Posted by Rebecca Hastie on Aug 03, 2017

Bruce Cowan lived in Balclutha for 10 years as a teacher. He has been a member of Rotary for 17 years and for the 2017-2018 year he is District Governor of Rotary District 9980. Over the past couple of years in preparation for this role, he has been the student in what he describes as "Rotary School". Bruce admitted he has a penchant for numbers, so on his visit to Rotary Club of Balclutha he taught us some figures he's learned about Rotary.

 
1.2 million
Rotarians consistently this decade.
There has been a decline in members in the Western world and an increase in Asian countries which has kept the overall membership consistent.
 
112
years since Rotary started.
In 1905 in Chicago Paul Harris invited Gustavus Loehr, Silvester Schiele and Hiram Shorey to meet and form a fellowship. Each meeting they rotated around each other's offices hence the name Rotary.
 
200+
countries around the world with Rotary clubs.
This many different cultures meant that in San Diego, when all the incoming District Governors met, presentations were translated in booths at the back of the meeting hall and transmitted so non-English speaking members could listen through headphones. Discussion groups were divided into rooms by language and Bruce reports there was a huge selection of dishes at meal times!
 
16 million
"official volunteer hours" recorded by Rotary, but the actual amount could be 10x that.
Rotarians need to be better at recording their hours spent doing work for Rotary.
 
26.50
$ The Rotary Foundation began with.
In 1917, the sixth president of Rotary, Arch Klumph, proposed that if people were to pool funds together, Rotary could do even more good in the world.
 
Charity Navigator is an organisation that evaluates the performance of charities and rates them out of four stars. The Rotary Foundation of Rotary International has a four star rating and consistently maintained placings in the top segment of their Top Ten List of Best Charities. See The Rotary Foundation's evaluation on: https://www.charitynavigator.org/index.cfm?bay=search.summary&orgid=4553
The Rotary Foundation ensures that nearly all of their funds go to projects and administration costs are close to zero. Equally importantly to note, Rotary ensures projects are meaningful and sustainable to local communities.
 
 
150
$ contribution per member a year recommended for the Foundation to maintain effective projects.
Donations could come from their own income or from fundraising.
 
 
2.5 billion
children immunised against polio.
Two drops of vaccination is administered into the mouth.
 
Rotary initiated global polio eradication and has since joined its PolioPlus program together with WHO, UNICEF, USCDC and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Read more about the Global Polio Eradication Initiative on: http://polioeradication.org/who-we-are/partners/
When the initiative began, Poliomyelitis used to kill and paralyse yearly around 350,00 people worldwide, including in New Zealand. That number has been declining and in the first half of 2017 there have been only 8 confirmed cases of Wild Poliovirus in the world. The virus has been reported in only two countries, where people are nomadic and access may be further limited by the Taliban and misconceptions regarding the vaccine. See the report here:
 
 
35,000+
Rotary clubs in the world.
 
31+
clubs in Rotary District 9980 (31 is not including Rotaract, Interact and RotaKids).
 
1
leader for Rotary International.
But 2017-2018 President Ian Riseley wouldn't say he's the most important out of 1.2 million members.
A more important 1 is the one tree to be planted by each member. Rotary is very good at looking after people but hasn't been as great at looking after the places people are in. We need to do better at protecting the environment and curbing climate change hence the theme "Making a Difference" for the 2017-2018 Rotary year.
 
We can also improve at informing the community better about what our Rotary club does. Consider the people we've met, places we've been and the lives that have been changed because of Rotary, as well as the good things we've done that we might not have if we weren't part of Rotary.
 
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