For Rotarians worldwide, the month of July ushers in a new beginning, a refresh button. And visual artist Vivian Jokotade is right about changeovers. She says, “a fresh start is a journey – a journey that requires a plan.”
Hence, as Edwin To takes over the reign of the Rotary International District 3850 as its 48th governor, he is not scrimping on his plan. In fact, with a raging pandemic as backdrop, Governor Edwin is bent on following a journey that is big and audacious which is expected to see growth in numbers and engagements in the district.
For one, he wants to welcome 222 new Rotarians while strengthening the current roster. Spur a movement of giving, so that the clubs will be able to do more for the communities they serve.
“It will be a team effort,” Governor Edwin stresses as he hopes to sustain momentum beyond his term. He intends to tap the leadership and organizational capabilities of the Rotarians in the district, some of whom remain in the shadows, just waiting to exhale, so to speak.
As we plan our Rotary Year, our service projects, fellowships and club meetings should be tied to the Rotary Action plan, he urges life-changing district leaders, referring to the strategic goals and objectives of increasing impact, expanding reach, enhancing engagement and growing the Rotarians’ ability to adapt.
Our efforts must be driven by Rotary’s vision statement of “together we see a world where people unite and take action to create lasting change across the globe in our communities and in ourselves” and complemented with the three-year District Vision focusing on health, economic development, literacy and disaster response, he underscores.
“Resources like time and funds are limited. We need to be strategic with our projects using tools like community needs assessment and post evaluation,” says Governor Edwin.
And with health protocols limiting travel, the governor will be needing the full support of his district team. Precisely why he is espousing the slogan, “together we can, together we will” as his term’s mantra to achieve these goals.
“The pandemic is like a boat in a storm, how we navigate through it will not only impact on our personal lives but our communities as well,” Governor Edwin says.
We should not allow ourselves to be distracted and side-tracked by this worldwide health disruption, he says. “We have a social contract with our communities and as Rotarians we are known to take action.” In fact, he adds, this is an opportune time to show our communities that Rotary is a dependable partner.
The district is composed of 1,385 Rotarians from 55 clubs, and close to 900 youth leaders from 41 Rotaract Clubs scattered all over Panay island, Negros Occidental, Zamboanga Sibugay, Zamboanga del Norte, Zamboanga del Sur, Tawi-Tawi and Basilan.