Rotary China / Newsletter / November 2013
- Typhoon Haiyan – Taking Action
- District “Water Works” Project
- Club Extension
- President Ron’s Message
Rotary China Highlights
Taking Action – to Help the Victims of Typhoon Haiyan
You may not know that Rotary came to Asia in 1919 first in July to Manila and then in October to Shanghai. You may also not know that before 1949 mainland China, Hong Kong and the Philippines were united together as a Rotary district. So the bonds of friendship between Rotary China and the Philippines extends back almost a century ago.
Rotary clubs around the world are pledging emergency aid to communities in central Philippines after last week’s massive typhoon flattened entire coastal towns and villages, killed thousands of people, and displaced nearly 600,000 more. Rotary President Ron Burton is urging our 34,000 clubs worldwide to continue to assist storm victims.
One of the simplest ways that Rotarians can help our friends in the Philippines is by donating now to our Rotary Project Partner, Shelterbox. Shelterbox had a pre-positioned stock of boxes in the Philippines and within hours these were dispatched to the disaster areas. However they need to replenish these stocks now – and have launched a special appeal which you can see here: http://shelterbox.org/typhoon_haiyan.php
And if you have a VPN you can see their video appeal here:
Aside from disaster relief aid such as above, I have already sent a message to each of the DG’s in the Philippines expressing our condolences for the victims of this tragedy and our willingness to help them – and have asked that they keep us informed about project opportunities where our clubs may collaborate in the future.
District “Water Works” Project
Following on PP Roger’s report on the success of the Chetsa Water project in Qinghai, we have decided to create a district level “Water Works” project that focuses on similar gravity-fed, low maintenance solutions to help villagers in the West of China whose families face a gruelling struggle to obtain water every day.
Roger’s committee would like to have at least one member from each club represented on this committee so that the project can involved our whole “district” for greater impact. We will seek to work with clubs and districts outside of China to increase the impact of this project and we will be applying to RI to have a booth at the Sydney convention to promote this project, highlighting our past successes but more importantly looking for support for the future.
As you may have heard, Hennie Homan’s fellowship group in Chengdu agreed (or shall we say Hennie agreed) in our District Assembly to take on the task of holding our first district conference – that we called the Rotary China Conference.
For the 79 people who attended this event, pulled together in about 5 months, was a spectacular event because it reflected the full picture of the Rotary family: Rotarians, Rotaracters, Interacters, Rotary partners, family members – and even some international visitors.
At this conference the President’s Personal Representative, Past RI Director John came to give us the good wishes of President Ron and to inspire us to Engage Rotary and Change Lives. He also was on hand for the induction of Hennie’s newest club member (#18) and he was quite passionate in telling the assembled that “if you’re doing good – you are a Rotarian”.
He joined us in celebrating Chengdu fellowship as the core nucleus of the next Rotary club in China.
President Ron’s Message
Every Rotarian joins Rotary for his or her own reasons. Often, the reason someone decides to join isn’t the same as the reason that person ultimately decides to stay. When I was asked to join Rotary, I accepted because I thought it would be a good way to get more involved in my community. In the end, though, what really got me excited about Rotary service was something I didn’t even know about when I joined: our Rotary Foundation.
I knew I could do plenty of good work through my Rotary club in Norman, Okla., USA. But through our Foundation, I could have a hand in the work of every single Rotary club and district around the world. I could look at any Foundation-supported project, any Foundation program, any country that was declared polio-free, and say: I helped make that happen.
Once I realized that, there wasn’t any turning back.
I’ve been very fortunate that over the years, I’ve gotten to see an incredible amount of our Foundation’s work firsthand. The more I see, the more passionate I become about our Foundation. When you visit a school for AIDS orphans and meet the kids who are being cared for, educated, and taught a trade – and when you know, as you look into their