As thousands of Rotarians around the world boarded flights to Hamburg for the Rotary International Convention, someone in line might see one of our pins or a Rotary tag on our luggage and ask, “are you a Rotarian?”
After we answer with an enthusiastic “yes,” there’s much more to say about how we, as people of action, are making the world a better place — through our connections within clubs and through the transformative power of The Rotary Foundation.
We can talk about how Rotary implements projects that will help communities long after we’re all gone.
We can describe how clubs in one country pool funds with those from another to make communities healthier, more prosperous, and better educated.
We can share how our clubs partnered with global health leaders to bring the scourge of polio to its knees.
And we can proudly note that much of the good that Rotary does now and will do in the future is because of the Foundation and its promise to transform gifts into projects that change lives.
As we gather in Hamburg to mark another successful Rotary year, we have much to celebrate.
At publication time, we had approved 1,078 global grant applications, with total funding of $76.5 million.
Last July, we launched the community assessment component as a requirement for all global grant or vocational training team applications as part of our commitment to sustainability.
That approach also informs why we established the Rotary Disaster Response Fund and Grant this year, which allows distribution of grants up to $25,000 for worldwide Rotarian disaster response.
We also saw the Rotary Peace Centres significantly grow and increase their impact.
From among record numbers of applicants in 2019, around 100 Peace Fellows will be chosen, and once they graduate, they will join more than 1,200 others in applying their conflict resolution skills to global problems.
We are committed to strengthening and growing the Foundation for the future.
We thank you for your generosity and for all you do in Rotary.