A Message from District Governor Isaac B. Owolabi
The month of October, the Rotary focus is on Economic and Community Development. According to a Rotary publication, “nearly 1.4 billion employed people live on less than $1.25 a day.”
Our members promote economic and community development and reduce poverty in underserved communities through training, well-paying jobs, and access to financial management institutions. Projects range from providing people with equipment to vocational training. Our members work to strengthen local entrepreneurs and community leaders, particularly women, in impoverished communities.
The Rotary Club of Arden operates as a micro lender in several countries of the world. They lend funds to poor men and women who want to become self-sufficient business owners. The website is KIVA.OrG. Currently they have loaned a total of $3,600 with118 loans made to people in 68 countries - 61% of the loans were lent to women and 39% to men. These businesses include agriculture, manufacturing, construction, arts, clothing, wholesale, transportation, retail, and food. Most of the loans have been made in small amounts of $25.
Despite strong economic growth and a burgeoning middle class, most countries of the world are still mired in high poverty rates, inadequate health care, and water insecurity. Rotary Club of Highlands Mountain-Top has a project in Bolivia led by Dr. John Baumrucker, called Bolivian Mission, which includes water projects, medical and dental clinics, home building, and a foster home for street boys.
There are still large and immediate challenges facing many communities in the Rotary world. This is where Rotary is at its best, finding solutions to these problems through global projects.