R. I. President & TRF Chair's Monthly Messages

Rotary International Ray Klinginsmith's February 2011 Message

February 2010

Rotary DNA!

My fellow Rotarians

This Rotary year features a culture of innovation in which we are looking at all aspects of our policies, practices, and procedures to see if they can be modernized and improved. Not surprisingly for an old and large organization like ours, we are identifying many areas that could, and should, be brought up to date.

But at the same time, I fully recognize that some things are so significant in Rotary's success that they are sacrosanct. They are referred to in the RI Strategic Plan as our core values, but I prefer to call them our DNA. They are the characteristics that distinguish Rotary from all other organizations. They are the essence of who Rotarians are and what Rotarians have in common around the world.

The five core values named in the RI Strategic Plan are fellowship, service, integrity, diversity, and leadership. Young people prefer the word networking to our traditional word of fellowship, but to me they are equivalent. Both words lead to lasting friendships in our clubs, which keep us together between projects and which make Rotary membership truly priceless. Friendship is clearly the most essential element of Rotary's DNA!

Rotarians should not worry that the current emphasis on modernization will damage our core values. That would be alien to Cowboy Logic, which includes the admonitions "Remember that some things are not for sale" and "Know where to draw the line." I want to assure Rotarians that we will not alter the values and attitudes that have made Rotary a premier organization – one that is now on the world stage through PolioPlus!

We have so much to be proud of as Rotarians. This is our finest hour, and our best days are still ahead as we help our clubs to be Bigger, Better, and Bolder. Along with our five core values, persistent progress is another prestigious part of Rotary's DNA!

Ray Klinginsmith
Building Communities / Bridging Continents
President, Rotary International, 2010-11


TRF Chairman's February 2011 Message

Promoting World Understanding through Future Vision

As February is World Understanding Month it could be a good time to think of the international service provided by Rotarians, clubs, and districts in light of the Future Vision pilot.

District 9800 (Australia) has allocated an amount of its district grant funds to send a medical team to Timor-Leste to implement a training program for midwives to help reduce the mortality rate of mothers and infants during childbirth. The district has also budgeted an amount to install a solar-powered water pump for a school and neighboring community in Tanzania.

District 2070 (San Marino; Italy) is planning for a number of large district grant activities, including sending medical volunteers to humanitarian projects in Kosovo, Peru, and Madagascar, medical equipment to Congo, and a vocational training team to District 7490 (New Jersey, USA).

The Rotary Club of San Ignacio, Belize (District 4250), is host sponsor together with the international sponsor Rotary Club of South Cowichan (Mill Bay), B.C., Canada (District 5020), on a project to construct an open drainage system on the campus of Sacred Heart College (high school) in Belize to prevent flooding of the school and the breeding of mosquitos that transmit dengue fever. There is also being implemented a multiplatform public health education campaign in cooperation with school authorities, the municipality, and community leaders, which will make the project sustainable.

There are several similarly good projects being implemented in many places throughout the world, all leading up to Building Communities – Bridging Continents through Service Above Self.

Foundation Trustee Chair, 2010-11

Source: Rotary International

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