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Why vaccinations matter

Why vaccinations matter

Check out Rotary.org’s modern, new look

Check out Rotary.org’s modern, new lookRotary.org, our public-facing website, has a fresh, contemporary look that clearly answers the often-asked question: “What is Rotary?” It’s the first step in a two-part update to our entire website: first Rotary.org, and

RI President Shekhar Mehta urges countries at COP26 to protect mangroves

Rotary International President Shekhar Mehta joined the Rotary delegation to the 26th United Nations climate conference in Glasgow, Scotland, on 10 November to explore ways Rotary can work on environmental challenges.

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In Rotary, 23 February is our anniversary, and February is also the month when we focus on promoting peace. There is a reason for this: Contributing to peace and international understanding has been a high priority for us since our earliest days.

We are often asked: “How can we get involved in peace now?” There are many paths to peace in Rotary. Our youth programs point us in the direction of Positive Peace, as does the work of intercountry committees and the Rotary Action Group for Peace.

Another path is the Rotarian Peace Projects Incubator (RPPI), an inspirational collaboration among Rotarians, Rotaractors, and Rotary Peace Fellows and alumni. Led by Rotarians in Switzerland and Liechtenstein, RPPI has designed 48 global projects that any club can support, either directly or through Rotary Foundation global grants. Nino Lotishvili and Matthew Johnsen, alumni of the Rotary Peace Center at Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok, Thailand, are two of the many volunteers.

During my Rotary peace journey, I have learned how personal resilience helps build inner peace and create sustainable outer peace. This was the inspiration behind the Women Peace Ambassadors for the South Caucasus project, which is based on my field research in Georgia. The RPPI team of Rotarians and peace fellows recognized the incredible potential of women from mixed-ethnicity families who live on borderlands to be role models for peace within and beyond their communities. Through workshops on building inner and outer peace that draw on the power of storytelling, 40 participants will be sharing their stories and reaching around 400 extended family and community members. These inspiring but marginalized women will reclaim their inner strength as peacebuilders at the grassroots level. In this way, we will take steps toward the sustainable, peaceful society we need so much, not only in our region, but throughout the world. — Nino Lotishvili

I was excited to join the peace incubator project and to further strengthen my ties with Rotary’s peace community by working with past and current peace fellows to develop these proposals. My team wrote five proposals — three in Bangladesh, one in Iraq, and one in Poland — that focus on the arts and on education to generate dialogue across religious divisions and avert the radicalization of young people. I was inspired by how, despite the pandemic, we came together via technology with a vision to develop, test, and strengthen ideas and to produce workable solutions that clubs across the world can support to advance peace. I am excited to work with Rotary’s peace community to transform these visions into reality. — Matthew Johnsen

Here is further proof that in Rotary, we prefer action to words. This is Rotary at its best. I encourage you to visit rppi.ch to explore the projects and support them.

We have lasted 116 years because of our strong ethics, our passion for Service Above Self, and our unique approach to problem-solving. One of our greatest strengths is how we reach across our communities and across national, ethnic, religious, and political divisions to unite people of all backgrounds and to help others. This month, let’s celebrate our history and the many ways that Rotary Opens Opportunities to advance world understanding, goodwill, and peace, our ultimate mission.

 
"For patients who lack options, a virtual visit can mean the difference between going with or without care"

“Right now, I can see all my patients through my mobile phone,” says Prakash Paudyal, a pulmonologist and member of the Rotary Club of Jawalakhel, Nepal. Paudyal uses a Kubi device to turn a tablet into a “mini-robot” for remote monitoring of his COVID-19 patients who are in isolation at Nepal National Hospital. Paudyal learned about the Kubi and other telehealth practices during a vocational training team trip to the San Francisco area last year. “I do one round with all my [protective] gear on, and then I see all my patients through this mini-robot,” he says, thankful that the Kubi helps protect him from exposure to the virus.

The use of telehealth has surged worldwide during the COVID-19 pandemic. In the United States, a study by McKinsey found that 46 percent of consumers are now using telehealth, up from 11 percent in 2019. Broadly defined, telehealth includes everything from virtual visits with a doctor to remote monitoring of a patient’s vitals to mobile health technologies.

The rapid increase in examining and treating patients remotely because of stay-at-home orders has not only helped in the fight against the coronavirus; it has also prompted a conversation about what the future will look like. What are the benefits of telehealth, and what controls for safety and privacy should be in place? One clear benefit is making health care more accessible to more people. For patients who lack transportation options or who live in remote areas, a virtual visit can mean the difference between being able to consult a doctor and going without care.

"Disasters haven’t stopped for coronavirus. Neither have Rotary and ShelterBox." 

Philippines
The Philippines is one of the worst disaster-affected countries in the world. Since 2004, ShelterBox and Rotary members have responded to disasters 31 times in the Philippines – more than in any other country. The Philippines has seen six named storms since October alone, including three typhoons in three successive weeks. According to the Philippines Red Cross, this series of weather events is the worst the country has seen for 40 years.

Arnold Mendoza, Past President of the Rotary Club of Batangas Mid-West, reflects on the most recent typhoons:

“We experienced strong winds and heavy rains, causing a power electricity disruption and cutting water supply for days. The Bicol region has been greatly affected. As well as working with ShelterBox, our club is working to donate goods, such as rice, potable water, canned goods, noodles, blankets, soaps, toothbrushes, toothpaste and the like.

Aside from the typhoons, we are still facing a pandemic. Just like all other countries, the Philippines is also affected. Those who have lost their homes are forced to stay in evacuation centres with other families. Survivors of the typhoon are entirely in need of shelter to stay in, that is why we need the support of ShelterBox – a temporary shelter will be of great help, especially in these trying times.”

 

Rotary in Action

Rotarians and Rotaractors worldwide unite in service to improve communities near and far. Together, we promote peace; provide clean water, sanitation, and hygiene; support education; fight disease; save mothers and children; grow local economies; protect the environment; provide disaster relief; and eradicate polio. This work takes commitment, knowledge, leadership, and above all, determination to take action.

We are guided by our Action Plan, which reinforces our vision, charts our future, and provides a strategy to steer us toward success. Our plan has four strategic priorities: increase our impact, expand our reach, enhance participant engagement, and increase our ability to adapt. Through this lens, we improve lives through service projects, community outreach, and personal and professional growth.

Rotary is about the power to connect, partner, and create change. Our work is methodical and steady, generating long-term results, like our decades-long commitment to eradicate polio. And when urgent needs arise, Rotarians respond — whether it’s by providing food and shelter after disasters or getting protective equipment to health care workers during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Read the full story https://www.rotary.org/en/annual-report-2020

he Rotary Foundation Trustees and Rotary International Board of Directors have both unanimously approved adding a new area of focus: supporting the environment.

More than $18 million in Foundation global grant funding has been allocated to environment-related projects over the past five years. Creating a distinct area of focus to support the environment will give Rotary members even more ways to bring about positive change in the world and increase our impact.

RI President Mark Maloney says that during his travels around the world as a Rotary senior leader he encountered many Rotary members and Rotaractors who advocated for the environment to be an area of focus.

“I believe strongly that our Rotary Foundation programs now have a valuable added dimension to our efforts,” says, Maloney.

 
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