RI President 2021-22 Shekhar Mehta-
Dear Fellow Rotarians, Rotaractors, and friends,
Friends, one of my mantras in Rotary has been do
more, grow more. I am sure you are adopting this mantra. Do
more, as in bigger and impactful service projects, and grow
more, as in increasing our membership.
There is so much excitement across the Rotary world about our Each
One, Bring One effort. Everywhere I travel, club presidents, district
governors, and Rotary members — both veteran and new —
express appreciation that their membership efforts are inspiring
the Rotary world.
We are growing more, and I cannot wait to celebrate all of this
success with you at the Rotary International Convention in Houston
in June. There is still time to register and make your plans to
join us. We are looking forward to a once-in-a-lifetime experience
that will unite our members after far too much time apart.
As we grow more, we will have so much more opportunity to do
more. April is Maternal and Child Health Month, a great opportunity
for your clubs to consider what you are doing to support the health
of mothers and young children. Improving access to care and the
quality of care for women and children worldwide is an important
focus for us and it also ties in very well with our Empowering Girls
initiative. I appreciate the work being done by various clubs in
this area of focus, and I would encourage you to think of ways to do
It has been so exciting to see Rotary members come together at the
presidential conferences to share ideas about using our areas of
focus to bring about big, lasting change in the world. The past
and upcoming presidential conferences are looking at our new area
of focus — the environment — and how our work to protect
our planet must support our efforts to grow local economies, especially
in places with the greatest poverty. I also had the honor to speak
at the 26th United Nations climate change conference in Glasgow,
Scotland, known as COP26. This important meeting brought together
nearly 100 heads of state and government over a two-week period
to set new targets for fossil fuel emission. My call to action was
to restore mangroves, a crucial ecosystem that can mitigate the
effects of climate change in coastal areas. Already, countries across
the world are showing great enthusiasm for this plan.
Our survival is at stake — the damage of environmental catastrophe
is already upon us — and so, too, is our ability to lift the
world’s most needy out of poverty and offer them hope. We
must find ways to protect our planet while sustaining the economic
growth necessary to achieve our highest humanitarian goals.
This is a very exciting time in Rotary, a time when the world needs
us most. As we Serve to Change Lives, remember that we are
also changing ourselves. We are becoming the world’s great
change-makers and peacebuilders.
The world is ready for us. It’s time to rise to that call.
Trustee Chair's Message - April
Trustee Chair 2021-22
What’s your Rotary moment — a time that
strengthened your dedication to Rotary and confirmed
you would be a lifetime Rotarian? I have had many
such moments over the years, and they all had one
thing in common: They showed me Rotary’s tangible
power of turning our dreams of a better world into
Rotary members are exceptional at it. I see that power
in my own club in Chattanooga, Tennessee, and now,
as Rotary Foundation trustee chair, in clubs and districts
around the world.
Rotary members from Austria, Germany, Nigeria, and
Switzerland are realizing their dream to help mothers
and children in Nigeria. In partnership with several
organizations, they have launched a multiyear, large-scale
project to reduce unwanted births and drive down rates
of maternal and child mortality. This project, once
a vision of a few members but now the recipient of
Foundation global grants, is training doctors, nurses,
and midwives throughout all 36 states of Nigeria.
Every great project begins in the minds of our members.
You are the ones who see schools where adolescent
girls have stopped attending because of the lack of
private bathrooms. You are the ones who see families
facing food shortages, the children who can’t
read, and the communities with health problems caused
by mosquitoes. You not only see these things, but
because you are in Rotary, you also do something about
And because of that engagement, over the past decade,
the amount of money the Foundation has awarded for
global grants has grown by more than 100 percent.
As more and more Rotarians have become involved, to
keep our grants going we have had to adjust and stretch
those funds by reducing overhead and by other means.
The reason is simple: While the need for these projects
is increasing and grant participation is also on the
rise, annual giving from Rotary members has stayed
relatively static for years.
Quite simply, we need more clubs and individuals to
give to the Annual Fund to help keep our district
and global grants thriving. This year, we set a goal
of raising $125 million for the Annual Fund. We can’t
realize your Rotary dreams or those of your fellow
members without everyone’s support.
Remember: It’s not about the money, but about
what our money can do. I am a firm believer that when
we all give what we can, both as clubs and individuals,
to the Foundation every year, we take another step
toward making the world a better place.
Imagine the Rotary dreams we could make real if every
member and every club got together and made a gift
to our Foundation today. That would be quite a Rotary
moment — for all of us.
John F. Germ
Trustee Chair 2021-22
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