We’ll emerge stronger from this pandemic


There is a world of difference between a problem and a challenge. If a ­honeybee faces a giant hornet alone, the bee has a problem. But if the honeybee faces the hornet with a swarm of other bees, then it is the hornet that has a problem.

This is true in nature, but it is also the human predicament. So when the situation I confront is greater than the resources I have, then it can be termed as a problem. However, if the resources I have are greater than the situation I am faced with, then it is just a challenge. Sometimes we overestimate our problems and underestimate our ability to overcome them.

The Covid-19 pandemic seemed like a situation that might overwhelm The Rotary Foundation. But as things have progressed, we have not allowed it to do so. As of June 4, we have funded 208 disaster response grants for $5.2 million and 169 new global grants at $13.8 million — all in three months. We have leveraged individual Rotarians’ generosity with Foundation funds and in many cases other corporate funds to make projects larger and more impactful.

We never allowed the pandemic to overpower us. Indeed, history shows that Rotarians are a curious breed. We are visionaries, an idealistic lot that dreams big dreams of a better world. At the same time, we are resilient and able to withstand challenges that others might succumb to.

We were not idle during the pandemic lockdowns. We raised funds and did projects just as we would have if there had been no lockdown. We remembered that it’s the same business that we always do — reaching out to people in distress — except the methodology by which we did it changed.

Our process of preparing and delivering the projects changed.

The way we communicated what we did changed.

The Rotary Foundation is more than 100 years old and has already weathered many storms — some of them mild and others devastating to the world. Thanks to the strength, sacrifice, and compassion of Rotarians and the level to which they have extended themselves, I believe the Foundation will continue to face the future with renewed hope and inspiration.

Our Foundation will emerge from this pandemic much stronger and more resilient as long as you continue to have trust and faith in it.


K R Ravindran
Foundation Trustee Chair

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