Ecumenical leader appointed
President of Rotary International
in Great Britain and Ireland
Debbie Hodge writes:
On July 1st every year the leadership teams of Rotary International change, at local, national and international level. In the UK and Ireland some 48,000 Rotarians welcome in their new club president, in each geographical region a new District Governor takes the helm and in the territory that is known as Rotary International in Great Britain and Ireland the new President is installed. This year I have the privilege of taking up that post.
Rotarians see a world where people come together to take action and make lasting change across the globe, in their communities and in themselves. Through projects and community initiatives Rotary makes a difference in the lives of many people: through their support of Memory Cafes they support those with dementia and their carers; in local schools Rotarians are often School governors, but will also be found supporting reading schemes and helping with outdoor activities. The Rotary Peace Scholars are impacting on both the global and local challenge of building peace, with community programmes that bring people together and by working with the UN and other such organisations to bring in policies that being peace. From sand dams in Africa, Eye Hospitals in India, to Blood Pressure Awareness days in the local high street of the UK and Ireland Rotary is indeed taking action and making lasting change.
A lasting legacy that has taken over 30 years to build will be the eradication of Polio across the globe. The eradication project began when one Rotarian decided that the newly developing vaccines created an opportunity to immunise his village. Out of that has grown the largest global humanitarian project that brings together Rotary, WHO, UNICEF, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and the Office for Communicable Diseases, who are working to ensure that polio is eliminated. This year there have been just 11 cases world wide – but it needs to drop the zero, and Rotary is committed to making that happen!
With the job comes the opportunity to support Rotarians in their work and to share Rotary’s story with anyone and everyone, for Rotary is doing amazing work in every corner of the globe, and is active in your local community!
For further information look at https://www.rotarygbi.org
Debbie Hodge is a Minister of the United Reformed Church, ordained in 2000 after completing a Masters Degree in Theology. Prior to moving into Ministry she was a nurse, nurse tutor and Principal Lecturer in Critical Care Nursing at the University of Hertfordshire. She is the Secretary for Health Care Chaplaincy for the Free Churches Group.