Service at the centre

There’s something magical about Rotary. Even after all these years of being a member, I continue to be amazed by it.

Take successful leaders from various backgrounds and professions and bring them together under a set of core values with service at the centre. Add networks and friendship and then watch the magic start happening.

It’s you — Rotarians and Rotaractors — who make that magic happen. You are the business and community leaders and the entrepreneurs who bring your passions, skills, and interests to everything we do. It’s you who think outside of the box and apply what you know to serve others.

I see the same magic in Rotary Foundation grants that are funded by you and led by you. It’s present in the partnership between Rotary clubs in Canada and Uganda that supports economic and community development and vocational training at the same time. This global grant-funded initiative trains Ugandan youths in welding and related skills to make wheelchairs for a children’s home serving people with disabilities. Technicians receive training in Canada and return home with valuable skills to start enterprises, helping meet the need for wheelchairs in the community.

Another global grant-supported project that reflects Rotary’s entrepreneurial spirit is in Guatemala. To address the challenges of limited internet access for rural schools, a host club in Guatemala partnered with Irish members to initiate a project that is equipping six schools and three community centres in the rural Sololá area with plug-and-play servers containing educational materials like books and videos. The grant also furnishes laptops and uninterruptible power supplies and trains teachers, benefiting about 1,800 individuals as it leverages technology for literacy and education.

Don’t forget: Foundation global grants also support ­scholarships. One such scholarship, sponsored by Italian and German clubs, focuses on artificial intelligence in disease prevention and treatment. Italian scholar Salvatore Galati conducted research at a university in Bonn, Germany, using AI algorithms to analyse vast datasets for innovative drug development. Such computer-aided approaches can reduce costs and research time in the development of life saving drugs.

It’s fantastic to see us innovating and incorporating new approaches and technology into our Foundation grants. I look forward to meeting many of you at the 2024 Rotary International Convention in Singapore in a few short weeks, where we will learn about new opportunities to serve and innovate. It will be a chance to celebrate that Rotary magic and the many ways we Create Hope in the World.

Barry Rassin
TRF Trustee Chair

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