“Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, whoever sows generously will also reap generously.” – 2 Corinthians 9:6
This is the first column of my 26th consecutive year as a weekly columnist. The month of July also heralds the start of another year for Rotary International (RI), a service club with the motto “Service above Self”, which started in 1905.
I have been a Rotarian since 1986 and have just returned from a very captivating annual Rotary convention in Toronto at which there were more than 25,000 delegates from the Rotary family.
RI is made up of more than 33,000 Rotary clubs in over 200 countries and geographical areas, resulting in a network of 1.2 million business and professional leaders, all volunteering their time and talents to serve their communities and the world.
Currently, RI’s areas of focus, a subset of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, are: (1) Peace and Conflict Resolution, (2) Disease Prevention and Treatment, (3) Water and Sanitation, (4) Maternal and Child Health, (5) Basic Education and Literacy, and (6) Economic and Community Development.
There were many high profile speakers who addressed these topics, including Princess Anne (Princess Royal), former First Lady Laura Bush, the Director General of the World Health Organization, the Prime Minister of Haiti, the Prime Minister of Canada, Former Prime Minister of New Zealand Helen Clark, who also was a former Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme.
There were nearly 100 breakout sessions over three days covering a myriad of topics. Of particular interest to me was “How to build Sustainable Communities through micro finance”, which overlaps significantly with my interest in The Shepherding Model for start-up enterprises. I was certainly motivated to try to make it happen through a Rotary partnership when I return to my club.
As another Rotary International year comes to an end, Rotarians the world over reflect on the past year where the Presidential theme was “Making a Difference”. We look forward to the new theme “Be the Inspiration”.
Let us as the family of Rotarians, in our individual clubs and in global partnerships between pairs of clubs, work together with other social partners for the betterment of mankind.