In Australia, Rotarians Against Malaria observe Malaria Awareness Day on 30 April each year, in conjunction with World Malaria Day on 25 April, to raise awareness of the global burden of malaria, a preventable and treatable disease that puts half the world at risk and kills a child every two minutes.
In 2018, these investments saved almost 600,000 lives and prevented nearly 100 million malaria cases compared to 2000 levels. Globally, in 2018, an estimated 1,109 deaths occurred daily as a result of malaria infections. Of 1,109 deaths, an estimated 67% were children under five years.
The global theme for World Malaria Day, ‘Zero Malaria Starts with Me’, emphasizes everyone’s power and responsibility – no matter where they live – to ensure no one dies from a mosquito bite.
Rotary is closely monitoring the pandemic of COVID-19, the illness caused by the novel coronavirus, and continuously assessing the potential impact on Rotary operations, events, and members.
Your health and safety are always our top priorities.
In the near term, Rotary International recommends that districts and Rotary and Rotaract clubs meet virtually, cancel, or postpone meetings and events following the advice of national and local health officials.
Rotary encourages members and their families to take precautions to protect themselves from contracting the virus by: washing your hands often and thoroughly, putting distance between yourself and others if COVID-19 is spreading in your community, and staying home if you are sick.
I am moved to make this post after reading an article on the number of refugees leaving Venezuela and the situation in Turkey and Europe with a huge number of Syrian refugees. Please read the article on Venezuela. https://www.rotary.org/en/exodus-venezuela
I find this an encouraging move by Rotary in a World that seems to have more conflict and challenging situations than ever before. Peace initiatives within our communities are needed now more than ever.
Rotarians, Rotary Peace Fellows, Rotaractors, and Rotary Scholars participate in a Positive Peace workshop.
By Chris Offer, Rotary Club of Ladner, Delta, British Columbia, Canada, and chair of the Peace Major Gifts Initiative
Ispent three days in Ontario, California, USA, in January with a group of passionate peacebuilders learning to be Rotary Positive Peace Activators.
The goal of the three-day training was to develop a worldwide network of peacebuilders to support Rotarians and Rotaractors in fostering Positive Peace in their communities. By 2024, Rotary will train 150 new Positive Peace Activators in six global regions, prepared to educate, coach, and accompany Rotarians in at least 1,000 presentations and/or workshops, and act as consultants on projects locally and globally.
The training is the next step in a growing list of Rotary peace initiatives that I believe are pushing Rotary to a tipping point. Our peace programs will begin rapidly expanding and will change Rotary forever as we go from being advocates for peace to something grander: active and effective peacebuilders.
In 2017, Rotary and the Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP) formed a strategic partnership. This alliance builds on IEP’s research into Positive Peace – the attitudes, institutions, and structures that shape peaceful societies – as well as Rotary’s grassroots work in communities globally.
In addition to our partnership with IEP, Rotary’s Peace Centers are expanding, Rotary Peace Fellows are taking on diverse roles, there is an online peace academy, and clubs and districts are increasing their reach with a variety of peace projects. Major positive peace projects occurred in 2019 in Mexico and Colombia.
The 25 activators who participated in the training with me were Rotarians, peace fellows, Rotaractors, and Rotary Global Scholars. We were trained on the IEP positive peace model and on facilitating meetings. We focused on skills that will enable us to lead education programs with Rotary-affiliated groups.
Rotary seeks to create the conditions for Positive Peace by funding and implementing thousands of local and international peace projects. The Rotary Positive Peace Activators will take a lead as advisors to assist clubs and districts.
This is our peace tipping point.
The WorldSupport Rotary’s work in building peace through your generous gift (select the Endowment-Rotary Peace Centers from the donate menu)
We have all seen the disastrous fires that have erupted, taking lives as well as destroying hundreds of homes and properties across Australia.
Rotary is looking to provide support for families in need. To this end several Rotary Districts and Clubs have established projects which are ready and able to accept donations from you. All of those projects can apply for funds from this appeal. Click to DONATE
The article published in “The Rotarian”, January 2020 tells a story of what Rotary and Rotarians can do to assist those who need assistance: Service above Self
Ski into the heart of Rotary
Guido Franceschetti Rotary Club of Rome International
The only way to survive was to relax every single muscle and then forget about the body. The pain remained, but I learned to contemplate it objectively, almost like a spectator. After my surgeries, I had to lie completely still, my shattered pelvis held together with plates and screws. I could only use one hand; the other shoulder was broken. Fractured vertebrae and ribs added to the pain.
I was skiing with friends in Val d’Isère, France, when the accident happened. The first two days were glorious: good snow, ideal conditions. On the third day, a dense fog rolled in, so we decided to take an easier route down and stop for the day. The runs were smooth and deserted. I was ahead, so I cut right and looked behind me to see if I could catch a glimpse of anyone. I cut left and looked back again. Where were they?
When I faced forward again, a signpost was directly in front of me. I tried an emergency maneuver to avoid it, but it didn’t work. With the little control I had left, I tried dodging it from the side. But it was too late — I hit the post hard.
My friend Bernard found me first. I was in so much pain and very cold. He put his windbreaker over me and called for help. It was too foggy for a helicopter to airlift me off the mountain, so the emergency response team hoisted me onto a toboggan to sled down to a cable car that took me the rest of the way to a waiting ambulance. My injuries were too complicated for the two closest hospitals to treat, so I was transferred to a university hospital in Grenoble for surgery.
My wife, Daniela, was in Rome at the time. She rushed to France, but by the time she got to Grenoble, I had already been taken into surgery. The operation was expected to be very long, so the staff advised her to return to the hotel. I hate to think of how she must have felt, upset and alone in a foreign place with my situation uncertain.
Back at the hotel, Daniela noticed the Rotary logo; the doorman told her that the Rotary Club of Grenoble-Belledonne met there. In fact, their meeting was about to start. Daniela is also a Rotarian, and the timing felt like a blessing. She needed to spend a few hours among friendly faces, even if they were strangers. She decided to attend.
The club members welcomed her warmly, and when she told them about my accident, they showed us what it means to be a part of Rotary. The topic of the meeting shifted from club business to how to help Daniela. One member offered her daughter’s apartment, which was temporarily unoccupied. Another gave Daniela a ride back to the hospital. When she told me everything later, I was very touched. I could tell that Daniela had gained strength to deal with her fears for my health knowing that she could count on friends, even ones she had just met, to help her.
In the following days, while I underwent more operations, the Grenoble Rotarians helped Daniela settle in. They solved the bureaucratic problems that arose when she filled out the paperwork to authorize my stay in France. After two weeks in the hospital, I was transferred to a rehabilitation clinic in the mountains outside Grenoble. My doctors thought it best that I stay nearby, rather than return to Rome, during rehabilitation so they could monitor my progress and intervene if needed.
I spent four months recovering in France. For much of that time, I was completely immobilized. I was well cared for, and Daniela was able to travel back and forth from Rome to see me, but I was still in a foreign place without any family nearby. The rehabilitation clinic was beautiful, but the road to reach it was winding, long, and not very convenient from Grenoble. Yet the Rotarians never left me wanting for company. Their visits brought me a little bit of the outside world, and for that, I was so grateful. After any of them visited, Daniela would, of course, receive an update.
When I finally started to move around in a wheelchair, I asked my doctor for permission to attend the Grenoble-Belledonne club meeting. Through tears, I thanked them for taking care of me and my family.
It’s now been almost 12 years since my accident. I have healed, and our friendship with many members of the Grenoble club endures. I have always believed that the most extraordinary aspect of Rotary is the potential for friendship all over the world. I’m lucky to have lived a very touching example of that.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.