Cross border collaboration to advance human development

By Rotarian Ephrem Berhanu

The Rotary district 9212, 97th convention and assembly (DCA) held in Diani, Mombasa, Kenya from May 12-15, 2022, that brought over 600 participants from the four countries in the district, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Kenya, and South Sudan come to an end this past weekend. We have witnessed the swearing in ceremony of the first Ethiopian women to assume the role of the district governorship for the year 2022-23 from the current district governor Alex Nyaga from Kenya. District 9212 is one of the more than 500 districts in the world today. The district governor will have a role in supporting Rotary, Rotaract and Interact clubs.
Azeb Asrat, the new governor elect will be brining over 28 years of experiences in various high-profile posts in the UN. She is from the Rotary Club of Addis Abeba West. Here theme “Let’s March Together” emboldened with the view to stress on the importance of leave no one behind.
The 98th DCA is going to be held in Addis Abeba from 11-14 May 2023. 700 participants are expected to attend it and registration has already started. An organizing team has been established and start working to make it successful. It gives an opportunity to showcase the number of service projects implemented by Rotary clubs in Ethiopia more so in Addis Abeba and its environ. It will help create connections to develop more partnership and collaboration to do more service projects that will benefits our community.
It is astonishing to see how powerful a vision of a one man is, Paul Harris an attorney from Chicago who inspired the Rotary movement around the world by establishing the first club in his hometown Chicago on 23 February 1905. Rotary is a global network of 1.2 million neighbors, friends, leaders, and like-minded problem-solvers who aim to create positive and lasting change in their communities and themselves.
Rotary is where members, friends, and problem solvers share ideas take action to create lasting change. With more than 15,000 clubs in more than 145 countries, it connects leaders beyond borders, from Brazil to South Africa, from India to Unites States bringing together for the advancement of humanity.
“Service above self” is the motto of Rotary International which signifies the belief that Rotarians would put their duty to help others before their own needs. The object of Rotary is to encourage and foster the ideal of service as a basis of worth enterprise. Eradicating Polio is one of its singular and successful contribution, where Polio is endemic in only two countries down from 125 in 1988. Rotary International has seven areas of focus which includes, peace and conflict prevention, disease prevention and treatment, water and sanitation, maternal and child health, basic education and literacy, economic and community development, and environment.
There is an African saying “if you think you are too small to make a difference, you haven’t spent the night with a mosquito”.
Paul Harris is a great testament for one can take a great lesson to not afraid to dream big and set ambitious goals!
Platforms of this kind will have a positive contribution for the effort the African Union commission and its member states are making to create an African free trade area and encourage free movements of people and goods and services across the African region. To grow doing business between neighboring countries, Rotary is already connecting people cross boarder!

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