I am honored and also apprehensive to begin my year as your club president. For me it is a new experience to be a leader of our GREAT Club. As you know I have been a member for a long time and have fulfilled many different functions over the years. It was sometimes challenging but also very rewarding.
Some of the moments will stay with me forever. I appreciate that we all are individuals with different professions, backgrounds and still are able to come and work together.
As we celebrated 4 th of July I was reminded how I got where I am today. I came from a socialist country where individualism was crushed and many in response adopted a very selfish sentiment embodied in this saying “ who does not steal from government steal from his family ” and where help such as picking potatoes or harvesting hobs by students was forced under threat of expulsion from school. Philanthropy and volunteer work was almost nonexistent. I truly appreciate our freedoms and responsibilities which are part of it. It is not a surprise that Rotary began in this country and became a force worldwide. I am proud to be a Rotarian and with help of you all we will have the privilege to help. I am following in footsteps of many great presidents and hope to continue and build on what they have done. I want to make sure that we all have voice and can steer direction of this club. I am open to ideas, comments and criticism (within limits). It is important to me that we enjoy what we do, have fun doing it, enjoy each other‛s company, and do not take ourselves too seriously.
WaSH Project: Changing the lives of students in Bengaluru, India
The Rotary Club of Saratoga, California, USA (Club 5170) in partnership with the Bangalore (India) Rotary District 3190, with matching grant from Rotary International will improve the lives of a few thousand low income primary and middle school students across 15-20 local schools in the city of Bengaluru, India. This global grant will be funded at approximately USD $70,000. During 2017, Rotary will construct restroom facilities for girls, hand washing stations and water purification following UNICEF guidelines. Such basic facilities will reduce girls‛ absenteeism from schools and improve student health, thereby enhancing personal safety and educational experience. This initiative, entitled WaSH (Water, Sanitation and Health), starts with a formal needs assessment of schools and interviews with teachers, students and other stakeholders. Following best practices, the project team along with school staff, will also establish a curriculum anchored around health such that good sanitation practices can be passed on to their families as well to students through successive school years.
This program is also open for contributions from private individuals or companies; such amounts will be matched at 50% by Rotary International, thereby expanding the project footprint and community impact. For further information, please contact Sesh Ramaswami.
Innvision's mission is to help homeless families rapidly return to permanent housing and self-sufficiency, and the families in the Innvision program have a 94% success rate of returning to stable housing and becoming self-sufficient. The average length of stay for families that graduate from their transitional housing program is 188 days, significantly less than the national average.
Our donations of backpacks, calculators, crayons, notebooks, scissors, binders, lunch boxes, pens, pencils, and more went directly to benefit the children and youth at Innvision who are struggling with homelessness. We sent a strong message to these children that we see them, we care about their lives, and we support their future.
- Develop and set up personalized music playlists,
- Work at Fatima Villa with individual patients participating in Music & Memory,
- Mentor high school students working with Fatima patients, or
- Implement the Music & Memory program with a friend or family member.