Jamaica Observer / Rassin made the call while in Jamaica for the installation of Dr Patrick Adizua as governor for District 7020 last Saturday. “There’s an expression in Africa that if you want to change the dance, you have to change the music. I believe we need to change the music, because our dance needs to change,” he told the 320 Rotarians gathered in the Jamaica Pegasus hotel ballroom in New Kingston and an additional 740 who joined the event via Facebook live.
Rassin, who has chosen the theme ‘Be the Inspiration’ as the motif for his presidential tenure, called for clubs to look at ways to grow and sustain membership, and to ensure a smooth matriculation of youth from Rotary’s youth arm, Rotaract, into Rotary clubs.
Underlining the theme for the year, he also reminded Rotarians of their duty to service and the resultant cathartic experience they undergo when they give to enrich the lives of others.
“Each one of us has the power to change the world,” he declared. “I ask you to be the inspiration so that we can see our world be better than it ever was before.”
Similarly, in his response after being installed as district governor, Dr Adizua reminded Rotarians that they have the power to change the world through the projects they pursue and their influence.
“Together we see a world where people unite and take action to make lasting change across the globe, in our communities and in ourselves,” he said, quoting the Rotary International vision statement.
Rotary, which has 1.2 million members globally, is one of the world’s largest service organisations. It supports human development by implementing projects and initiatives that are targeted at improving water and sanitation; disease prevention and treatment; maternal and child health; basic education and literacy; and economic and community development.
Since 1979, Rotary International has been keenly focused on the eradication of poliomyelitis, which has been eliminated 99 per cent globally. With the support of partners, such as the United Nations, 2.5 billion children have been vaccinated in 122 countries against the debilitating and deadly disease, which has mainly affected children. Polio was eradicated in Jamaica in the 1980s.
Under Rassin’s leadership, Rotary International will, this year, pay specific attention to water access in Haiti through the HANWASH project. At the same the movement will seek to bring an end to polio. Water is the main vector through which polio is transmitted. The disease remains a problem in war-torn Syria, Pakistan, Nigeria, and recently re-emerged in Papua New Guinea and Venezuela.
District 7020 is home to more than 80 Rotary clubs from 10 island states in the Caribbean — Jamaica, The Bahamas, Haiti, St Martin, the British Virgin Islands, US Virgin Islands, the Cayman Islands, St Barth, Turks and Caicos Islands, and Anguilla.