It was 115 years ago this month that Paul Harris and three of his friends founded the first Rotary club. His goal was simple: to create an oasis of friendship amid a city of strangers, with those who shared his values. The world has changed greatly since 1905. However the values that bound Paul Harris and his friends: service, fellowship, diversity, integrity and leadership have endured and have attracted millions more. Today, Rotarians in every part of the world,
are engaged in service and are demonstrating leadership by tackling challenges in their communities and improving lives.
As we celebrate Rotary’s 115th birthday, let us re-dedicate ourselves to strengthening the connections that enable us to serve our communities. I hope that your club will be marking this milestone in a significant way. Whichever way you do it, I would like to encourage you to consider a contribution to the Rotary Foundation in commemoration of this birthday. When you give to the Foundation, you increase Rotary’s ability to serve humanity in more impactful ways and from generation to generation.
 
February is also Rotary’s Peace and Conflict Prevention/ Resolution month. More than 68 million people suffered displacement in the past year, half of whom were children. As Rotarians, we refuse to accept conflict as a way of life and are investing heavily in conflict prevention. I would therefore like to thank all the Rotarians in this district for your efforts in addressing the underlying causes of conflict, including poverty, inequality, lack of access to education, and the unequal distribution of resources.
 
I am also extremely delighted that we in d9211 are going to host the first Rotary Peace Centre on the African continent, in partnership with Makerere University. The Peace Centre provides us with an opportunity to scale up our peace building work. I am therefore encouraging you to identify potential peace fellows who will be equipped with the knowledge and skills to foster understanding and resolve conflicts in our communities.
 
During this month we will also have the Rotary Project Fair in Arusha, Tanzania. The Project Fair is not only an opportunity to showcase your club
projects but to also connect with potential partners from different parts of the Rotary world. I therefore urge you to participate actively.
 
Have a great month!
 
F X Sentamu
District Governor 2019 - 20
Rotary International District 9211