Ni hao, Rotarians!
Every year, as we near the end of the Rotary year, we look back on the path we’ve travelled. Of course, this year has presented special challenges as we face a global coronavirus pandemic that has changed our lives and the way we do service.
The great philosopher Zhuangzi once said, “A path is made by walking on it.” Only by forging ahead into the unknown do we actually make progress, and only by looking back can we see how far we’ve come. The coronavirus crisis is an unprecedented event, and I want us to look back years from now, knowing that we played a decisive role in helping the world overcome this devastating threat.
I am proud of the work that Rotary members and our Foundation are carrying out to stop the spread of COVID-19 and to help people affected. Taiwanese clubs have donated 200,000 face masks. In England, the Rotary Club of Maidenhead Bridge launched a COVID-19 Volunteer Community Response Team to help those in self-isolation by shopping, dropping off prescriptions, and supporting those in need.
The Foundation Trustees worked quickly to add COVID-19 projects to their list of eligible activities for disaster response grants, transfer $3 million to our Disaster Response Fund for COVID-19 grants, and waive the 30 percent foreign financing requirement for any new global grant that addresses COVID-19.
Of course, we have applied the knowledge and resources we have built over many years in fighting another infectious disease: polio. The polio eradication programme is already using its infrastructure to protect the vulnerable from COVID-19, especially in polio-endemic countries.
Please give what you can to help our Foundation, and our members will transform your gift into humanitarian efforts that are saving lives.
We will overcome this virus together, and when we do, we will be able to look back and know that we did not stand by and do nothing when a global public health emergency paralysed the world. Instead, we took action and gave all that we could to stop this virus and make lasting change in our communities to help people survive and recover. Thank you for your past, present, and future support of our Foundation.
Gary C K Huang
Foundation Trustee Chair