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June-July 2019 | Regulars

Helping to make the world a better place – Debbie Hodge – Rotary GBI President

Helping to make the world a better place – Debbie Hodge – Rotary GBI President

Rotary GBI President Debbie Hodge reflects on the past year in her role.

The crocuses have bloomed, we have filled our plates and at the Showcase in Nottingham we have been reminded that, while we are nearly there, polio has not yet gone.

If we are to keep our promise to the children of the world, then we need to be asking hard questions of those who are spending our money as to how they are changing the plans to meet the problems that are preventing us from reaching the finish line.

But on my travels this year I have been encouraged by the innovative ways clubs are raising awareness and funds – and the People of Action Polio Awards have been a great way of doing just that – giving recognition to the awardees for their contribution to a polio-free world, and reminding us all that there is still work to do.

As this Rotary year ends I ask you one question – what have you done to make you feel proud to be part of this amazing organisation?”

In my job with health care chaplains, I am fortunate to work with those of many faiths and beliefs.

When we come together, we celebrate our uniqueness, but we also share and champion that which we hold together – the valuing of human life, the compassion for those in need and the shared agenda of building communities of hope and love.

This is one example of the ‘peace-filled’ picture of faith and belief – a picture that the world needs to see and experience, as we have been reminded by the attacks in Sri Lanka: a picture that is exemplified in Rotary’s work for peace and goodwill across the globe.

As this Rotary year ends I ask you one question – ‘what have you done to make you feel proud to be part of this amazing organisation?’

From memory cafés, to intergenerational events, from cream teas to sports days, from bridge evenings to village fetes, from plant sales to cake bakes, from clothing banks to reading programmes.

In the Rotary world every individual has something to offer and every individual is a person of worth.”

Clubs have been bringing people together, bridging the gaps in local community provision, building partnerships that enable others to join in with meeting needs locally, nationally and internationally, giving those who are often neglected in society both a voice, and a purpose.

All this I have witnessed, and it reminds us why we are involved with Rotary – we are in it because it gives us an opportunity to be a philanthropist, to support an entrepreneur, to shape the way our society will work through supporting the development of young people today.

It gives us an opportunity to connect across boundaries, be that of race, gender, ethnicity, religion or age.

In the Rotary world every individual has something to offer and every individual is a person of worth, deserving of care and compassion.

With these ideals, we have been the inspiration that has changed lives, changed communities and changed our world – let us continue to be that inspiration as we connect across the globe to make the world a better place.

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