As Governor of Rotary International District 7710, let me welcome you to the home of the Duke-UNC Rotary Peace Center, the only one in the Americas out of 6 worldwide. We have a diverse and engaged group of 2,000 Rotarian, men and women, of various backgrounds and ethnicities, young and old, in 47 clubs across Central North Carolina.
Rotary was founded by Paul Harris, in 1905. Being new to Chicago, Paul Harris was looking for like-minded people who shared his values of service, fellowship, friendship, and ethics.
Since then Rotary International has grown to be a fellowship of 1.2 million strong in 200 countries, who share similar values and are driven by the urge to make a difference in their community, their State, their Country, and around the world so as to bring peace and understanding through the fellowship of Rotary.
Our 47 clubs work to alleviate hunger through enhancing literacy locally, and globally. We are engaged in supporting research on causes of Alzheimer’s Disease, so it can be diagnosed at an early age and to some day find a cure. Alzheimer’s disease is hard for the patient but harder on the caregiver.
Our signature project, and proud achieving is the war against Polio, which was affecting some 350,000 children a year in 200 countries, back in the mid 80s. Working at the grass root level with our international network of Rotarians, and in collaboration with WHO, CDC, and with major support from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and major spokespersons like Ambassador Andrew Young, and others, we are on the verge of total eradication of this crippling disease so that no parent will have a child permanently crippled by this disease. This year we anticipate less than 10 cases of Polio and it is our mission to wipe out Polio next year. This would be only the second disease to have been completely eradicated, the first one being smallpox.
Rotary International President Ian Riseley, who is from Australia states that there are as many reasons to come to Rotary as there are Rotarians – maybe even a few more. But each of us has stayed in Rotary because it adds something to our own lives. Through Rotary, we are Making a Difference in the world; and the more involved we become, the more of a difference Rotary makes to each of us. Rotary challenges us to become better people: to become ambitious in the ways that matter, to strive for higher goals, and to incorporate Service Above Self into our daily lives.
He has challenged Rotarian plant 1.2 million trees to combat increasing carbon emissions stating that we must do this, so we leave a sustainable legacy for our generations to come, and for the survival of our planet.
So come and be part of history. Join us in helping people help themselves to a brighter tomorrow and let us work on building world peace through service and understanding.
Visit a local club to look at the possibility of joining them in making a difference in our world, your world, and tell them that Shafi invited you, and I look forward to meeting you one day soon.
Your servant leader,
District Governor 2017-18
Rotary International District 7710