There is no question about the deep commitment that we have to Rotary International. This commitment allows us to serve, influence, commit, understand and improve lives, not only of those people around us but also our own. Our vision and values link us together.

My visit to clubs connected me with incredible, resourceful members, those who have a voice and a chance to make a difference. They are building capacity, are happy to tell beautiful and meaningful stories, and their passion and purpose are in alignment. Their purpose drives excellence! They offer magical gifts and open opportunities to young and old. They give hope.

Rotarians make amazing things happen, like breaking the cycle of poverty for women: Most of the women living in rural areas do not have the collateral to get loans from regulated financial institutions. Our Rotary clubs helped local ECD practitioners to complete financial literacy courses so they could pool their money and fund their own growth. Skills development and business training helped more than 270 community members in sewing, baking, plumbing, microcredit, business management, and leadership. Rotary members gave farmers the skills they needed to improve soil fertility, control soil erosion, and market their produce – this led to sustainable farming in areas such as Polokwane and Eswatini where erosion and loss of soil fertility had significantly reduced farmers’ harvests. The results: increased crop yields and profits.

As professionals and business owners, we need to help bridge the gap between Townships and Corporate Southern Africa. Support women and encourage them to participate in the economy, build careers, and establish owner-managed businesses. Let’s grow our people, equip our students for the market place, and Celebrating D9400’s Membership of the JCCI build a solid foundation for our economy where all can flourish. One such Rotarian who is having a tremendously positive impact on our local economy is Martha Deacon, a member of the Rotary E-Club of Southern Africa D9400.

Read more in the District 9400 DG Newsletter September 2020 Issue