The development was announced during a two-day retreat that brought together members of Rotary Club Virunga in Bugesera District over the last weekend. It was chaired by Prof Geoffrey Rugege, the new club’s President installed recently in July 2022.
Prof. Rugege who is in retirement life, previously served as the Vice Chancellor of the African Leadership University (ALU). He has been a member of Rotary Club for 50 years since 1972.
Established 118 years ago, Rotary International 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, environmental and prevention fighting diseases and do lots of projects geared towards community development.
Participants of the retreat discussed issues including a blueprint of strategies for the year 2022/2023 with a focus on the recruitment of new members and expansion of development projects in Rwanda.
Dr. Jean D’Amour Manirere, the Assistant Governor of Rotary Club District 9150 in Rwanda who is also a member of Rotary Club Musanze-Murera and the CEO of Rwanda Development Board (RDB), Clare Akamanzi were among other participants who delivered talks.
Akamanzi said that she learnt a lot about the values of Rotary during the retreat and pledged to share them with her colleagues at work. She underscored that the Rotary values should be part of every civil servant’s values.
Akamanzi also assured support and collaboration with Rotary Club on strategies aimed at fostering development of the community.
Masterjerb Paul Birungi, the former Assistant Governor of Rotary Club District 9150 in Rwanda in 2017/2018 and member of Rotary Club Kigali-Virunga said that they have recruited quite a good number of members this year and expressed optimism that other individuals will join gradually to extend the club’s impact.
“Early this year, we recruited 15 new members in our club. It is a great milestone to get the members who currently hold various government and private sector high positions. This gives us hope that many more members will join this club,” he said.
Masterjerb Paul Birungi disclosed that Rotary Club in Rwanda seeks to open as many as possible clubs so that Rwanda can become among Districts of Rotary International.
Members of Rotary Club Kigali-Virunga who have so far increased from 35 to 50, are very focused towards achieving envisioned objectives.
As per regulations governing the organization, a country with 40 clubs can be promoted to a district level with a requirement to reach the threshold of 80 clubs within a span of two years.
Today, Rwanda has 10 Rotary Clubs with plans to open news ones in all the 30 districts before the end of this year. If everything goes well, this year might leave Rwanda hitting the number of 40 clubs.
“We want to change Rwanda’s status to a district level, which will help us roll out more development activities to our citizens because Rotary International has a handsome amount of money allocated for community development,” noted PADG Paul Birungi.
In the mid of this week, new Rotarians who were not able to attend the Retreat held in Bugesera were inducted. These include; Arthur Asiimwe- the CEO of RBA; Andre Kulayigye - the CEO of Britam insurance; Judge Kadigwa Laurien -High Court Judge; Daniel Okechukwu - Rwanda-Country Representative of GGGI and John Gatebera- CEO of DSPA ( a security company for for Fire prevention, Alert&Fighting).
Rwanda has ten clubs including Rotary Club Kigali Mont Jali, Musanze-Murera, Rotary Club Kalisimbi, Rotary Club Kigali Virunga, Rotary Club Kigali Doyen, Rotary Club Gasabo, Rotary Club Seniors, Rotary club Kivu Lake, Rotary club Butare.
Rotary Club District 9150 is comprised of ten countries including Rwanda, Burundi, Cameroun, Congo, Gabon, Equatorial Guinea, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Central African Republic, Tchad and Sao Tomé-et-Principe.
Rotary Clubs in Rwanda will focus on different areas of community development namely; Basic Education and Literacy, Environment protection, Peace and Conflict resolution, Child and Maternal Health, Disease Prevention, Water and Sanitation as well as Community Economic Development.
"We therefore, all look forward to join our efforts, men and women of good will and big hearts to impact on our Rwandan community through Rotary international aspirations," PADG Birungi underscored.