Wednesday, 26 September 2018
In our Rotary calendar, October is Economic and Community Development Month. Please allow me to share some statistics. Around 795 million people in the world live on less than US$1.90 a day. In other words 1 in 9 people do not have enough to eat. Out of this hungry people, 60% are women and girls. Approximately 70% of the world’s poorest people live in rural areas and have to rely on agriculture and related activities to sustain them. The poorest face many problems such as starvation, poor nutrition, wars, diseases, lack of water and sanitation,natural disasters, etc.
Rotarians and Rotary Foundation have responded to such problems by strengthening local entrepreneurs, community leaders and women through the training and access to better-paying jobs as well as financial management institutions. Entrepreneurs can tap on microloans to become drivers, weavers, tailors, street vendors, etc. Those in agricultural communities can borrow money to buy livestock or plant crops. Rotary members have adopted villages to help them break the cycle of poverty. In Tanzania, Rotarians have helped those afflicted with albinism to fend off stigma and superstition. Rotary International partnering with Heifer International provide farmers with training to prolong their growing season. Sustainable farming and soil management are also taught so as to improve crop yields and profits. Rotarians also work with partners to bring solar lights to homes in remote places.
Last year, Rotary Foundation spent US$9.2mil to grow local economies and reduce poverty. Even in this part of the world, more can be done to reduce poverty. I encourage all Rotarians in our District to continue helping the poor in our communities. Assistance to the poor can take various form such as providing bursaries, scholarships, training to learn a new skill, setting up of education centres (such as the one done by RC Yong Peng), donation of books and stationeries, construction of fishing ponds, donations of new laptop computers ( this has been done by RC of Pasir Gudang and Malacca), etc. Do work with both Rotary and non-Rotary partners too. For instance, RC Singapore West and Bugis junction jointly brought folks from Society for Aged Sick to have coffee at a nearby coffee shop.
I like to encourage all clubs to send delegates to our 30th Pan Borneo Meet 2018 which will be held from 2 to 4 Nov 2018 at Riverside Majestic Hotel, Kuching, Sarawak. You will enjoy good fellowship as well as enrich your Rotary knowledge at this event. I look forward to your strong support for this event.
This year World Polio Day will fall on 24 Oct 2018. Rotary working with partners has brought down polio cases by 99.9% worldwide ever since our first project in 1979 to vaccinate children in the Philippines. Although we are close to eliminating this dreadful disease, we need your continuous support especially financial contributions to the Rotary Foundation. End Polio Now campaign will be carried out across our District. Do continue to support such campaigns. Get the Interactors, Rotaractors involved and also invite community leaders too so that they can appreciate the good work carried out by Rotary.
In the course of my duty as your District Governor, I am glad to announce that to date I have visited half of all our Rotary clubs in our District 3310. I will complete the visit of the other half by the end of Oct 2018. My wife and I like to thank you for your very warm hospitality. During my visits I am happy to note that you have great plans to help the community. Do carry out your plans as soon as possible. In terms of funding you can explore working with other clubs, outside entities and/or tap on global grant. The other area I would like clubs to pay attention is membership growth. Please continue to recruit new members especially younger ones. These younger people may not necessarily share the same hobbies, outlook, values, etc with you as they are the product of a new generation – a generation transformed by rapid development in IT. This year we have several young Presidents. Therefore, be open to new ideas from them as to how to carry out Rotary activities.
Let us be guided by Rotary’s new vision statement which calls for unity. By being united among ourselves and by uniting with others, we will be more effective in reaching out to others and to carry out projects and activities that will have a longer lasting impact. We can unite with others by involving them in our activities. So for all your fellowship and service projects do invite not only your members but also your friends, community leaders, potential donors and potential members to attend.
With best wishes
D3310 District Governor RY2018-19