It is that time of the year again, a time of new hopes and new aspirations. In the Rotary world, January marks the beginning of the second half of the Rotary year. Has time gone by in a flash? Or has it moved slowly? In her famous novel The Colour Purple, Alice Walker comments on the duality of time: “Time moves slowly but passes quickly.” It is time then to take stock, to make every minute count, since so much remains to be done.
Just when we thought the situation was limping back to normalcy, a new mutation of Covid has once again disrupted life. Whilst many of us have adjusted to working from home, imagine the plight of workers in the travel and hospitality industries, many of whom were laid off and remain unemployed. Schools have been shut for almost two years now. An entire generation of schoolchildren is having to pay a terrible price because of the pandemic. Some children had to drop out of school because their parents have been rendered jobless; others suffer because the network connectivity for online education is not easily available; still others attend online classes but studies show that the “learning” is dismal.
The Rotary Foundation has many programmes that offer solutions to these problems. Clubs can discuss with the district leadership about the opportunities available.
Earlier, I spoke of the need for a half-yearly review. With respect to the Foundation, this review is an important exercise undertaken at the zonal level. Each of the four zones has a separate meeting and every DG makes a presentation of the district’s current TRF status and future plans. The zonal RRFC, EMGA, EPNC, ARRFCs, TRF staff from RISAO and the RI director concerned attend the meeting which is chaired by me as TRF Trustee. Teamwork is emphasised because we believe that “working together works”.
I urge every DG and club president to undertake this mid-year review, not only of TRF contributions but also membership goals, service projects and pandemic related issues that have beleaguered the local community. Please do not delay this exercise because, as Brooke Davies says in the TV series One Tree Hill, “One day, you’re 17 and you’re planning for someday. And then quietly, without you ever really noticing, someday is today. And then someday is yesterday. And then it’s too late.”
Best wishes for a happy, healthy and peaceful 2022.
Gulam A Vahanvaty
Trustee, The Rotary Foundation