Normally, when one takes on a fresh responsibility, there is always a sense of excitement and anticipation and thereafter a period of getting used to the position and seat. However, 1st July saw the Rotarians hitting the ground running. There wasn’t any time to celebrate and revel in the glory of the position but immediately providing assistance in this time which is proving to be the most difficult time ever since Covid struck.
4th of July, we experienced the Global Climate Conference, it was a mammoth effort by the team led by Dr Dhileepan, DAGES, Rotaractors and Interactors and so many Rotarians who came forward to assist. This is what Rotary is all about, coming together for a greater cause! It was a special experience for those involved as it was a few good months of engagement. I now look forward to all clubs adopting the manifesto and making a difference. We need to consciously make it a habit to practice a simple act every day and cumulatively, we can make a difference. Adopt the 4-way path in the manifesto. And the correlation between the rise of diseases and caring for our environment cannot be ignored. The report and team recognition are in this GNL.
It was an extremely busy first few weeks in office, with the first Berhad Board meeting, first virtual club installation of the Rotary Club of Bukit Kiara Sunrise and it was a very pleasant experience. Congratulations President Dr Khairul and BOD. A couple of group meetings with AGs, Presidents and Rotarians, it was great seeing all of them, though virtually and we had good interactive sessions.
“This is what Rotary is all about, coming together for a greater cause!”
August is Membership month
As we commence this month with emphasis on membership, allow me to congratulate the Rotary Clubs of Bangsar, Bandar Bukit Tinggi, West Pahang, Petaling Jaya, Central Damansara, Port Klang, Kajang, Ipoh, Rahman Putra, Greater KL, Klang, KL West, Pantai Valley, Subang for welcoming new members into our fold.
There could be more by the end of the month of July as this message was submitted before month end. They have joined us when our community is facing the height of despair, when the need for our services is at the peak, when another pair of hands is most welcome. They have joined Rotary during a time filled with challenges however, from the eyes of a Rotarian, these are times providing opportunities to create positive change.
We need to stay focused, and we have every reason to be optimistic as we have proven resiliency.
“I warmly welcome every new Rotarian to be part of this great team, part of this glorious legacy.”
I warmly welcome every new Rotarian to be part of this great team, part of this glorious legacy. And how does a great team form? That’s the distinction between merely individuals in a cause against a team with the feeling of togetherness, a deep sense of connection. The Clubs now will have to nurture these fresh recruits into Rotarians full of passion and vigour as that’s how you turn them into legends.
Our strength lies in diversity, and this has come about from the classification system which is not a requirement now however a club that truly represents its community is in a better position to serve the community. With diversity comes different personalities and backgrounds, different belief systems and religions and the minority that represents lady Rotarians. Accommodating our fellow Rotarians is the basic step towards solidarity in the Club and District.
There should not be any inclination towards disrespect, harassment, or any form of discrimination amongst fellow Rotarians especially women Rotarians and we have zero tolerance in these areas. May I remind everyone of our core values of FELLOWSHIP, INTEGRITY, DIVERSITY, SERVICE, LEADERSHIP and may I add MUTUAL RESPECT
The focus of many clubs in the District during these pandemic times are around providing food, access to education for children, health especially mental health and placement of jobs and upskilling.
My simple survey with all current Presidents revealed some very startling figures. The most startling being in the 4 weeks (end June and first 2 weeks of July, the 49 clubs that responded spent an average of RM6,000 per club and that adds up to a staggering RM500,000.00 based on 86 clubs with the average, spent by Rotary Malaysia on food and essentials to the public. By 28th of July, this figure has spiraled up to RM800,000 and rising.
I see many of our Rotary heroes going down to the ground to serve, I am humbled by your actions, my only plea is that each one of you take extra care.
September is Education and Literacy Month; 8th September is world literacy day.
We have a 5 million student population in Malaysia.
Its estimated 2.3 million children have limited or no access to internet and many are facing stress, anxiety, depression and some are subject to abuse.
Since schools are closed, reaching out to them has proven to be a task. Our DAG of Mental Health Initiatives together with the National Coalition for Mental Wellbeing have been having numerous campaigns, awareness programs, training programs and of late the launch of the Reach Out platform.
I congratulate the DAG for Mental Health Initiatives for launching the “YOU ARE NOT ALONE” campaign, chaired by President Gordon of RC Pantai Valley.
This initiative is to break the silence on mental health and to promote Rotarians, Rotaractors and Interactors as advocates of mental wellbeing and seen as supporters for the many out there who are alone and desperate.
“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” ― Nelson Mandela
Let us not have a generation that have lost their education. Understanding the complexity of the situation, we need to be more innovative and change the way we do projects. Much can be done virtually especially reaching out to youth and engaging with them in campaigns, awareness programs, competition, quizzes, designing etc. There are also many free online educational platforms. Give ownership to Rotaractors and Interactors in projects and they will prove themselves, we just need to be confident in their capabilities and a slight nudge and they will do wonders.
In preparation for September, lets focus on providing the needs of the students as they gradually return to schools.
With Best Wishes of Good Health to All
Dato Bindi Rajasegaran
RY2021-22 District Governor
RI District 3300