R. I. President and Trustee Message


RI President 2021-22 Shekhar Mehta- Feb 2022

Dear Fellow Rotarians, Rotaractors, and friends,

At the start of the Rotary year, I challenged every club to plan and host at least one practical and action-oriented Rotary Day of Service. The event should address a challenge your community is facing that fits into one or more of Rotary’s areas of focus and should bring together volunteers from within and outside of Rotary.

Rotary Days of Service can motivate Rotary, Rotaract, and Interact clubs to plan innovative and impactful projects. They can showcase your work as people of action and introduce prospective members to your club.

I’ve been inspired by your response so far, and I want to share with you just one project that has captured my imagination.

India is home to an estimated 74 million people with diabetes, a disease that is a leading cause of death. Furthermore, about 50 percent of those people remain undiagnosed.

Rotary, together with the Research Society for the Study of Diabetes in India, saw the urgent need to diagnose, track, and treat people who have diabetes. Working together and with other organizations, we hosted a nationwide blood glucose testing camp on 29 September, which is World Heart Day.

The camp was spread across more than 10,000 sites in India, with more than 2,000 Rotary and Rotaract clubs participating in the effort. More than 1 million blood-sugar tests were conducted in a day, an accomplishment recognized by the Asia Book of Records. But more important than breaking a record is the fact that tens of thousands of people learned that they may be living with diabetes. They can now be treated for the condition, and they also have been made aware that they should take extra measures to shield themselves from COVID-19 and scores of other diseases that are caused or worsened by diabetes.

This month, on 23 February, the anniversary of Rotary, let us celebrate with more service days, showcasing Rotary’s work in our areas of focus. I look forward to hearing about your Rotary Days of Service. Please share your projects on Rotary Showcase, or browse that webpage to find inspiration and project partners. In particular, I encourage you to execute projects that focus on empowering girls, as they have been disproportionately affected by the pandemic. The Empowering Girls initiative is resonating very well with members of Rotary as well as with non-Rotarians. The governments and NGOs in various countries are appreciating this meaningful effort. Let us keep focusing on it.

I am also happy that the Each One, Bring One ethos is bringing fruitful results. Let us ensure that all club members introduce at least one person to Rotary, and that we then all work to engage new members and keep them in our clubs.

In whatever we do, remember that we must push ourselves to grow more, do more as we Serve to Change Lives.

Shekhar Mehta
President 2021-22

Trustee Chair's Message - February2022

John F. Germ
Trustee Chair 2021-22
Chattanooga, Tennessee

Trustee chair's message

I always look forward to February, the month of Rotary’s anniversary, as a time to remember our history. What began as a small gathering in a Chicago office in 1905 soon transformed into a global movement — one that you and I are a part of today.

February is also Peacebuilding and Conflict Prevention Month, when we celebrate a core Rotary concept: the pursuit of global peace and understanding.

Through our global and district grants, The Rotary Foundation is a force for peace — as are all of you who use those funds for projects. A grant that promotes literacy can lead to greater understanding and economic security in that community and beyond. This lays the foundation for peace. When communities aren’t fighting over scarce water resources, because they have a working pump system, they can instead pursue education. Promoting peace is interwoven in all that Rotary does.

The work of actively building peace and understanding has been a hallmark of Rotary since its earliest days. But with the creation in 1999 of the Rotary Peace Centers we began a bold new chapter in this story. This year marks the 20th anniversary of the inaugural class of peace fellows; the innovative program continues to merge a strong, academic understanding of the roots of conflict with practical tactics for solving real-world problems.

Despite the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Rotary Peace Centers were able to adapt, ensuring minimal disruptions to the program. Now, students at our seven centers are resuming their normal activities. This includes young peacebuilders at our newest center at Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda, who are preparing to apply their new knowledge and skills in a region that’s in need of peaceful solutions.

The peace center program keeps growing. Our search committee is researching potential locations in the Middle East or North Africa to establish our eighth center, with plans for its launch as soon as 2024. This is a significant step for Rotary’s efforts in global peace education, as we lay the groundwork for the next generation of fellows to pursue peacebuilding in that region. And we aren’t stopping there: Our goal is to open a Rotary Peace Center in Latin America by 2030.

In the last 117 years, Rotary has grown to become a global force for good — promoting peace and understanding in all of our endeavors. The staying power of Rotary, the Foundation, and our decades-long commitment to peace are things that are worth celebrating, supporting, and sustaining for the generations that will follow us.


John F. Germ
Trustee Chair 2021-22

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