As I handover to Nick Drake at the District Council and we enter the new year can I take a moment to reflect.
Who would have thought at the beginning of the year that Covid-19 would put us in to lockdown from March. That said Rotarians took up the challenge and have supported their community and beyond in many ways.
We still meet but instead of face to face they take place but online, this allows continued fellowship and a wide range of meeting options including speakers quizzes coffee mornings to name a few.
Over the year I was amazed at the ideas, events and projects that Rotary undertake, this has continued despite Covid-19. So can I take this opportunity to thank the District Exec, District Team, without their support we wouldn’t be able to achieve all that we do also the Clubs without these their wouldn’t be the framework to serve.
Finally I would like to thank you personally as Rotarians or Rotaractors without you, your input, and all the hard work supporting your Club and Community there would not be Rotary.
I honestly believe Rotary has a great future, so as Rotarian’s let us go and make it. I look forward to meeting you face to face, but for the time being let us continue the good work Finally, best wishes for the year and to keep safe.
As we transition between Rotary Connect the World into Rotary Opens Opportunities. I would like to personally thank you for all the hard work and service you have given to your communities and fellow Rotarians during the year especially through the recent difficult times.
Without you and your input, supporting your Club and
Community there would not be Rotary.
I honestly believe Rotary has a great future, let
us go and make it. I look forward to meeting you face to face, but for the time
being let us continue the good work and to keep safe.
I would like to wish you Nick Drake and his wife Caroline all the best for the coming year, it will fly by, remember to have fun, and enjoy it.
The Rotary Representative Network to the United Nations (UN) and other agencies is a prime example of Rotary connecting the world, and its history starts in the 1940s.
Rotary played a critical leadership role in the San Francisco conference that formed the United Nations in 1945. The Rotary Representative Network grew out of this deep and lasting relationship with the UN.
Rotary Representatives at UN Agencies and key international organisations in 15 capital cities around the world including:
United Nations – New York & Geneva. World Bank & Organization of American States – Washington, D.C. United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization & Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development – Paris European Union – Brussels Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations – Rome Commonwealth of Nations – London Arab League – Cairo African Union – Addis Ababa United Nations Environment Programme & United Nations Habitat – Nairobi United Nations offices in Bangkok, Santiago & Beirut
On the 19th June at 7pm, the Canadian High Commission and Bertha DocHouse (London’s documentary-only cinema) will be providing a free screening of “Inside My Heart”. This documentary follows the journey of three refugee families trying to find asylum in Europe over a three year period.
We have also managed to organise an “in-discussion” and Q&A session at the end of the screening with the documentary’s director, Debra Kellner and Rosella Pagliuchi-Lor, the current UNHCR representative to the UK.
The documentary itself should be about 70 minutes, with the Q&A/discussion session lasting about 30 minutes.
The High Commission will also be supplying information at the end of the screening on how people based in the UK can help refugees (this includes information on community sponsorship – although this is a fairly new concept in the UK, it is a large pathway of private refugee sponsorship in Canada and one that I know Rotary and many other community organisations get involved in back in Canada).
James Onions from Kew Gardens Rotary has been instrumental in the Sand Dams project, which provide dryland communities in poor areas of the world access to safe and clean water.
Communities in dryland areas of the world people often live in poverty, with women and children walking five hours per day, in dangerous conditions, only able to reach unsafe water. A sand dam is a reinforced rubble cement wall built across a seasonal sandy river. They are a simple, low cost, low maintenance technology that retains rainwater and recharges groundwater. Sand dams are the most cost-effective method of water conservation in dryland environments.
James mentioned: “This technology can bring safe water to 74% of the world’s poorest people, and it is hard to find a more cost effective way to enable such communities to have access to safe water and healthy food, improve their health and free time for children to be educated.”
This project used the strength of the Rotary network with over 200 clubs and the Rotary Foundation working together to help finance the project. Over £750,000 has been raised by clubs in Rotary Great Britain and Ireland, thanks to the drive and passion James has shown the impact of the project wouldn’t be what it is today.
To recognise the achievement Jame has been awarded a Champion of Change
Another month and we are still in Lockdown. Within the District the number of Clubs that are meeting using Zoom, Messenger or Telephone has risen to over 85 clubs.
This technology not only offers us the opportunity to make new friends, but it can also allow us to support our communities and its’ groups. One example is if you have a Zoom Licence for the Club, why not offer it to the local Scout or Guide Group for virtual meetings or have open Coffee Mornings.
We have found some schools do not have a licence, so they could use it for staff meetings, or a class meeting where the students can have some time together; the opportunities are endless.
If you have supported the Youth Competitions and RYLA or have hosted a Global Scholar, why not invite them to your virtual meeting. They can tell you their experiences of the lockdown. We invited our Global Scholar to our Zoom Meeting; the outcome was a group photo and a link with a club in Iowa. We are now planning a joint meeting and who knows how we will work together in the future.
So why not continue with the virtual raids both within the District or overseas allowing us to share new ideas and make new friends. Keeping in touch is a must, it provides support while maintaining our friendship and fellowship.
There is a new conversation, togetherTalks, a weekly series of online conversation events, connecting people from across the globe to a range of leading speakers from the worlds of business, humanitarian interest and more.
The talks take place every Tuesday at 7.05pm and are streamed live on Rotary in Great Britain and Ireland’s YouTube channel. They are targeted at Rotarians and non-Rotarians.
For details on past talks and upcoming talks take a look at: together Talks