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May-31-12

RI PRESIDENT'S MONTHLY MESSAGE - JUNE, 2012

By RI president Kalyan Banerjee

My dear brothers and sisters in Rotary,

June is a time to reflect on the Rotary year that has nearly passed, and to look forward to the one that is soon to begin. We look back at what we have accomplished and measure our progress toward the goals we have set for ourselves. In Rotary, we may pause to reflect, but never to rest on our laurels – for as much as we have achieved, we are always aware of how much there is still to do.

The 2011-12 year has been a time of significant progress. Binota and I have been fortunate to have visited different parts of the Rotary world and seen the many ways that Rotarians everywhere Reach Within to Embrace Humanity. In South Sudan, we met with Rotarians who are determined to make a difference despite tremendous challenges. The humanitarian problems in that nation are enormous, and begin with the most basic: At the moment, South Sudan lacks a single functional hospital. I am confident that in the coming year, Rotarians around the world will reach out to our newest Rotary country with the support and help it will need.

In Uganda, I was delighted and heartened to discover how many government ministers and officials are Rotarians, and to see them bringing the ideals of Rotary to life in their service. In Kathmandu, I was overwhelmed as countries of South Asia – Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, the Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka – came together to vow to make the region 100 percent literate by 2017.

In Fiji and Vanuatu in the South Pacific, I was moved by Rotarians who are helping to lower child mortality and provide safe housing. In Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, I was delighted by the statement of Sheikh Nahayan Mubarak Al-Nahayan, minister of higher education and scientific research: "We are looking forward eagerly to Rotary starting its first club here." And in Valdivia, Chile, as close to the South Pole as Binota and I have been, we were moved by Rotarians' work with children who have mental disabilities.

But most of all, we found our hearts warmed by the welcome we received all over the world – and by the sight of so many Rotarians living the Rotary ideal, and choosing to Reach Within to Embrace Humanity. I thank you for the opportunity to serve as your president, and look forward to working together to build Peace Through Service.

Kalyan Banerjee
RI President

Source : Rotary International News

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