This year, we have set ourselves an ambitious goal: to Make Dreams Real for the world's children by reducing child mortality. I believe we can achieve this goal, if we focus our efforts and work together. But I also know that at the end of this year, there will be a great deal left for us to do to bring health and hope to all of the world's children.


If we are to reduce child mortality, in this Rotary year and for many years to come, we need to have Rotarians to do it. Every project we do in water, health and hunger, and literacy helps create a better world. Every project helps change the world, a little bit at a time.

And every project needs caring and capable Rotarians.

Each new Rotarian we bring into our clubs helps to Make Dreams Real . That is why, this year, I am asking Rotarians everywhere to meet bold membership goals: first, to increase membership by 10 percent and, second, to create two new clubs per district.

Like the goal of reducing child mortality, these are ambitious goals that we can achieve - if we set our minds to them. If we look for new Rotarians only among our friends and family, we may not be able to find enough qualified new members. But if we reach out to community leaders who are of a different profession, or a different generation, we will find many potential Rotarians.

It is natural to want to invite people into our clubs who are like ourselves, but that limits the diversity and talent of each club. We must welcome younger members to our clubs, or we will have not only lost an important source of energy and expertise but also failed in our duty to our organization to train the next generation of club presidents, district governors, and senior RI leaders.

Remember: Membership is the responsibility of each of us. Every one of us has an obligation to keep Rotary strong, active, and growing. If we hope to Make Dreams Real for the world's children in a meaningful and lasting way, we must ensure a new generation of Rotarians to continue our work.

Dong Kurn (D.K.) Lee
President, Rotary International