R. I. President and Trustee Message


RI President 2021-22 Shekhar Mehta- May 2022

Dear Fellow Rotarians, Rotaractors, and friends,

Due to your positive response to the Each One, Bring One initiative, I am so happy to see that the membership trends in Rotary are looking up. Let us not lose this momentum — keep inviting new members, and also work hard to retain every member we attract. I look forward to seeing you next month in Houston at the 2022 Rotary International Convention, which I assure you will be a great event.

Also in Houston this June, we will be hosting my final presidential conference. We have devoted this year to conferences built around Rotary’s areas of focus. They have been a tremendous success, both in terms of attendance and in the ideas that were generated.

Last fall, our conference in the Philippines, which focused on protecting the environment and growing local economies, attracted 2,200 people online. In Brazil, our meeting centered around water, sanitation, and hygiene and how it relates to disease prevention and treatment; more than 600 people attended. That was followed by an event about the environment, economy, and peace in Maputo, Mozambique, which attracted around 400 in-person attendees and another 700 virtually. Our conference about keeping the economy and environment in harmony, held in Venice, Italy, had more than 600 in attendance.

Through these conferences and my world travels, numerous leaders have met with me and agreed to collaborate with Rotary. They include the prime minister of Mauritius, the president of Seychelles, the deputy prime minister of Bahrain, and the presidents of Albania and Kosovo. Clearly, Rotary is making an impact, and the world is eager for our leadership.

In Houston, the final presidential conference, Serve to Bring Peace, will focus on an area in which Rotary has long provided leadership. Everything we do in Rotary helps create the conditions that foster peace in communities, nations, and ourselves.

In March, I was able to see firsthand the tremendous difference Rotary is making in Ukraine, as refugees continue to pour into Poland. Donors have contributed millions of dollars to this effort; our projects are making a tremendous difference, and there is enormous gratitude for your continued generosity and support.

It is heartbreaking to see up close all the lives that have been uprooted, and the Ukrainian people are not alone. A devastating civil war in Yemen continues. The humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan is deepening. Armed conflicts affect nations across Africa, including Libya, South Sudan, the Central African Republic, northern Mozambique, Ethiopia, and Cameroon. And major refugee crises continue in Syria and Venezuela.

Rotary will always be on the side of the peaceful resolution of conflict and providing aid and comfort to people in need. Rotary was there at the end of World War II, promoting the creation of the United Nations and standing up for the cause of peacebuilding worldwide. It is time to renew our mission and perform our role as one of the world’s great promoters of peace.

There is no better way to Serve to Change Lives than to serve the cause of peace.

Shekhar Mehta
President 2021-22

Trustee Chair's Message - May2022

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

Trustee chair's message

As an engineer, I have worked my entire life for success that can be measured. I believe in the kind of success you can reach out and touch. And I also know that it doesn’t come overnight, it happens one step at a time.

At The Rotary Foundation, we don’t settle for a vague idea of doing good; we take measurable steps, ones that are concrete and real, toward a defined goal. It’s progress that you can see and tell your family and friends about, each step of the way.

Measurable success is what our new Programs of Scale grants are all about. The first member-led program to receive this annual $2 million grant, Partners for a Malaria-Free Zambia (PMFZ), seeks to reduce malaria by 90 percent in 10 highly affected districts within two provinces of Zambia. It’s an ambitious but achievable goal, based on a community health worker model that has been successful in reducing malaria in other parts of Zambia, as implemented by Rotary members and our partners on the ground.

To help end malaria in Zambia, The Rotary Foundation, World Vision U.S., and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation are each contributing $2 million to PMFZ, whose Rotary-led program already has begun to expand life-saving malaria diagnosis and treatment to hundreds more rural communities. So far this Rotary year, PMFZ has trained, equipped, and deployed more than 1,300 of the 2,500 new community health workers who will help local health centers reach more people who are vulnerable to malaria, such as mothers and children. PMFZ is also collecting and analyzing data to ensure medical supplies get to where they are needed most. This work, along with the close collaboration between implementing partners and Rotary and Rotaract clubs across Zambia, has comprised the first bold steps toward our goal.

PolioPlus is another example of a global project that has been engineered for impact. The fact that we have reduced polio cases by 99.9 percent worldwide is a testament to your generous contributions, our strong partnerships through the Global Polio Eradication Initiative, and a vast network of volunteers who administer drops to children around the world.

And we won’t stop now. Rotary spearheaded the drive to end polio, and Rotary will complete it. Encourage your district leaders to designate leftover District Designated Funds (DDF) for polio eradication, so we can finish the job.

As an engineer, I have been proud to see my blueprints transformed into great structures and facilities. But perhaps I am even prouder of how together in Rotary we have engineered a better world — measurably, step by step, project by project. In Rotary, we can all be engineers of hope, building a better future for the next generation.


John F. Germ
Trustee Chair 2021-22

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