Some years ago, in the Kano plains of Kenya, a well-meaning development agency took on the task of improving water availability to a rural community. Committees were formed, meetings were held, and the local people were consulted. The main need the community identified was improved delivery of water for irrigation and livestock. A plan to meet this need was created, and the work was soon begun, exactly as the community representatives had requested.
Yet once construction began, it was met by immediate protest from groups of community women, who came to the site and physically blocked workers from building diversion channels. Upon further investigation, the agency realized that the water it was diverting for farming came from the only source, for dozens of families, of water for cooking, drinking, and washing. The entire project had to be scrapped.
Why? Because it had never occurred to a single member of the all-male team in charge to consult the local women. At every stage, it was assumed that the men knew the needs, spoke for the community, and were able to represent it. Clearly, this was far from the case. The women knew the needs of the community, and its resources, far better – but their opinion was never sought.
We have had women in Rotary for only the last quarter of our history, and it is no coincidence that those years have been by far our most productive. In 1995, only 1 in 20 Rotarians were women; today, that number has risen to 1 in 5. It is progress, but it is not enough. It is only common sense that if we want to represent our communities, we must reflect our communities, and if we want to serve our communities fully, we must be sure that our communities are fully represented in Rotary.
Rotary’s policy on gender equality is absolutely clear. Yet nearly one-fifth of our clubs still refuse to admit women, usually by claiming that they simply cannot find women who are qualified for membership. I would say that any Rotarian who makes this argument, or believes it, himself lacks the two most basic qualifications for Rotary membership: honesty and good sense.
A club that shuts out women shuts out much more than half the talent, half the ability, and half the connections it should have. It closes out the perspectives that are essential to serving families and communities effectively. It damages not only its own service but our entire organization, by reinforcing the stereotypes that limit us the most. It leads our partners to take us less seriously, and it makes all of Rotary less attractive to potential members, especially the young people who are so crucial to our future.
To tolerate discrimination against women is to doom our organization to irrelevance. We cannot pretend that we still live in Paul Harris’ time, nor would he ever want us to. For, as he said, “The story of Rotary will have to be written again and again.” Let us see to it that the story we write in Rotary is one of which he would be proud.
RI President-elect John F. Germ chose Rotary Serving Humanity as his theme for 2016-17. Noting Rotary’s unique ability to bring together committed professionals to achieve remarkable goals, Germ believes that “now is the time to capitalize on our success: as we complete the eradication of polio, and catapult Rotary forward to be an even greater force for good in the world.”
Rotary’s founder, Paul Harris, believed that serving humanity is “the most worthwhile thing a person can do,” RI President-elect John F. Germ said, and that being a part of Rotary is a “great opportunity” to make that happen.
Germ unveiled the 2016-17 presidential theme, Rotary Serving Humanity, to incoming district governors on 18 January at the International Assembly in San Diego, California, USA.
“I believe everyone recognizes the opportunity to serve Rotary for what it truly is: not a small opportunity, but a great one; an opportunity of a lifetime to change the world for the better, forever through Rotary’s service to humanity,” said Germ.
Rotary members around the globe are serving humanity by providing clean water to underdeveloped communities, promoting peace in conflict areas, and strengthening communities through basic education and literacy. But none more important than our work to eradicate polio worldwide, he said.
After a historic year in which transmission of the wild poliovirus was stopped in Nigeria and all of Africa, Germ said we are closer than ever to ending polio.
“We are at a crossroads in Rotary,” he added. “We are looking ahead at a year that may one day be known as the greatest year in Rotary’s history: the year that sees the world’s last case of polio.”
Last year’s milestones leave just two countries, Afghanistan and Pakistan, where the virus still circulates. Polio would be only the second human disease ever to be eradicated.
When that moment arrives, it’s “tremendously important” that Rotary is ready for it, said Germ. “We need to be sure that we are recognized for that success, and leverage that success into more partnerships, greater growth, and even more ambitious service in the decades to come.”
Germ, a member of the Rotary Club of Chattanooga, Tennessee, USA, encouraged attendees to return to their clubs and communities and spread the word about Rotary’s role in the fight for a polio-free world.
“People who want to do good will see that Rotary is a place where they can change the world. Every Rotary club needs to be ready to give them that opportunity,” Germ said.
Enhancing Rotary’s image isn’t the only way to boost membership. “We need clubs that are flexible, so our service will be more attractive to younger members, recent retirees, and working people.”
He added: “We need more willing hands, more caring hearts, and more bright minds to move our work forward.”
Looking forward to a Better, Educative, Fun year in all our activities to Serve Humanity
Many years ago, in Kolkata, India, I had the chance to meet Mother Teresa. She was an incredible woman with an incredible force of personality. When she walked down the street, the crowd parted in front of her like the Red Sea. Yet when you talked to her, if you mentioned the tremendous things she had done, she almost did not engage in this topic at all. By many reports, if you asked her what her greatest achievement was, she would answer, “I am an expert in cleaning toilets.”
The answer was both humorous and absolutely serious. Her business was caring for others. Toilets had to be cleaned, so she cleaned them. There was no question of a job being beneath her. Helping people who needed help was her work, and there was nothing higher, nothing in the world more important than that.
So one day, when an elegantly dressed man came to Kolkata looking for Mother Teresa, the nuns who answered the door informed him that she was at the back of the house, cleaning the toilets. They pointed the way, and indeed he found Mother Teresa scrubbing the toilets. She said hello, assumed he was there to volunteer, and began explaining to him how to hold the toilet brush correctly and how not to waste water. Then she put the brush in his hand and left him standing there, in his expensive suit, alone in the lavatory.
Later, the man came out, found Mother Teresa again, and said, “I have finished; may I speak with you now?” “Yes, certainly,” she said. He took an envelope out of his pocket and said, “Mother Teresa, I am the director of the airline, and here are your tickets. I just wanted to bring them to you personally.”
That airline director told that story again and again for the rest of his life. He said those 20 minutes spent cleaning toilets had filled him with the greatest joy he had ever known – because by putting his hands to Mother Teresa’s work, he became part of that work. For those 20 minutes, he cared for the sick just as she did: with his own hands, his own sweat.
That is exactly the opportunity that Rotary gives us. We might not do what Mother Teresa did – give up our lives, our homes, our families. But for 20 minutes, 20 hours, 20 days of the year, we can be like her.
We can do the work that others will not with our hands, and our hearts, and our sweat, and our devotion – knowing that what we do is the most important work in the world.
After an epic Week of awesomely beautiful events, The #SunshineRally and the #FirstLadyHalfMarathon2016 , Rotaract Limuru is already warming up again to go visit our CUCU in Muguga, Kiambu County.
” Noone can ever explain the torture in being poor. When you have to wake up with nothing in the house to cook and have to start the long day on an empty stomach. People will see you on the road dressed shabbily and smiling as you say hae to them, but if only they knew the agony and desparate need of just the basic needs for the needy children and widowed mothers in our society, then they would be compassionate enough to help.”
Its no ones choice to be poor, if any one had to make a choice then all of us would be really rich.
And neither is Poverty a curse, Its always an avenue for those who have just a little to share and be a Blessing to others. We never give because we have too much in excess of what we need, Its always a sacrifice of the very little we have to those who have none.
What we may find as too little to us maybe one huge gift to someone else , remember the story of that one woman who gave his last coin as offering to the church. It would have seemed so small compared to the huge amounts by the others, but she gave it with all her heart , all the Love and all her will, she sacrificed every penny she had to God.
Mama Wacuka is our Cucu this season. she lives in a small ghetto in Muguga, Kiambu County. She is one woman you would say has seen it all in Life. In her small mabati house , she lives with her mentally challenged daughter who she cries for every day when she leaves home to come back late at night or after days. She is the mother, the Dad and everything for her humble home.
She is in dire need of our help. Foodstuffs, Beddings, Clothings just EVERYTHING!! and thats why we need EVERYONE to join us on this noble course.
Help us fill and deliver this Kiondo this coming Sunday 13th March 2016 to her Home, Clean up her house and do Laudry for her. Lets #BeAGiftToCucu and her kids and wipe off her tears even if for just a day.
For Other Donations please Call the Contact persons below and we will organize on how to get them;
The visit will be on Sunday We meet at Gwa-Gichini Stage by 12:00pm and proceed to CUCU’s place soon after. For directions please call Tetu;+254 706 291 140
March is the month that we showcase literacy. All across the world Rotarians and Rotaractors note the importance of reading and support numerous programs that help children and adults to gain the ability to read.
Reading, writing and character literacy are essential to independence and economic freedom. Far too many adults in Africa live in poverty today because they haven’t mastered those skills. Far too many children are currently at risk of falling into the same trap. Illiteracy is one of the world’s most serious problems.
The inability to read translates into many difficulties. Safely driving a car, voting in an election, using a newspaper, applying for a job or having mom read a bedtime story are just a few of the challenges to be overcome.
Literacy is a basic skill that helps us to fight poverty, increase productivity, and gain skills to help ourselves and help the people around us.
Rotary and Rotaract Clubs carry out different activities to celebrate and create awareness of the role of Education in society. This may include but not limited to ;
Schedule a speaker on a literacy topic for a regular meeting.
Present a literacy award or recognition at a regular meeting. Recognize teachers, librarians or civic leaders who promote the literacy within your community.
Sponsor a newspaper radio or TV advertisement or billboard about Rotary’s work with literacy.
Undertake a literacy project at home and abroad.
Recruit a new member who is passionate about literacy.
Initiate the club’s literacy project planning process for 2015.
Celebrate the club’s literacy project successes during 2015.
Rotary District 5730,[ http://rotary5730.org/Stories/rotary-literacy-month ]
WHAT IS ROTARACT? Rotaract simply means Rotary In Action, an affiliate of Rotary international came into existence in 1968 when the RI board approved it as an official programme for Rotary clubs. T…
Some years ago, I was asked to speak at an Interact club in my home city of Colombo, Sri Lanka. I have always taken my interactions with Rotary youth very seriously, so I prepared my remarks carefully and put the same effort into my presentation that I would for any other event. After the meeting, I stayed to chat with a few of the Interactors, answering their questions and wishing them well.
I came out of the classroom where we had met into the autumn afternoon. The bright sun was shining directly into my eyes, so I found a bit of shade behind a pillar where I could wait for my ride.
As I stood there, hidden from view, I overheard a group of the very Interactors who had just listened to my speech. Naturally I was curious: What would they be saying? What had they taken away from my presentation? I quickly realized that what they had taken away was not at all what I had intended.
They were not talking about what I had said, the stories I had told, or the lessons I had come to their school to impart. To my astonishment, the major topic of conversation was my tie! I listened with amusement as they chattered about my Western clothes, my background, my business; every aspect of my appearance and behavior was dissected and discussed. Just as they began to speculate about what car I drove, my ride arrived and I stepped out into view. They were perhaps a bit embarrassed, but I just smiled, got into the car, and drove off with a wave.
Whatever they learned from me that day, I learned far more. I learned that the lessons we teach with our examples are far more powerful than those we teach with words. I realized that as a Rotary leader, and a prominent person in the community, I had, for better or worse, become a role model for these young people. Their eyes were on me in a way that I had never before appreciated. If they chose to emulate me, they would model themselves on what they saw, not what I told them.
All of us in Rotary are leaders, in one way or another, in our communities. All of us bear the responsibility that comes with that. Our Rotary values, our Rotary ideals, cannot be left within the confines of our Rotary clubs. They must be carried with us every day. Wherever we are, whoever we are with, whether we are involved in Rotary work – we are always representing Rotary. We must conduct ourselves accordingly: in what we think, what we say, what we do, and how we do it. Our communities, and our children, deserve no less.
Valentine Valentine Valentine.. They call it the day of Lovers, the day of Crazy Sweet Romantic Love..
A walk at the beach, a Candle lit dinner, a road trip to the Mara, Engagement suprises and all this hullaballo would be the plans made by many for the Valentines.
But I guess we choose to have an exceptional valentine … The Rotaract Club of Limuru Kenya has organized a Valentine Edition of the ‘Kiondo Gia CUCU’ to be held in Ngarariga Limuru on Sunday 14th Feb 2016..
Join us as we deliver this Kiondo filled with soo much Love for our amazing strong CUCU..
With so much Love over the valentine season, our Kiondo was so full and ready for transit to Ngarariga.
On arrival her generosity and the rich Kikuyu tradition is what met us at the gate, a Big Hip of Sweet Mukimoo and a Hot Cup of Tea.
The joy, the tears, the Prayers and Blessings is what CUCU gave everyone who made this possible, in abundance.
May the Almighty Lord Bless you Cucu, and to all who made this Possible.
In life, sometimes the experiences that matter the most are the briefest. They pass in the blink of an eye: a few days, a few hours, a few moments. They are the experiences that illuminate the landscape of our memory, shining brightly even years later. They are the moments in which we see, suddenly, something we had not seen; we understand something we had not understood; we forge a connection we had not expected.
For me, this has been a Rotary year like no other. I have been around the world, traversing countries and continents. I have been to places I had never seen before, and I have returned to familiar places and seen them, as for the first time, through the lens of Rotary.
When you travel for Rotary, you travel with a different sense of perspective and a different sense of purpose. There is an awareness of being part of something larger than yourself. When you board a plane or a train, or leave your home in the dark hours of early morning, you may be leaving for lands unknown – but at your destination, there will be no strangers. There will be Rotarians, waiting and welcoming. There will be work to do, something to learn, and perhaps something to teach.
There will be connections to forge, friendships to build, and memories to carry for a lifetime.
This year, I have been the traveler, and I have been welcomed by Rotarians around the world. A few months from now, from 28 May to 1 June, I invite you to step into my experience: allow me to welcome you to Seoul for our 107th International Convention.
The Koreans have a saying: 사람이 나면 서울로 보내라. In English we would say, “When a person is born, send them to Seoul.” For Seoul is a city of opportunities: a wonderful destination with rich traditions, modern conveniences, and a culture unlike any other. But I ask you to join me in Seoul not only for all of this, but also for the experiences you will have there with your fellow Rotarians.
For a brief moment in time, you will experience Rotary as I have experienced it: in all its diversity, all its warmth, and all its potential. You will be greeted as an old friend by people you have never met; you will share your thoughts, even without a shared language. You will learn with wonder of what Rotary has achieved, and leave inspired to achieve even more.
Before this Rotary year comes to its close, I ask you to do what I have done: to leave your homes, to board your flights, to travel toward the unknown with an open heart and an open mind, confident that Rotary will welcome you. Join me, and your fellow Rotarians, as we Connect with Korea – Touch the World.