Rotary club is an organization purposed to bring together businesses and professionals to provide humanitarian services and providing support in addressing problems facing the world by combating illiteracy and poverty, contributing to the provision of safe water, handling disputes and fighting disease.
Rotary club members usually meet every week to discuss their engagement.
COVID-19 has brought unprecedented effects, put the economy at downturn and limited physical meetings to contain transmission of the virus.
The former Assistant District Governor in charge of Rotary Club Rwanda currently serving as the Executive Secretary of District 9150,Rotary International Jeannette Rugera has said that the organization has also been leveraging technology to maintain operations.
“The pandemic has not held us back but rather continued working hard to deliver on our mission. We held meetings virtually and other activities in compliance with COVID-19 containment measures,” he said.
Rugera explained that Rotary Rwanda partnered with the Ministry of Health to subscribe Mutuelle de Santé for vulnerable residents with most pressing needs, distributed protective equipment and build hand washing facilities at different schools.
As Rugera revealed, more activities under this framework are ongoing.
The organization also provided food relief recently to Rubavu residents affected by Nyiragongo volcanic eruption.
Rotary Club is classified into three categories including Interact Club made of children members in the age bracket between 12 and 18, Rotaract Club bringing together members from the university in the age bracket between 18 and 25 while people aged beyond 25 are classified in the category of Rotary Club.
During three-years tenure, Rugera explained that the organization has expanded wings increasing Rotary Clubs from six to seven while Rotaract Clubs increased from three to four and membership was increased from 104 to 157.
Félix Mihigo, the President of Rotaract KIE said that the club has been active and helped Rwandans mitigate effects of COVID-19.
“For instance, we supported and provided school fees for 20 students at Groupe Scolaire Gatenga who did not have school kits because parents were laid off as Coronavirus emerged,” he noted.
Mihigo revealed that his club also ran campaigns sensitizing people on how to keep safe during the pandemic and provided sanitary items at different times.
The new Assistant District Governor in charge of Rotary Club Rwanda, Dr. Jean d’Amour Manirere has committed to continue expanding the organization and encouraging members to provide contribution to national development.
“In the fiscal year 2021/22, Rotary Club Rwanda has included environment preservation efforts in its programs. We shall encourage local clubs to draw special attention to that initiative,” he said.
The meeting was also attended by the Governor of Rotary Club District 9150, Edgard Cyr Tougouma who is on a visit to Rwanda from 4th to 9th August 2021.
Rotary Club Rwanda has 157 members from seven clubs including Rotary Club Kigali Doyen, Mont Jali, Musanze Murera, Butare, Gasabo, Kigali-Virunga and Bugoyi Ibirunga.
Rotary Club International was established 116 years ago. It is currently comprised of 1.2 million members from 200 countries.