Rotary District 9214 Celebrates Basic Education and Literacy at 99th District Conference and Assembly

Speke Resort Munyonyo, Uganda – April 24, 2024

Rotary District 9214, spanning across Uganda and Tanzania, kicked off the 99th District Conference and Assembly with a vibrant celebration dedicated to Basic Education and Literacy. Themed know my school uniform, the night, which unfolded at the Speke Resort Munyonyo, was a testament to Rotary’s unwavering commitment to educational empowerment.

Distinguished guests and delegates poured into the venue, adorned in their school uniforms, paying homage to the essence of education. The atmosphere brimmed with enthusiasm and a shared dedication to Rotary’s noble causes. The conference was opened by the Chair of the District Conference and Assembly (DCA), Christine Kyeyune Kawooya, who extended her heartfelt gratitude to the attendees for their overwhelming presence and adherence to the dress code. She warmly welcomed guests from beyond Uganda’s boarders, underscoring the spirit of friendship that defines Rotary.

The address by the District Rotaract Representative (DRR), Prudence Asobola, struck a poignant chord as she appeared clad in an “End Polio” t-shirt. Asobola implored all delegates to reflect on the plight of children affected by polio, emphasizing the critical link between health and education. She urged the assembly to rally behind initiatives aimed at ensuring access to education for all, echoing Rotary’s enduring commitment to eradicating polio and promoting literacy hand in hand.

District Rotaract Representative (DRR), Prudence Asobola

District Governor Francisco Ssemwanga took center stage to unveil the district’s flagship project for the rotary year 2023 – 2024: Basic Education and Literacy. Ssemwanga underscored the transformative power of education in shaping the future and lauded clubs for their unwavering dedication to projects aligned with this pivotal cause. He highlighted the numerous initiatives undertaken by clubs throughout the district, each was evidence to Rotary’s ethos of service above self.

District Governor Francisco Ssemwanga

The night culminated in a spirited debate between representatives from Uganda and Tanzania, engaging in a friendly exchange of Rotary knowledge. The debate not only showcased the intellectual prowess of the participants but also fostered a sense of unity and collaboration across borders.

As the night drew to a close, echoes of friendship and dedication lingered in the air, in celebration of the joint contribution and impact in enabling basic education and literacy in communities far and wide. The 99th District Conference and Assembly’s opening night served as a touching reminder of Rotary’s unwavering resolve to create a world where every individual has the opportunity to learn, grow, and thrive.

TO GIVE OR NOT TO GIVE

As a DRR, I often get Rotarians asking me if they should give money to Rotaractors who approach them with project funding requests. In this Ubuntu issue, I will address the big question of whether to give or not to give.

Every Rotarian needs to understand that Rotaractors are partners in service. To be a partner, there must be a certain level of understanding between the two parties. During my official visits to Rotaractors, I have laid key emphasis on the different approaches we can use to foster meaningful relationships/partnerships with Rotarians. I have further encouraged Rotaractors to draft and sign MOUs for each partnership reached and to develop a culture of accountability for any financial or in-kind assistance rendered by Rotarians or external donors. Therefore, for a partnership to be valid, each party must bring something to the table.


For every partnership request, there should be clear understanding of what roles are to be played by the parties and what benefits are to be attained. After roles/contributions have been clearly stated with deadlines and any other mandates, then drafting MOUs and signing them can proceed.

It goes without say that Rotarians and Rotaractors are generous people. Whereas giving is a way of life for us, I recommend that we give with caution and with a purpose. We should give when fully aware to whom and to what we are giving towards. Only then will our giving be meaningful. For each time we give, let us be fully aware the project or cause that we are giving towards and let’s ask for accountability for funds
given.


Let us take a moment to think, how many times have you been issued a receipt when you make a contribution towards a project? Or how many times have you taken off time to review an MOU that is presented to you before signing it off? Do you take off time to ask what percentage of the budget is the other party covering or what contribution they will be making towards that particular project?


Yes, we should give, but let us give with caution. We should give with full understanding of what we are giving towards, ask for accountability and follow up to make sure your funds are channelled towards the intended cause. As we give, let us give generously because when done right, our giving creates hope in the world.

Prudence Asobola
District Rotaract Representative
Rotary International District 9214
(Uganda and Tanzania)

Transformative Island Project CaptivatesHearts:Restoring Hope on Bufumira Island

Bufumira Island – A heartwarming initiative took root on the weekend of 11- 13 August 2023 when the Rotaract and Rotary Club of Bwebajja in collaboration with the Rotaract Clubs of Bwerenga, Garuga, Bunga, Kawempe, and the Rotary Club of Nalumunye embarked on the second phase of the Adopt Bufumira Island project. This remarkable effort has rekindled hope and greatly improved the lives of the islanders.

With an unwavering commitment to the common good, the Adopt Bufumira Island project addressed critical aspects of life and left a profound impact on every corner of the island. Rotary’s five core areas disease prevention and treatment, water hygiene and sanitation, basic education and literacy, maternal health, and environmental protection were at the forefront of this transformative mission. The project started with a health camp that provided a lifeline to nearly 300 individuals on the island. In addition to essential medical care, the camp served as an educational platform that spread valuable knowledge about health. HIV, malaria, and cancer testing services were carried out, bringing the gift of early detection and care.

The embrace of the project extended further, mothers-to-be were gifted with mama kits, each household with mosquito nets, and girls at school
with reusable pads. Adding a touch of sustainability, the planting of fruit trees at a local school underscored the project’s commitment to nurturing both the mind and the environment. The highlight of this encouraging venture was the commissioning of the island’s first bio-digester
toilet, two life-giving boreholes, and a renovated classroom block for Bufumira Primary School. The ceremony was graced by Rtr. Joseph B. Ssengooba, District Rotaract Representative-Elect, exuded a sense of promise for the island’s future. Ssengooba’s impassioned words made clear his determination to direct similar transformational efforts to other islands during the coming Rotary year with the aspiration of extending this lifeline to at least 10 other islands across Uganda.


In a deeply emotional moment, Grace Nakato, a resident of Bufumira Island, shared her thoughts: “The medical camp was a lifeline for us. Not only did we receive medical care, but we also gained invaluable knowledge on how to maintain our health. Mosquito nets and mama kits are a real blessing, which will undoubtedly improve our lives.” John Ssempala, a parent and dedicated community member, echoed this sentiment: “The new classroom block resonates with our hopes for a brighter future for our children. Boreholes bring us clean water, a basic necessity that now ensures the health and prosperity of our families.”


Prossy Namubiru, a schoolgirl, wore a bright smile as she exclaimed, “The reusable pads have lifted the weight off our shoulders and enabled us to go to school with confidence every day. Moreover, the newly planted fruit trees at our school have transformed the landscape into
a haven of delight.” The Adopt Bufumira Island project is a testament to the remarkable results that can be achieved through joint
efforts. It not only touches lives but also ignites the flame of hope in hearts. As ripples of the project continue to spread, Rtn. Annie Ninyesiga, President of the Rotary Club of Bwebajja, expresses her sincere gratitude to all who contributed to this triumph. This included Rotary
Family Health Days, TASO Entebbe, and Kisubi Hospital.


A special mention goes to international benefactors – Salmon HVAC, Green Collective, and Salmon Electric – for their role in helping to improve water and sanitation levels on the island. The transformation stories from Bufumira Island are not just anecdotes; they are a testament to the resilience, unity, and profound impact that compassionate efforts can have.