From the Governor

COVID-19 edition

As we move through this period of physical isolation (I prefer this term rather than "social distancing"), we need to think about what can we do now and in the future to maintain and grow the wonderful work of our Rotary clubs. One of the most important of these is to keep in touch with our fellow Rotarians to ensure they are OK, physically and emotionally. Something as simple as a phone call and an offer to help with grocery shopping if that is safe for you, can ensure people don't feel alone. While some clubs have gone into recess for the duration, others are maintaining the distribution of their bulletins or meeting using the ZOOM video conferencing system. Using the club bulletin to continue the contact with members and overcome the sense of isolation. The bulletin can include humorous material and is also a good way to access Rotary information from the RI website. I have welcomed the bulletins that I continue to receive as a way to get insights into what is happening in the "outside world".  club Facebook pages are another way to keep in touch provided a few mwmbers commit to keeping the page up to date and contributing posts.
  ZOOM adds the extra features of seeing and hearing club members in real time and provides the opportunity to support each other and share stories. The Coolamon club has now had two successful ZOOM meetings, held at the regular meeting time, as well as a Board meeting. Clubs can purchase a subscription to ZOOM for just over $200 for a year with a Rotary discount. The link to the discount page is here. There is a lot of information about how to use ZOOM. For information on how to run online meetings please check out Rotary resources on virtual meetings:
District 9800 has developed a guide to "Maintaining Member Engagement during the COVID-19 Pandemic". You can download the guide here.
There are also resource people in D9700 who can help out with setting up and guiding clubs through the online meeting process.
There are even etiquette guides for online meetings.
President's message

Presidential message

Mark Daniel Maloney
President 2019-20
April 2020
I spend a lot of time thinking of family, not just my own or the extended family of Rotary, but also the families we are helping in the communities we serve. In many parts of the world, mothers and children face challenges to survive that most of us will never comprehend. According to the World Health Organization, the risk of a woman in a low-income country dying during pregnancy or childbirth, or from related causes, is about 120 times higher than that of a woman living in a high-income country. It is encouraging that infant mortality rates are declining globally, yet 4 million babies annually still die within the first year of life.
In April, Rotary turns its attention to maternal and child health. And when we think of what we can do to help, we can look to clubs like the Rotaract Club of Calabar South-CB, Nigeria, for inspiration. It teamed up with the Rotaract Club of Canaan City (CB) in a program focused on educating mothers on best practices to prevent infant mortality and promote postnatal health for themselves and their babies. In Bangladesh, the Rotary Club of Dhaka North provides free surgeries and medicine to pregnant women who cannot afford the hospital costs associated with giving birth. I encourage you and your club to go to to find projects like these that are helping to save mothers and children.
We also have witnessed how millions of people — families and entire communities — have been ripped away from their homes because of conflict, poverty, and disasters during the past decade. But Rotary has not stood idly by during the global refugee crisis.
During Rotary Day at the United Nations last November, we honored a Rotary Peace Fellow and five Rotarians who are taking action to help refugee communities. Among them was Ilge Karancak-Splane of the Rotary Club of Monterey Cannery Row, California. After visiting several tent camps in Turkey, she led a Rotary project that collected 1,000 pairs of children's shoes and socks for families in the camps and, later, led a global grant project to help educate refugee children. In March, Gay and I had the privilege of visiting a tent camp in Torbalı and seeing firsthand the good work that Rotarians from Turkey and California were accomplishing with Syrian refugees.
The challenges faced by mothers, their children, and refugee communities around the world are daunting. But when we remember our greatest strength — how Rotary Connects the World — we can begin to find solutions. Through our creativity, our resources, our dedication, and our networks, Rotary can and will open opportunities to face these challenges.
Australian Rotary Health advice
Australian Rotary Health has just published a newsletter with some good articles on handling the COVID-19 pandemic.
You can read their newsletter here.
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