It was a pretty intense time at the Rotary District 5080 Fall Membership, Foundation and Leadership Assembly I attended at Coeur d’Alene Sept. 20. But when it was over, I did have a better appreciation of the enormity of what Rotary is doing to “light up” a less than perfect world by spreading international good will and understanding.
In doing this, Rotary concentrates on six “Areas of Focus,” which we all know by heart don’t we? Well, I have to admit that sometimes one or two of them slip my mind but the various speakers at the assembly including District 5080 Governor Norm McCarvell, District Foundation Chair Vlad Sasarman, Regional Grants Officer Renee Reiling and our own ex-governor Al Davis brought them back in sharp focus for me.
Promoting peace and conflict resolution often tops the list and small wonder considering that more than 40 million people are currently displaced world-wide because of numerous wars, big and small, around the globe.  Add to this more than 100 million people pushed into poverty every year by sickness and ill health which makes disease prevention and treatment another area of focus. And we’re getting ever closer on eradicating polio.
One way polio often spreads is through polluted water which makes providing clean water and improved sanitation another area of focus. Then there’s the seven million children, which die every year due to malnutrition and inadequate health care and leave millions of mothers grieving for them. This makes maternal and child health care the fourth area of focus.
And what is the fate of the 67 million children on the globe that have little or no access to schools and the more than 775 million over the age of 15 that are illiterate? That’s why Rotary supports projects providing basic education and improved adult literacy as another area of focus as well as reducing gender disparity.
Finally with 1.4 billion of the world’s population living on less than $1.25-a-day, Rotary carries out service projects that enhance economic and community development, an area of focus that helps people to help themselves and boosts the effectiveness of all the other areas of focus.
So what’s next for Cranbrook Sunrise Rotary in terms of all the aforementioned? Developing or partnering on an international project of our own. Watch for announcements about this hopefully in the near future.