Rotarian People of Action

6 humanitarians honored for their work with refugees

Six humanitarians who are members of the family of Rotary are being honored as People of Action: Connectors Beyond Borders during the 2019 Rotary Day at the United Nations, which focuses this year on the global refugee crisis.

The annual event, being held at the UN’s headquarters in New York, USA, on 9 November this year, celebrates the vision for peace that Rotary and the UN share. Through Rotary’s long history with the UN, its members have helped people affected by war, famine, and disaster.

Today, the number of refugees worldwide is the highest it has been since World War II. The six honorees — five Rotary members and a Rotary Peace Fellow — are all people of action who have found community-based solutions to the refugee crisis.

Bernd Fischer

Club: Rotary Club of Berlin, Germany

Project: Integration of refugee women into German society

Description: Fischer, a retired diplomat, is coordinating Rotary clubs in Europe and the U.S. on a grant project to integrate 240 refugee women into German society by helping them overcome cultural and language differences that hinder their participation in daily life. The project has already trained 100 women with children and has provided mentoring in their own languages, job training and placement assistance, and child care when they need medical and psychological treatment.

Lucienne Heyworth

Rotary connection: Rotary Peace Fellow (Uppsala University, 2015-17)

Project: Education curriculum in times of emergency, focused on the Middle East

Description: Heyworth developed an “education in emergencies” curriculum to provide instructional materials that can be used in makeshift learning spaces to teach people displaced by conflict. Such spaces create critical safe places for entire communities, where families can fill other basic needs like food, hygiene, and health. Heyworth, who was a teacher before she developed her expertise in providing education in areas of conflict, has focused her work in the Middle East.

Ilge Karancak-Splane

Club: Rotary Club of Monterey Cannery Row, California, USA

Project: Education and integration project in Turkey for Syrian refugee children

Description: After visiting several refugee tent camps in Turkey, Karancak-Splane organized Rotary clubs to provide 1,000 pairs of children’s shoes and socks for families in the camps in 2017. Recognizing that the children also lacked access to schools, Karancak-Splane and her Rotary club launched a global grant project to help educate refugee children.

Hasina Rahman

Club: Rotary Club of Dhaka Mavericks, Bangladesh

Project: Nutrition services for Rohingya children in Bangladesh

Description: Rahman, assistant country director of Concern Worldwide, has mobilized Rotary clubs and partner agencies to raise funds for and construct an outpatient therapeutic center that provides lifesaving preventive care and nutrition services for children and pregnant women who have fled to the Cox’s Bazar refugee camp in Bangladesh to escape violence in Myanmar. The center has screened more than 500,000 Rohingya children and helped more than 7,000 severely malnourished children. Staff members and volunteers have learned about feeding infants and young children, and refugee families have received information in their own language about breastfeeding and proper hygiene.

Ace Robin

Club: Rotary Club of Mataram Lombok, Mataram, Indonesia

Project: Disaster relief and housing for people displaced by earthquakes

Description: Robin has led her club’s and community’s efforts to provide assistance to people displaced by a series of earthquakes in the Lombok region of Indonesia during 2018. She served as the contact person for ShelterBox, aiding in the delivery of 915 units of temporary housing near Lombok. She and her fellow club members brought water, food, and other necessities to people who were displaced and distributed teaching materials, uniforms, shoes, and bags for students. Robin remains involved in the long-term recovery efforts.

Vanderlei Lima Santana

Club: Rotary Club of Boa Vista-Caçari, Roraima, Brazil

Project: Humanitarian aid to Venezuelan refugees

Description: Santana has led efforts to welcome and care for thousands of Venezuelan refugees arriving in northern Brazil because of desperate economic conditions in their country. Santana’s club has been working with the government and nonprofit organizations to coordinate the distribution of meals and vaccines to more than a thousand refugees who are living in streets or makeshift shelters in a plaza near the local bus station. They also provide professional development assistance and help the refugees find places to sleep.

Working to Eradicate Polio

Nigeria reaches crucial polio milestone

By Ryan Hyland

Volunteers vaccinate children in Maiduguri, Nigeria, against polio, marking the houses they’ve visited.
Photo by Andrew Esiebo

It’s been three years since health officials last reported a case of polio caused by the wild poliovirus in Nigeria. The milestone, reached on 21 August, means that it’s possible for the entire World Health Organization (WHO) African region to be certified wild poliovirus-free next year.

Nigeria’s success is the result of several sustained efforts, including domestic and international financing, the commitment of thousands of health workers, and strategies to immunize children who previously couldn’t be reached because of a lack of security in the country’s northern states.

“Rotary, its Global Polio Eradication Initiative partners, and the Nigerian government have strengthened immunization and disease detection systems,” says Michael K. McGovern, chair of Rotary’s International PolioPlus Committee. He adds: “We are now reaching more children than ever in some of the hardest-to-reach places in Nigeria.”

McGovern says Rotary members in Nigeria play an important role in ridding the country of the disease. “Rotarians have been hard at work raising awareness for polio eradication, advocating with the government, and addressing other basic health needs to complement polio eradication efforts, like providing clean water to vulnerable communities.”

Nigeria is the last country in Africa where polio is endemic. Once Africa is certified as free of the wild poliovirus, five of the WHO’s six regions will be free of wild polio. Polio remains endemic in Afghanistan and Pakistan, which means transmission of the virus has never been stopped.

Dr. Tunji Funsho, chair of Rotary’s Nigeria National PolioPlus Committee, acknowledges the milestone but cautions Rotary members about celebrating too soon. He cites the challenge of making certain that routine immunizations reach every child in Nigeria.

“It’s paramount that we ensure all doors are locked to the re-entry of the wild poliovirus into our country,” says Funsho.

Funsho says to achieve this, Rotary needs to maintain strong advocacy efforts, continue to increase awareness of immunization campaigns, and ensure members raise necessary funds. Rotary has contributed $268 million to fight polio in Nigeria.

“As the first organization to dream of a polio-free world, Rotary is committed to fulfilling our promise,” says McGovern. “Our progress in Nigeria is a big step toward that goal, but we need to maintain momentum so that Pakistan and Afghanistan see the same level of progress.”

Join Rotary on World Polio Day, 24 October, to celebrate our progress. Help us reach our goal of a polio-free world by donating today.

Meet our District Governor

DG John McKenzie planting tree at Europa Park, Cowra

JOHN MCKENZIE 

Rotary Club of Orange North

Ph 0402018318 [email protected]

John joined the Rotary Club of Orange North in 2004 and was President in 2009- 10. He enjoys the fellowship and service opportunities that the club provides. John has a background as an academic in adult learning in Agriculture. Following various management positions in NSW Department of Primary Industry, John set up his own consulting company which operated successfully from 2000 until retirement in 2014. As a consultant, John managed programs for Research and Development Corporations in Agriculture on capacity building for rural industries. In these roles, John was heavily involved in developing programs and projects that improve the capacity of people in the food and agriculture sector to manage change. In addition, John has led overseas development projects in the Philippines and Sri Lanka.

John is married to Fayah with two children and lives at Forest Reefs south of Orange. John’s other interests include scuba diving, cycling, bush walking and flying and he is Chief Flying Instructor and Instructor Trainer for Orange Flight Training. Positions held within the Rotary Club of Orange North and District 9700 include:

2006-07 – Vocational Service Director Orange North (ON)

07-08 – Secretary ON 08-09 – Administration Director/President Elect ON

09-10 – President ON 10-11 to 12-13 – Assistant Governor group 2

10-11 – District Conference Program Coordinator 2011 – member of a small team installing a water supply scheme to a village in PNG.

2011 – GSE team leader to Scotland District 1010 2012 – Awarded PHF by Orange North

11-12 – District Assembly facilitator when District Trainer unavailable

12-13 – Secretary ON 14-15 – Foundation Director ON

15-16 – Secretary ON

13-14 to 16-17 District Grants Committee Chair

10-11 to 16-17 – Food Plant Solutions District Coordinator

10-11 to 16-17 – D 9700 Club Visioning Coordinator

13-14 to present – District IT committee member

16-17 – District Secretary

August – Membership and New Club Development Month

Promoting membership with new ideas, even some that challenge tradition

Picture – Michael McQueen

Strengthening Rotary’s membership is not just important for incoming district governors, it’s critical. That’s the message they received from several key speakers at their training event, the 2015 International Assembly in San Diego.

For membership to grow, leaders must be willing, for example, to ease stringent club meeting protocols and make other efforts to accommodate a younger, digitally oriented demographic.

Seventy percent of Rotary members are 50 years or older, while half of the world’s population is under 30, according to Rotary leaders. The contrast shouldn’t be something to fear, but rather something to embrace, said Rotary member Michael McQueen, a bestselling author who studies social change, youth culture, and cultural issues and whose consulting firm, The Nexgen Group, specializes in demographic shifts and social trends.

To engage this young demographic, McQueen says that staying relevant is crucial. He shared three key ways that enduring organizations can do that: re-calibrate, re-engineer, and re-position.

But relevance does not involve compromise, McQueen stressed; the values, priorities, and commitment of Rotary should never change. “Any organization that is willing to compromise its DNA in order to stay relevant never lasts. After all, if you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything,” said McQueen, a member of the Rotary Club of Crows Nest, New South Wales, Australia.

RI General Secretary John Hewko expressed a similar view when he addressed the assembly. He said it’s clear that members have been able to accomplish a great deal, but asked what they are “willing to do” to make Rotary stronger.

“So I’m asking all of you, in the coming year, to be voices for doing everything we can in Rotary, not just everything that’s comfortable or easy or the way things have always been done,” he said. “Be advocates for thoughtful, positive, and lasting change. We have a great tradition in Rotary, but it’s our tradition. We made it, we own it — it doesn’t own us; if it no longer serves its purpose, we can change it.”

McQueen suggests adjusting some of the traditions, processes, and protocols that “could be the very things that cause us to lose relevance.”

In McQueen’s native Australia, the Rotary Club of Toronto Sunrise, New South Wales, has three members sharing leadership responsibilities for a year as co-presidents. The club reports that having the skills and ideas of three leaders is prompting other changes, and has already resulted in a 25 percent gain in membership. 

According to McQueen, change and innovation are led by people with fresh perspectives. Rotary members can draw new ideas from new members, guest speakers, family members, even children who tag along to club meetings.

“The beauty of people with fresh eyes is that they don’t know how things have always been done because no one has told them yet,” said McQueen. “They have no trouble thinking outside the box because no one has told them what the box even looks like.”

And young people, he said, “represent an enormous opportunity for this organization from a membership point of view. They are an ambitious bunch of natural networkers who, contrary to popular opinion, have a strong sense of civic duty.”

Change is never easy, McQueen conceded, but Rotary members must be open to it. “We must avoid the trap of ever feeling we have arrived at the winning formula, which we then set in stone. After all, the moment you think you’ve made it, you’ve passed it.”

Growing membership is a major goal of Rotary President Gary C.K. Huang. Engaging youth, inviting more women into clubs, and embracing change are all important to increasing and keeping members, Huang said.

Sometimes, he noted, adding a member is as simple as asking someone to join. Since he took office on 1 July, Huang has recruited several dignitaries while traveling, including Ed Royce, a U.S. congressman from California; Mulenga Sata, deputy mayor of Lusaka, Zambia’s capital; and Beatrice Lorenzin, Italy’s minister of health. All of them, Huang said, praised Rotary’s work before being asked to join.

RI President-elect K.R. “Ravi” Ravindran applauded Huang’s tireless work, calling him a “one-man army” promoting membership.

“All of you are going to be busy people next year, and I urge you to make a habit of asking other busy people to join. Don’t leave them out,” said Huang, “Maybe some of them will say no, and that’s OK. But I don’t want any of them to say they are not Rotarians because nobody ever asked.”

He added: “Our membership and services are what make Rotary powerful and strong. To keep it strong, membership recruitment and retention have to be a priority for every incoming Rotary leader.”

New Leadership Month

Welcome to the new Rotary year.

Start of new Rotary officers’ year of service this month with a focus on:

  • Tree Plantation
  • Reduce, Re-Use, Re-Cycle Waste

For our Club we need to ensure that all officers are aware of their responsibilities for the coming year. All officers will be sent by email their respective manuals that document their area of focus and responsibilities.

New Meeting Concept

At our meeting held 25th June 2019 it was decided to adopt a new meeting concept where the meeting is emailed in PDF format one week before our ZOOM meeting. This will assist those who have slow internet connections and allow them to view video and powerpoint presentations at their own leisure.

We intend for members and those wanting to makeup that they follow the meeting including videos so that at our ZOOM meeting we can discuss any points or questions arising from the presentations. You can view our meeting concept at:

http://rotaryeclubservinghumanity.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/1-June-25th.pdf

As a trial at this meeting we used a very powerful speech made to the by Rebecca Fry who discussed Public Image and Rotary Core values at the Rotary International Assembly in San Diego (January2019) in front of an audience of over 1500 people.

Rebecca is a member of the Rotary E-Club of Silicon Valley but resides in Sydney, Australia. She is Government Affairs and Community Specialist at Johnson & Johnson, Sydney, Australia and is currently Social Media Manager for Rotary International. In additions she is Past Chair & currently Head of Public Relations with Rotaract Australia.

Please view her presentation by clicking on the link below:

Rebecca Fry
https://vimeopro.com/rotary/2019-international-assembly/video/310885428

We would appreciate any comments about our new meeting concept.