What does it mean to Engage Rotary, Change Lives? For me, it means, in part, to share my love of Rotary as well as empower the next generation of Rotarians. I’m hoping I was able to do that when from 4 to 5 November I visited Kampala, Uganda, for the second Presidential New Generations Conference.
About 60 percent of Uganda’s population is below the age of 18. Their youth truly are their future. My wife, Jetta, and I, were joined by RI Director Holger Knaack and his wife, Susane. We heard how Rotaractors, Rotarians, and other volunteers concerned with creating a better future are working to save mothers and children, fight poverty, provide clean water, and support education. The event included speakers such as Rotaract representative Winfred Karungi from District 9211 and Rotaractor Brad Rulinda.
My visit wouldn’t have been the same without the hospitality I received. I thank District 9211 Governor Emmanuel Katongole and the other Rotarians for being such gracious hosts.
In conjunction with the conference, I went to the Kiwuliriza Primary School to hear local Rotary members talk about community service projects like teaching the benefits of hand washing, conducting screenings for cancer, and distributing mosquito nets.
While in Uganda, I also visited the advanced nursing program at Aga Khan University (AKU), one of our strategic partners. Together, Rotary and AKU fill the need for health sector reform in the East Africa region by supporting scholarships for students to study nursing and midwifery at AKU.
The next presidential conference is 15 March in Rosario, Santa Fe, Argentina. I’m already looking forward to it! I hope I see some of you there.