the effects.
I personally believe this has created space for a different kind of global leadership — one that is courageous, empathetic, and vulnerable. I met my good friend Anniela Carracedo online in early 2020. She is one such leader, and I’m thrilled to turn this month’s column over to her.
In March 2020, I had a panic attack. I couldn’t breathe, and I felt a terrible pain in my chest.
It had been a few days since the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a global pandemic, and I was in the middle of my year as a Rotary Youth Exchange student in the United States. Think about it: an 18-year-old girl stuck in a different country, with a foreign language, with people she had only met six months before. It was scary.
But I am familiar with uncertainty. I was born and raised in Venezuela, which is going through one of the worst humanitarian and political crises in the Western Hemisphere. But my mom always said, “Challenges are nothing more than needs that require a solution.”
I called up my Interact and Youth Exchange friends. Together, we organized an online meeting to share projects and get inspired by what everyone else was doing during the quarantine. In that first meeting, we had 70 people, mainly students, from 17 countries.
From that beginning, we built an online platform for Rotary youths worldwide to share their experiences and inspire others with project ideas during isolation. We looked for mentors and supporters who would help our group connect young people, share cultures, and open new collaborative opportunities for international service projects. We called it Rotary Interactive Quarantine, or RIQ.
After only a year, we engaged with more than 5,000 students from 80 countries. Several of our team members became district Interact representatives and district committee members, and some of us even serve on Rotary International councils.
Eventually, quarantine restrictions were being lifted, and the needs of our participants were changing. At our last official meeting as RIQ, Past RI President Barry Rassin inspired us to create even bigger change, so we transformed RIQ into the Rotary Youth Network, or RYN.
A few of our members, including me, were selected to serve on the inaugural Interact Advisory Council, where we presented our vision for youth in Rotary to the RI Board of Directors.
Our presentation to the Board inspired President Jennifer and her team to create a Youth Advisory Council in Rotary International, which I am honored to serve on as a co-chair.
The Rotary Youth Network officially launched during a breakout session at the 2022 Rotary International Convention in Houston. Five of us, who had participated in Interact, Youth Exchange, and Rotary Youth Leadership Awards, traveled across continents to launch an organization we had kicked off online two years before. The convention was also the first time we had met in person.
When my friends and I finished our talk, we realized more than 500 people were giving us a standing ovation. Tears filled our eyes, and the feeling of excitement and accomplishment took over.
Who would have thought that a panic attack would lead to this?
Rotary Club of Bay St. Louis, Mississippi
District 6840 Rotaract chair-elect
[[Photo caption, if needed]]
Anniela Carracedo addresses the International Assembly in January in Orlando, Florida.
[KM1]This was a box on top of the President’s message explaining that President Jen was handing this space over to another writer this month.
In a letter to his brother Theo in 1874, Vincent Van Gogh wrote: “If you truly love nature, you will find beauty everywhere.”
You can see Van Gogh’s love of the natural world in his paintings: luminous sunflowers, gnarled olive trees, and the starry night sky over a Provençal village. When you see nature through Van Gogh’s eyes or through your own, such as during a trip to the park or a beach, you can’t help but stop to appreciate it. And when you love nature, you also want to take care of it.
April is Environmental Month for Rotary, and Earth Day is the 22nd. Marking the occasion with local projects such as roadside cleanups is fantastic and makes a difference. Consider also thinking big about protecting the environment — one of Rotary’s seven areas of focus — by partnering with other clubs and districts on a larger-scale project funded through The Rotary Foundation.
The more our clubs work together on larger projects, the more we accomplish. Supported by a Foundation global grant, Rotary clubs in Pennsylvania and Brazil teamed up to provide plastic-processing equipment for a waste pickers cooperative in the city of Rio Claro. The workers, who recover recyclables from trash, increased their income by 50 percent and expanded the cooperative, while contributing to a cleaner environment.
Acting big is also one of the main ideas behind the Foundation’s Programs of Scale. With each $2 million grant distributed over a program’s three- to five-year duration, the work done on the ground scales up to fulfill the potential for long-term sustainable change. The 2021-22 Programs of Scale recipient, Together for Healthy Families in Nigeria, is hard at work right now on solutions aimed at reducing the country’s maternal and neonatal mortality rates.
Programs of Scale grants are among the most exciting developments of Rotary and its Foundation in recent years. They will have a big impact on the world. Remember that Programs of Scale grants take nothing away from your Foundation grant projects; the money invested is a relatively small portion of the Foundation’s total. In addition, The Rotary Foundation designed Programs of Scale to foster greater partnerships, which can include co-funding the initiative.
So, think big this month — about the environment and about global grants and Programs of Scale — and you will see that, when it comes to the good we can do through our Foundation, the “starry night” sky’s the limit.
20 มีค.66 สโมสรโรตารีพระะปฐมเจดีย์ ภาค 3330 โรตารีสากล ร่วมกับ สโมสรโรตารีนครปฐม สโมสรโรตารีบางเลน สโมสรโรตารีดอนตูม สโมสรโรตารี Royal Hua Hin สโมสรโรตารีทวารวดี และ Rotary Club of Bucheon Mogryun ภาค 3690 ประเทศเกาหลีใต้ มอบห้องผู้ป่วยวิกฤติ (Intensive Care Unit : ICU) พร้อมวัสดุครุภัณฑ์ทางการแพทย์ Necesssary tools and equipment to care for patients in Intensive Care Unit (ICU) ตามโครงการ Global Grant No.2342158 มูลค่า 3,298,400 บาท (U$D 86,800) ให้แก่โรงพยาบาลกำแพงแสน อ.กำแพงแสน จ.นครปฐม
Members of the Rotary Club of Royal Hua Hin led by the Water safety chair CP Alan Cooper, Rotarian Kamolthip Sangsripet Pettit, and President Phil Lawrence welcomed the Mayor of Hua Hin Mr Nopporn Wutthikul, Mr Theeraphan Jadpol who is the Director of Public Health and Environment presented the certificates of successful training to the instructors.
Following the successful training of 10 volunteer Instructors from Hua Hin by an Australian team of professional instructors in Phuket at the end of February and the beginning of March, the first pilot course of the Water Safety Drowning Prevention program was run with 55 students from the Ban Bo Fai school.
It is anticipated that this pilot course will be the start of a successful project here in Hua Hin to help raise the awareness of the dangers of swimming in water, and how to understand how to protect themselves.
Thanks to the support from Rotarian Patrick Franssen who allowed the course to be run at his Greenway Hua Hin Resort.
Tuesday’s weekly meeting on the 14th March welcomed visiting Rotarian from the Rotary Club of Nagu in Finland. Also, we welcomed Dr Sarun Jotkasthira and two of his nursing colleagues from the new neurological unit of Hua Hin Hospital.
Treasurer Albert Labermeier gave the members and the guests an update on the club finances.
In total 30 members and 7 guests enjoyed the lunch meeting where Dr Sarun Jotkasthira spoke about his work and thanked the Rotary Club of Royal Hua Hin for their support of the unit, and hoped we would be able to support them further.
P. Phil Lawrence talked to the members regarding the targets for our clubs goals this year, whether we were achieving them, and the issues we face in the new Rotary year.
The weekly raffle was won by Rotarian Michael Rutzen.
On 20th March 2023 The Rotary Club of Pra-Pathom Chedi provide all the essential equipment for two new Intensive Care Units (ICU) at the Kam Pang San Hospital in Nakorn Pathom Province.
A Global Partner was found from Korea, the Rotary Club of Bucheon Mogryun from Rotary District 3690.
In Total 6 clubs from Rotary District 3330, including the Rotary Club of Royal Hua Hin who donated 1,000 USD from DDF towards the project, which shows that working together can improve the lives of our communities here in Thailand.
April’s fellowship evening was held at the new trendy experience here in Flavours Restaurant & Bar. Khun Kate and her team welcomed 43 members and guests and we were well looked after.
Our 57 new member Pieter Ligthart was inducted and presented his membership certificate Rotary Wheel and Imagine Rotary Pin.
Certificates were presented Dr Henrik Fagersson from Spine Clinic, Khun Bank Hua Hin Gas who donated a gas cylinder, PP Jimmy Thai Thai Curtains, and Dr Pongsak Bangkok Hospital who all supported our recent Community Medical project at Nongkhon School.
Lastly the RCRHH presented a certicate to from Flavors for sponsoring our 2022 golf Tournament.
I will never forget the gift of meeting tea master Genshitsu Sen during my trip to Japan in November.
Not only is Sen the former grand master of the Urasenke tea tradition, but he is also an accomplished Rotarian. Those accomplishments include helping charter the Rotary Club of Kyoto-South, Japan, serving as president of the Rotary Club of Kyoto and governor of District 2650, and holding leadership roles in Rotary International and The Rotary Foundation.
It was an honor to spend time with him. He is a remarkable human being and a joyful soul. And his leadership and engagement in Rotary remain strong.
During that same week in Japan, I had the opportunity to record a video for a 100-year-old World War II naval hero and two-time Rotary district governor from Park City, Utah.
Sen and the Rotarian from Park City shared similar stories, though they served on opposing sides of the war. What was remarkable to me was that each of them chose Rotary to live lives of peacemaking. It struck me that we are all on this planet simply trying to do our best, and we are much more similar than we are different.
I feel incredibly fortunate to be able to witness these stories and meet such incredible people.
President, Rotary International
[[Captions, if using photos]]
Top: Genshitsu Sen, former grand master of the Urasenke tea tradition, performs a traditional Japanese tea ceremony for Jones during her trip to Japan in November. The tea ceremony, known as chadō, dates back centuries and embraces the arts, religion, philosophy, and social life.
Above: Sen stands outside the Urasenke tearoom compound where he lives in Kyoto. Rotary magazine wrote about Sen’s remarkable story in the August 2022
issue. You can listen to an audio version of the story at rotary.org/peace-through-bowl-tea.
Living in Australia, you think a lot about water. When you travel to the nation’s vast interior, the Outback, you can’t help but wonder how such an arid climate has supported life for millennia. There, each sip of water feels precious.
Each sip seems to get more precious by the day as climate change continues to impact water supply everywhere. Where Juliet and I live, on the temperate coast not far from Melbourne, I remember times not long ago when water supplies were so low that severe usage restrictions were put into place. We now live on rainwater that falls onto our roof and is collected in a tank. In many parts of the world, people don’t have that luxury.
Water is essential for life no matter where we live. Yet many of us take it for granted. Think of all the times just today you turned on the tap. About 1 in 4 people in the world have quite a different experience when they do — if they have a tap at all. Today, 2 billion people lack access to safely managed drinking water, according to the United Nations. It is heartbreaking that each year, about 300,000 children under age 5 die from diarrheal diseases caused by poor sanitation, poor hygiene, or unsafe drinking water — all preventable circumstances.
This is where Rotary comes in. Through your support, The Rotary Foundation provides water and sanitation for countless communities around the globe. Foundation global grants have ranged from providing toilets and hygiene education for villages in the Philippines to building infrastructure for year-round access to safe, affordable drinking water in Brazil.
The water and sanitation problems we face are too great for any of us to solve alone. But whether we work with global grant partner districts across the world or with large agencies such as USAID, we are making a difference.
When thinking of teaming up to provide safe drinking water, sanitation, and hygiene, remember that one of our greatest partners is right here within the family of Rotary: Rotaract.
Effective this Rotary year, Rotaract clubs may apply for global grants. I encourage Rotary and Rotaract clubs to work together on existing grants and for Rotary clubs to support grants sponsored by Rotaract clubs. Together, Rotary and Rotaract clubs are going to take the power of the Foundation to a new level.
The Rotary Foundation has more potential than ever to make a difference in the water and sanitation challenges we all face, thanks to your generous support.
1 มีค.66 มูลนิธิโรตารีของโรตารีสากล ภาค 3330 ประเทศไทย และภาค 2500 ประเทศญี่ปุ่น ร่วมกับ สโมสรโรตารีทวารวดี สโมสรโรตารีพระปฐมเจดีย์ สโมสรโรตารีโพธาราม สโมสรโรตารีบางเลน สโมสรโรตารีดอนตูม สโมสรโรตารี Royal Hua Hin ภาค 3330 โรตารีสากล และ Rotary Club of Simsbury-Granby,Connecticut, D.7890 USA . Rotary Club of Trumansburg, New York, D.7170 USA
มอบเครื่องมือแทยพ์ เครื่องปั๊มหัวใจอัตโนมัติ (Mechanical CPR Safe for Life) จำนวน 2 เครื่อง ตามโครงการ Global Grant No.2344467 มูลค่า 2,093,828 บาท (USD 55,100 ดอลล่าสหรัฐฯ) ให้แก่ โรงพยาบาลกำแพงแสน อ.กำแพงแสน จ.นครปฐม โดย ผวภ.ละออ จินดา ผู้ว่าการภาค 3330 ให้เกียรติร่วมพิธี
Wednesday 15th February PP Napa, PP Dr Danai, PP Aree, Rtn. Kamolthip, P Phil Lawrence and of course, the Presidents PA Mai sat together to complete our club district report. Despite the weather, power cuts the report was completed. Fortunately, the rain held off to enable the team to enjoy a BBQ at the end of a day’s work.
Following an invite from Rotary International District 3330 DG La-or Chinda for the Rotary Club of Ploi Ratchaburi and Rotary Club of Royal Hua Hin to become Sister Clubs, on the 23rd February 10 members from our club attended a friendship meeting to exchange a memorandum of understanding between our two clubs.
The RCRHH members were made to feel very welcome, and we would like to express our gratitude for the hospitality shown to us by DG La-or, the club president Thatchaya Siriwong, and of course the members and guests of their club.
This agreement strengthens the bond between clubs to go further in supporting our communities here in Thailand, and we look forward to participating in joint projects in the future.
The Rotaractors led by their President Asia Pungpang were joined by 17 other young Rotaractors, 5 support team from Stamford International University, Mr. Cell Dilon the Executive Director of the Hua Hin Campus and Mr Richard Meaders a Senior Academic at the Hua Hin Campus.
Last but not least was Rotarian Benjamas Uamsa-Ard the Rotary Club of Royal Hua Hin’s youth Chair, who was coordinating the event.
After a gap of nearly three years the Rotaractors chose the Ban Nong Phai school, which is located near to the Pranburi Dam, and the school director Khun Soonthorn Sookwangsai, and his staff and pupils made everyone welcome.
Their project involved preparing beds to grow vegetables, purchasing soil and plants to be planted and providing nutrients to grow water-based plants. All of these items were purchased by the Rotaract Club of Stamford International University.
Instruction was given on the above process, and it was great to see these young school children getting hands in helping to grow these vegetables.
In addition activities were also run by the Rotaractors including games, and the usual sing song.
The Rotary Club of Royal Hua Hin provided lunch for the project and 8 club members supported the event both in getting their hands dirty helping in the garden and the games, and serving lunch.
Overall, this was a well organised event that one has come to expect from our young Rotaractors, and for our club it was a joy to once again support them.
President Elect Helmut Schepers of Rotary Club of Royal Hua Hin started his presidential journey this weekend by joining all of the other rotary year 119 presidents for training at the Deevana hotel in Ao Nang Krabi.
The Rotary club of Royal Hua Hin started their long-awaited water safety program this weekend.
A team of Australian Instructors arrived in Thailand as part of the Global Aquatic Project in response to high numbers of preventable deaths by drowning in Asia.
The team travelled to Chiang Mai, and then onto Phuket where the Rotary Club of Royal Hua Hin (RCRHH) sent 10 volunteer instructors to be trained by the team to deliver water safety training to schools here in Hua Hin.
The team was led by Charter President Alan Cooper and Rotarian Kamolthip Pettit. And we were also joined by the Rotary Club of Patong Beach and the Rotary Club of Samui-Phangan, who are both sister clubs of the RCRHH.
In March, the pilot program will start at the Bo Fai School in Hua Hin.
Drowning is the highest cause of fatalities in children under the age of 15, so this will be a worthwhile project to help protect the young people of Hua Hin.
The last Tuesday meeting of February welcomed 22 members and guests.
Our club welcomed back Rotarians Roger and Carol Ward from the Rotary Club of Aireborough in Yorkshire, also Samuel from South America and Anne from Germany.
P Phil Lawrence reflected on a busy week for our club, with events taking place in Ploi Ratchaburi, Ban Nong Phai school, our President Elect’s travels to Ao Nang for his President Elect training, and lastly our water safety training in Phuket.
And P Phil gave a second presentation on the Jewel of the Middle East, that reflected on his time working in the Sultanate of Oman.
This week’s wine raffle was won by visiting Rotarian Roger Ward.
We look forward to seeing everyone at Pizza Garden on the 7th March.
Phil Lawerence from Rotary Club of Royal Hua Hin and Kathrin Fagersson from Spine Clinic chatted to Leigh today about a community project to help families get medical treatment. They are collaborating with Bangkok Hospital with this project.
Hed: Empowering girls is about more than creating equity
Recently, I spent time in the Nakivale refugee settlement in Uganda. As the “settlement” in its name suggests, the people living there are free to move around and integrate as best they can — one thing that makes the place unique.
I had a chance to play soccer with boys and girls from about a dozen nations and talk with women who had fled areas of conflict. It was a tapestry of human experience shared through both laughter and tears.
As I walked across a school campus at the settlement with a teacher, she shared with me the dire statistics on girls’ education. Most don’t get through grade school. Many are sold into child marriage to pay for food for their families. As I looked around at these young girls, I was gutted.
Our work with empowering girls and women is much more than creating equity — sometimes, it’s about health or education. Other times it’s about providing safety. Regardless of the path, it’s always about basic human rights.
We can do more to empower girls and women, and we can expand how we share the progress Rotary members and our partners have made toward this goal.
There is no shortage of inspiring examples of our work, from interest-free microcredit loans for women in Nigeria, to projects in India that provide girls menstrual hygiene products. Hundreds of projects are taking place across all Rotary areas of focus and are making a meaningful and often lifesaving difference.
Together, we can address the needs and inequities that girls throughout the world face daily. But we must also monitor the impact of these projects and create awareness of Rotary resources and subject matter experts, including Rotary Action Groups, The Rotary Foundation Cadre of Technical Advisers, Rotary Peace Fellows, and others.
It is especially important that we tell the stories of our initiatives that have a positive impact on the lives of women and girls. This last point is near and dear to my heart. This means sharing our stories on social media, through local news outlets, in this magazine, and wherever we can inspire others.
As you do so, it’s important to provide information that helps our Rotary family connect with others who are implementing activities in their regions, as well as across the world. Let’s share our successes and learn from one another — then proudly tell our stories to a larger audience.
These are exciting times in Rotary, and the world is taking notice. As we work to empower women and girls to step into their full potential, we create new pathways for membership growth and greater collaboration with partners to create positive, lasting change. Thank you for your continued action in this vital effort.
President, Rotary International
Caption, if using the photo: Jones and Zimbabwean actor Sibongile Mlambo watch a soccer match in Nakivale settlement. It’s part of an effort to build community among residents of different nationalities.
One of the fascinating things about Rotary is that we are many things at once. We are a service organization based on action. We are also a professional and community networking group, not to mention a place to find friendship and fun.
And, when you stop to think about it, you and I are also part of a peace organization. I saw this in 2013, when I represented Rotary at an international symposium on advancing a peaceful democratic transition for Myanmar. Despite recent setbacks, the fact that Rotary was at the table demonstrates that the world sees us as peacebuilders who are not deterred by the most difficult issues.
How did we earn this reputation? Through literacy projects that help people expand their minds and viewpoints. And through water, sanitation, and hygiene projects that create common ground for communities in conflict. The Rotary Action Group for Peace promotes hands-on service projects, and our annual international conventions unite thousands in a celebration of global harmony.
Perhaps the most visible face of this cause is the Rotary Peace Centers program, now in its 21st year. Today, more than 1,600 Rotary Peace Fellows are advancing the cause of peace in more than 140 countries. On 1 February, we open applications for the next generation of peace fellows. Encourage your local peacebuilders to learn about Rotary and apply for this unique fellowship.
And soon, we’ll be recruiting fellows for a new peace center in the Middle East and North Africa region as we begin working this year with a recently selected partner university. Made possible by a generous gift of $15.5 million to The Rotary Foundation from the Otto and Fran Walter Foundation, the addition of this center furthers Rotary’s vision of peacemaking in action.
As we celebrate Rotary’s 118th anniversary and Peacebuilding and Conflict Prevention Month, we can be proud of the many ways Rotary promotes peace. Without The Rotary Foundation, and your support of it, none of that would be possible.
You can directly support this work through the Foundation by visiting rotary.org/donate and selecting the peacebuilding and conflict prevention area of focus. I also encourage you to contribute to the Ian and Juliet Riseley Endowed Fund in The Rotary Foundation to support peace projects.
If Paul Harris could see us now, he would be amazed by the astonishing growth of the little club he founded in 1905 and the global force for good — and peace — that Rotary is today.