We are living through some troubled times. With regard to the situation in the Ukraine, Rotary International has made the following statement:
“It is a tragic and sad time for the people of Ukraine and the world.
At Rotary, we are deeply concerned by the deteriorating situation in Ukraine and the escalating loss of life and humanitarian hardship there. Continued military action against Ukraine will not only devastate the region, but also risk spreading tragic consequences across Europe and the world.
As one of the world’s largest humanitarian organizations, we have made peace the cornerstone of our global mission. We join the international community in calling for an immediate cease fire, withdrawal of Russian forces, and a restoration of diplomatic efforts to resolve this conflict through dialogue.
In the past decade, Rotary clubs in Ukraine, Russia and nearby countries have transcended national differences and have actively engaged in peace-building projects to promote goodwill and to marshal assistance for the victims of war and violence. Today, our thoughts are with our fellow Rotary members and others in Ukraine coping with these tragic events. Rotary International will do everything in its power to bring aid, support and peace to the region.
I have been in contact with James Onions from the Inter-Country Committee (ICC) between Rotary GBI (Great Britain and Ireland) and the Ukraine. He has suggested that it is possibly premature to identify actual projects at this point and that things needed to stabilise regarding progressing with medium/long term projects.
At this early stage, he felt that possible areas of focus may include:
- ImmediateRefugee support.
- Mid-term Support for those still in Ukraine
- De-mining (not at this point, but may be needed in the future)
Having taking advice on this (from, amongst others, EVAG):
-Direct District Rotary Involvement for immediate refugee support would arise if we were requested to provide support by the civil authorities. Once they call a major incident, it gives them authority under statute to call upon voluntary organisations.
The first organisation to be called upon would normally be the British Red Cross, who would be tasked with the co-ordination of voluntary organisations. Supporting refugees involves the provision of accommodation, food, medical support, safeguarding and cash. Rotarians are people of action; I understand completely that Clubs want to do something as soon as possible; however, co-ordination is required, beyond the scope of individual club initiatives.
I am also in contact with all District Governors in Great Britain and Ireland (GBI) about the situation, as well as the Rotary GBI Lead, David Ellis and Rotary International Director, Nicki Scott.
Nicki is talking to ShelterBox and the Rotary Director covering Ukraine. She shall let us know specifics on ways to help, as soon as possible. I am also in liaison with our District EVAG, Humanitarian Team and other District Committees. James Onions is in direct contact with counterparts in Ukraine, so the situation regarding needs shall become clearer.
Please do feedback to me/Assistant Governors, via your Club Presidents about your views?
Rotary Foundation Peace Fellowship Scholarships
Rotary Foundation our charity offers about 80 scholarships per year, in one of eight specified universities worldwide, offering a Masters Degree in Peace studies. There is now a large body of alumni (of past scholars), 90% of whom are actively engaged in promoting peace and conflict resolution amongst nations and communities.
The Application process opened on the 1st February for courses starting in 2023. Please look at your Community and see if you can find suitable applicants. The closing date for applicants is 15 May 2022. The Peace Fellowship Sub Committee Chair, PDG Brian Hellin, can be contacted to help and give for more details. Click here to find contact details. DG Blog February 2022 V3
EVAG (Emergency Volunteer Action Group)
EVAG responded to a call to help from the District Council, assisting local people without electricity and otherwise affected by Storm Eunice. Congratulations to all those who responded. The response shall be discussed at the next EVAG meeting on 8th March. Many thanks to John Butler, David Welch and all the EVAG Team for their sterling effort during this crisis.
On behalf of the District, I would like to thank Hugh Deed for being the D1200 ShelterBox co-ordinator for around 20 years. Hugh is stepping down from this role at the end of June. Clubs should feel free to contact Lucy Carr ( firstname.lastname@example.org ) the Rotary Engagement Manager at ShelterBox or email@example.com should they need any support, with respect to ShelterBox.
The International Fellowship of Scouting Rotarians (IFSR)
Congratulations to Bridport Rotary and The Island and Royal Manor of Portland Rotary for having been awarded IFSR Youth Service Awards. Bridport had taken part in delivering Christmas cards and one of Portland’s members (Jonathan Powney) had been recognised for dedicated work for the young people of Portland through Scouting.
Many congratulations to Bath Rotary, which recently marked its centenary. The celebrations have been postponed to 2nd April, owing to the situation with Covid-19.
Rotary International Convention:
Houston, Texas (4-8th June 2022)
The Rotary Convention in the United States is going ahead, in person, in June. A reduced registration fee of US$495 has been extended to 04.59 hours (GMT) on Tuesday 1st March (23.59 hours, Monday 28 February, Central Daylight Time, USA).
If you are in a position to attend, do think about going; it can be a lifechanging experience. Over 20,000 people from all over the world attend and the speakers are world class.
District Governor Supported Charities
(Children’s Hospice South West and Julia’s House)
Thank you to Lyme Regis Rotary for having raised £800 in aid of Children’s Hospice South West (CHSW) through a street collection in Lyme Regis and Charmouth. Many thanks too to Bryan Tilzey from Yeovil Rotary for having had his hair shaved off as a sponsored event, in aid of CHSW.
The Lyme Lunge
Hundreds of Lungers took the plunge in Lyme Regis on New Year’s Day in aid of Weldmar Hospice Care and Macmillan Cancer Support (as well as other individually supported charities)
Multi Paul Harris Fellowship (MPHF)
For the first time in the 100 year history of Weston-super-Mare Rotary, the Club has awarded a 4 sapphire MPHF to Past District Governor (PDG) Greg Thacker, in recognition of outstanding service to Rotary International (RI) at Club, District, Rotary GBI and RI over many years. The heartiest of congratulations to Greg.
Rotary Avenues of Service Award (Community Service)
I am delighted to announce that Ceri Davies from Mendip Rotary was awarded the Rotary Avenues of Service Award (Community Service).
Ceri engaged with the local Health Authority at the start of the pandemic to ensure Mendip Rotary could play a part in the fight against COVID. As a result, when in June a major vaccination centre for the area was opening in Cheddar, the Health Authority approached Mendip Rotary for help. Ceri established a network of volunteers to marshal the cars & crowds at the site and singlehandedly managed the manpower and roster every day for six months.
I was delighted to attend a meeting at Bridgwater Rotary when 4 new members were inducted; well done! It’s also great to hear that the Taunton Breakfast Satellite Club is thriving.
Matching Project Grants
This is a reminder to clubs which are yet to claim a matching grant of up to £250 from District. The application process is simple, please could the Club President consult the club and let me know of a project where up to £250 matched funding is needed. There are no forms to fill in, just an email to me from the Club President is required.
Recent grants include one to Yeovil in aid of a local charity (The Rendevous) and one to Mendip to purchase an outdoor playhouse for Cheddar First School.
District Forum (via Zoom on Saturday 19th March 10.00-12.30)
The next District Forum shall take place again on Zoom (we had looked into holding an in-person meeting and hybrid meeting; the consensus was that this coming meeting should be online as a number of Rotarians are still reticent to attend face-to-face meetings.
Please see the following page for joining details:
Here are the joining details (this is a single use Zoom Room; there is no password to enter):
Topic: District Forum
Time: Mar 19, 2022 10:00 London
Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 825 8270 3375
District Governor D1200