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1527: RI President's July 09 Message

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  • Sunil K Zachariah
    RI President s July 09 Message July 2008 Dear fellow Rotarians, The beginning of the Rotary year is always an exciting time, with new club and district
    Message 1 of 1 , Jul 1, 2008
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      RI President's July 09 Message

      July 2008

      Dear fellow Rotarians,

      The beginning of the Rotary year is always an exciting time, with new
      club and district officers, a new theme to work with, and a renewed
      sense of purpose for our service projects. The beginning of this
      particular Rotary year is, of course, especially exciting for me as I
      look forward to meeting Rotarians throughout the world and seeing
      firsthand the many remarkable projects you are carrying out.

      In planning how your club, and each one of you, can Make Dreams Real
      this year, I ask you to consider the millions of children who never
      even have the chance to dream. Every day, more than 26,000 children
      under the age of five die from preventable causes. As appalling as
      that number is, it is a decrease from the figure of 30,000 that first
      caught my attention and spurred me to bring this matter of grave
      concern to Rotarians.

      UNICEF's State of the World's Children 2008 report states that "by
      2006, the most recent year for which firm estimates are available,
      the annual number of child deaths globally fell below 10 million, to
      9.7 million, for the first time since records began." I would guess
      that some of the improvement in child survival rates can be directly
      attributed to Rotary projects that have been successfully addressing
      problems related to health, hunger, water, and literacy for a number
      of years now. So I asked myself: "What would happen if 1.2 million
      Rotarians focused their service efforts on keeping even more children
      alive?"

      I think we already know some of the answers. If Rotarians provide
      insecticide-treated bed nets, fewer children will succumb to malaria.
      If we dig wells and address sanitation problems, more children will
      have clean water to drink and more hygienic surroundings. And if
      Rotary clubs carry out effective nutrition projects, we can save some
      of the almost five million children who die each year from
      undernourishment.

      UNICEF estimates that fully two-thirds of the 9.7 million deaths in
      2006 were preventable. With Rotarians working to provide vaccines,
      oral rehydration therapies, accessible health care for mothers and
      newborns, and other relatively simple interventions, I'm confident
      that many more babies will not only survive but go on to live
      healthy, productive lives. Let's Make Dreams Real by giving these
      children the chance to grow up and have dreams of their own.

      Dong Kurn (D.K.) Lee
      President, Rotary International
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