ROTARY CLUB OF BANJUL
The Rotary Club of Banjul was admitted into on the 7th of August 1979. It had 24 charter members. Noteworthy of mentions is the most important role-played by our charter president, Mr. Abdou Faal, who, worked extremely hard to get the club on its feet.
The club adopted the Baobab tree its banner, a tree of which all its parts, from leaves to roots are useful. The tree generally lives for up to 100 years.
The club has its regular program of providing twenty scholarships annually to needy and deserving students, and supervising matching grants sponsored by Rotary international and other Rotary clubs overseas.
On projects, our main achievements in the past would include the provision of 92 concrete line wells with hand pumps nation wide, participating in the polio eradication campaign, provision of a 15 seated van for the school for the visually impaired (GOVI), a mobile eye clinic for the URD and participating in the tree planting programmme, just to name a few.
We have also engaged in projects in the medical field, namely, providing the diabetes unit of the RVH with equipment worth over D 150,000 Dalasis, provision of an Auto clave sterilizing unit for the Bansang hospital. We had realized a project to equip the computer center of the President Awards Scheme with 10 computers and their auxiliary components.
Tuning to our partners – in – service, - the chartering of a second club, the Rotary club of Fajara .
The Rotoract club has been active. Indeed, we await Rotary International’s approval for its charter.
The Inner wheeler club has had been quite in recent past, but we expect them to rise to the challenge as they usually do.
The establishments of the interact clubs have taken off and at least four clubs are flourishing in senior high schools. Their efforts deserve commendations.
In the Rotary club of Banjul, we continue to make progress,. We continue to attract useful projects of tremendous benefits to our community.
Rotary was founded in 1905 in Chicago in the USA by group of four ordinary persons led by Mr Paul Harris. There was a lawyer, a merchant, a coal trader and a mining engineer. Four ordinary persons. Their goal then was to foster a friendly spirit among the business people of the small town were they live in. The name” Rotary” was derived from the early practices of rotating meetings among members‘ offices.
From its humble beginnings, the club grew into clubs, and gradually, Rotary developed its objectives to be – the building of goodwill and peace, provide humanitarian service for the world community, and to encourage high ethical standards in all vacations. As a motto,” SERVICE ABOVE SELF” was adopted. A new theme is adopted for each Rotary year.
The membership of Rotary has grown. There are now over 1,200,000 Rotarians working in over 29,000 Rotary clubs in 161 countries world-wide. Since 1987, Rotary admits ladies into clubs, and the growth of involvement of women in Rotary is impressive. There are over 2000 women clubs presidents and women are rapidly assuming regional leadership roles.
Membership to Rotary is open to all professional men and women. Rotarians work as volunteers to improve the quality of life in their home countries and in the world community. Clubs meet weekly and are non-political, non-religious and open to all cultures, races and creeds.
The financial resource that individual Rotarians make available to Rotary is modest. Rotary relies mainly on fund raising and lobbing for donations to fund the organization. There is however, a lot of sacrifice made in time and effort by Rotarians, to ensure the fruitful realization of Rotary projects.
What are the avenues of service of Rotary?
Community projects that address many to today’s most critical issues, such as violence, women empowerment, youth development, drug abuse, AIDS, hunger, illiteracy, disease, poverty and environment.
Through the Rotary Foundation, educational programs, including the Ambassadorial Scholarships are awarded. This program enables students to make one year study visit to other countries. The grants also cater for university teachers to serve in institutions in developing countries. By the way, this is the world largest privately funded source of international scholarship.
Polio-Plus is Rotary’s commitment to eradicating polio by the year 2005. Through the efforts of Rotary and its partners, more than 1 Billion children worldwide, have been immunized since 1985. Over 170 countries had been declared “ no – case countries”. By the year 2005, Rotarian contributions to the polio efforts will have reached over 500 million US dollars.
The three most important challenges facing mankind are war, poverty and AIDS.
War and similar civil unrest disrupts all economic, social, health and educational activities, also causing displacement of large population from their normal living area. The repercussions of war are felt long after the conflict is resolved and huge resources, which could have been use for development, wasted.
Poverty effects the human in vary basic ways, creating barriers to good education, good health, and independence and indeed dignity.
AIDS is the biggest health issue in the world, in general, and in Africa in particular. Millions have lost their lives and its effect on family fabric is catastrophic. It is a problem, which a lot of people refuse to take seriously, some even denied its existence. Countries like Uganda, which were devastated with its effects, will bare witness to its capability.
With the defeat of Polio, Rotary will be turning its attention to these three issues, war, poverty and AIDS.