Dear Fellow Rotarians,

 

The Rotary Foundation is an essential part of Rotary and its mission is to support the efforts of Rotary International in the fulfillment of the object of Rotary, Rotary’s mission, and the achievement of world understanding and peace through local, international humanitarian, education, and cultural programs.

Rotarians give generously to The Rotary Foundation knowing that the money they contribute goes to bring clean water to people who had no access to it, to educate people whose livelihoods are hampered by their inability to read and to protect people from illnesses as well as bringing peace to the world through promoting international understanding by its many funded exchange programs and to support the humanitarian projects in more than 200 countries around the world.

In short, The Rotary Foundation works to bring hope to the world and to many impoverished people who depend on the foundation to live a decent life and very often just to live.

The Rotary foundation funded exchange program such as the Group Study Exchange (GSE) and Ambassadorial Scholarship program have always been enthusiastically supported by our Rotarians.

I have just attended the orientation of this year’s GSE team; four aspiring young persons from different vocations and background were picked to represent our district visiting District 9640 Brisbane, Australia in April 2013.

Our GSE team leader Past President (PP) Helen Or of Rotary Club (RC) of Bayview Sunshine and GSE chairlady PP Chelsia To of RC of Queensway have worked tirelessly setting the stage of a remarkable GSE experience for the team.

Please extend your warmest welcome when the GSE teams visit your club in future.

Talking about Rotarians advancing peace in the world, I must thank Rotary clubs in Hong Kong and Macau that have given great support to the district initiative of funding outstanding Rotaracters who are passionate about peace, to attend the Global Peace Forums organized by the Rotary International in this year of “ Peace Through Service”.

There will be at least 12 Rotaracters and eight Rotarians, Past District Governor (PDG) Ada, PDG Jones and myself included attending the Peace Forum in Hawaii between January 24-27, 2013.

PP Eddy Wong of RC of Hong Kong Island East, vice chair of the district peace committee is doing a fantastic job preparing these 12 Rotaracters for their inspirational experience in Hawaii as the world renowned peace advocate and Nobel Peace laureate  Madam Aung San Suu Kyi will be the key noted speaker at the forum.

The district initiative to install 40 high tech water-filtering units to 40 schools in Xian China is progressing well.   This is a significant project that brings clean and bacteria free drinking water to some 50,000 students and teaching staffs.

With generous sponsorship from Rotarians of RC of Kowloon East and matching grants that involve almost every clubs in Hong Kong and Macau plus hefty voluntary reduction on price from the Skyjuice Foundation (a not-for-profit organization incorporated in Australia), supplier of the ultra membrane skyHyrant filters, this project becomes possible with relatively small financial outlay from Rotary clubs.

To express my sincere gratitude to my friends David Hughes and his wife Jann who are the deputy chairman and executive officer of the Skyjuice foundation respectively, I paid a visit to Sydney in early November and treated them a long overdue dinner.

During the course of this dinner, I uncovered a terrible ordeal that happened to the Hughes family which has changed their destiny of life.

When I asked Jann if she could share their real life story with us, she gracefully agreed to tell us all about it in a letter titled “Everything Happens for a Reason” which is featured in this issue.  I hope we all could draw inspiration from Jann’s letter.

As festive season is approaching, let me close by wishing you all a Merry Christmas and a healthy and prosperous 2013.  Together we shall create Peace Through Service.

 

 May we all have the spirit of Christmas, which is PEACE, the gladness of Christmas, which is HOPE, and the heart of Christmas, which is LOVE.

Let us be proud as a Rotarian as we strive to bring PEACE to the world, HOPE to those in need and LOVE to our future generation.

 

 

Kenneth Wong

District Governor