Tuesday, 24 March 2015


 I have always said that we are ordinary people achieving extraordinary results because of our passion to serve and that we do not put anything out there that lacks positivity and our success is authentic. We have no hidden agendas; it’s how we roll; it is how we take the opportunity to serve seriously and sincerely that sets us apart from the rest.

Now it is your chance to make a single important decision since you joined our wonderful organisation; to take our organisation into a completely different direction; to recreate the future and focus on and embrace the concept of diversity.

Diversity does not just look at the r ace issue. It engages our minds to think younger, to bring in the youth, to provide opportunities for women, to look at our classification spread and to look at how we grow our organisation in an all embracing environment so that we ensure it’s future existence.

But for our organisation to grow we need to accept that change is critical. We need to look at things differently. How we ease on our meeting protocols; how we make the effort to integrate the younger more digitally oriented demographic. Just look at our membership statistics. More than half of our membership is over 60. Just 1% are under 30, yet the world population of under 30s is approx. 50%. This is the group for the future success and continued existence of our organisation. Just look around us how many of us engage with a person under 40 in our Clubs?

Unless we become serious of the age demographic of our organisation and unless we start to put our ideas, thoughts, and words into action…two decades from now we would have an organisation half the size that we have today. Keeping our organisation relevant is the key to attracting the younger generation. RI General Secretary. John Hewko, said “it is clear that members have been able to accomplish a great deal but he asked what are they willing to do to make Rotary stronger. So let us be the voices in Rotary to do everything we can to grow our organisation. We have great traditions in Rotary, but it is our traditions. We made them, we own them and it is up to us to change them if they are no longer relevant”.

We need to go out there and bring in the new members for you see, new members come without any preconceived ideas and traditions. Change and innovation are led by people who have fresh ideas, ones who are prepared to go the extra mile to make them work, ones who think outside the box. Young people are ambitious, yes and they are climbing the corporate ladder or starting their own businesses but they have a strong sense of civic duty. Our membership and services are what makes our organisation powerful and strong and to keep it strong, membership recruitment and retention is a priority to every one of you.  

Just think of what we have achieved over the years. I grow inspired as I witness your relentless devotion in improving the lives of the unfortunate. Your actions clearly indicate that those children who have been saved from the dreaded polio virus is just one of the epic things that you have accomplished. You have toiled for more than a quarter of a century to rid the world of this virus. This has been the call on our lives for over 25 years. This is your mission to be delivered and a dream that must be realised. Anything less is surrender. Our heroes are not just the vaccine carriers and immunisers; our heroes are the men and women who each day pursue our personal victory, a win over mediocrity and success over defeat. No matter what the odds we contribute towards our goal of a Polio free world. So on this day I want you to know that you are a gift. You have powers beyond what you know and together we have the strength and the fortitude to achieve this dream. We promised our children a gift; a gift of a Polio Free world; a gift to walk without fear of becoming cripple; a gift taken for granted in most of our daily lives.

Each one of you is special. You are a special gift to your parents. And when you joined this wonderful organisation you became a gift to our community. You began to work within our clubs and perhaps our district. You worked within the confines of your comfort zone. In the coming year RIPE KR Ravi Ravidran is asking you to do things differently. He is asking you to engage with other clubs, within our zone, to engage with clubs and people within our continent and around the world. He is asking you to meet that stranger who is waiting to be your friend. The reciprocity of a smile that will translate into friendships, that handshake that would lead to many projects and ideas and overall lasting friendship. He is asking you to expand your horizons and to Be a Gift to the World.

So my friends, the challenge is before us to embrace. The challenge of a bigger, stronger more powerful and youthful Rotary, the challenge of increasing our support to the Rotary Foundation and to promoting our organisation to the world, to sing our praises of our good work, to create the awareness that would translate into greater interest of and for our  organisation.

As you continue to Light up Rotary and bring relief to those in need, as you shine the beacon of hope on the darkness of other people’s lives I applaud you for your commitment to Be a Gift to the World.

Saturday, 31 January 2015

Each year one of the responsibilities of the Rotary International Regional Director is to convene the Zone Institute and organise the Governor Elects Training Seminar (GETS) which involves the four tiers of Zone Coordinators (Rotary Coordinators, Rotary Public Image Coordinators, Foundation Coordinators and the Major Donor Coordinators). These coordinators present and facilitate sessions for DG Elects, DG Nominees and the current DGs.
This Rotary year the GETS and Zone Institute were conducted in Marrakech, Morocco as a consolidation  of  both Zone 20 A and Zone 20B. Zone 20A training scheduled for Accra in Ghana was cancelled due to the outbreak of the Ebola virus in the West African region. The November event included all Districts in Africa,     the Mediterranean and some European countries.
The purpose of the Zone Institute is to inform District Governors and Past District Governors of current developments and report on the various programs of Rotary that operate in our region. Representing Rotary International at the Marrakech event was RI President Gary Haung and his wife Corina and the event was convened by RI Director Safak Alpay.   

Sunday, 2 November 2014



I am very pleased to advise you that GETS and the Rotary Institute of Zone 14, Zone 19, Zone 20A and Zone 20B which is being held in Marrakech, Morocco, from November 11-17th November 2014. People from all over the world would like to visit Morocco for it's wonderful scenery and sumptuous cuisine. A visit to the world famous food markets and the many souks and a quick stopover in Casablanca would make your trip so worthwhile.

Please note that SA citizens require a visa which can be obtained directly from the Moroccan Embassy in Pretoria.

Marrakech is a major city in the northwest African nation of Morocco. It is the third largest city in the country after Casablanca and Rabat, and is the capital of the mid-south-western region of Marrakesh-Tensift-El Haouz. 

Weather:      29°C, Wind NW at 19 km/h, 27% Humidity

Local time Marrakech is 2 hours behind SA time

Currency:    Moroccan Dirhams (approx R1.25 to 1 MAD)



Rotary International Director Safak Alpay and the organising committee look forward to welcoming you and your partners in Marrakech and I look forward to your company and to share with you the beginning of an exciting and rewarding year ahead.

ROTA (Reach Out To Africa), under the chairpersonship of PDG  Patrick Chisanga would be held over two days following the Institute. The event will be held at the Palmeraie Golf Resort on Monday and Tuesday 17th and 18th November 2014.


Wednesday, 22 October 2014


Dear Rotary Leaders:

 I am writing to provide you with some important information about changes to the 2014-15 Presidential Citation.

RI President Gary C.K. Huang has made a few changes to the “Light Up the Family of Rotary” section of the citation to make these goals more attainable for clubs. The specific changes are as follows:

  • For the “Best Class” Club President’s Challenge, points will be earned if either the club president or club president-elect registers to attend the São Paulo convention.
  • Points can be earned if the club sponsors a new Rotaract club or Interact club or if it continues to sponsor one of these groups.
  • Points can also be earned if the club sponsors a new Rotary Community Corps or if it continues to sponsor an RCC.
  •  Clubs only need to score a minimum of 30 points in this section of the citation, instead of 40 as originally written.

The updated 2014-15 Presidential Citation form is available on the RI website, here.

As a reminder, club presidents should submit their clubs’ completed forms to their district governors no later than 31 March 2015. Please do not send your forms to RI, as they will not be processed. District governors will have the ability to report the names of their districts’ qualifying clubs online through My Rotary between 1 March and 15 April 2015. We will provide detailed instructions to district governors as we draw closer to 1 March.



Rotary members have been asking for a simpler dues process that will eliminate uncertainty about reporting and outstanding balances. We've heard you and are rolling out improvements in 2015.

To pay your current dues or update your membership information, go to the Club Administration page, sign-in, and scroll down the page to the Semiannual Dues (SAR) section.


Beginning 1 January 2015, clubs will receive a one-page invoice that clearly states the amount owed for subscriptions, membership dues, and outstanding balances. Club officers will no longer need to recalculate bills, make adjustments, or fill out the eight-part semi-annual report (SAR).


To improve the new member experience, club secretaries are asked to register new and terminated members within 30 days, and to report incoming club officers by 1 February of each year. With more accurate membership records, Rotary can provide better service to clubs. For example, the sooner a club secretary reports a new member, the sooner this member will receive a welcome kit from Rotary and be eligible for all privileges of membership.


To begin planning for these improvements, Rotary is asking club and district officers to share the new invoicing and reporting policies with club members, and to prepare their clubs for monthly reporting. Also, encourage your club members to immediately report changes to their membership status to club officers, so this information can be updated in your club's membership records.

The existing SAR process will remain in place until 1 January 2015, and all the related materials will continue to be available through the website.


Monday, 11 August 2014


Gary C.K. Huang never imagined he would become Rotary International's president when he joined in 1976, but now that he is in office, he hopes to increase membership to 1.3 million by the end of his term.

 "It's simple. The more members we have, the more people we can help. A stronger membership base will result in stronger communities," says Huang, who on 1 July became Rotary's first Chinese president.

 Huang also hopes his presidential theme, Light Up Rotary, will encourage members to brighten Rotary's image to the public, which he believes in return, will improve member recruitment and retention.

Huang has a track record of improving membership development in Asia, adding 19 clubs when he was district governor for Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Macau. One of the cornerstones of his presidency is encouraging clubs and districts to conduct a Rotary Day. These one-day events, he says, can spotlight a particular cause, and solidify Rotary's image as one of the world's leading service organizations.

 "We need to showcase our good work to everyone in the community. Rotary Days need to be fun and all inclusive. Invite your family, friends, and neighbors to participate. My hope is at the end of the day a few non-members will want to join Rotary," he says. "Let's give people the opportunity to experience what it's like to make a difference. Rotary Days can achieve that."

Huang designed a travel schedule that will allow him to visit more than 30 Rotary Day events across the globe, including Argentina, Chile, France, India, Italy, Korea, Malaysia, Philippines, and the U.S., as well as his home city of Taipei. Huang says he's honored and humbled to be Rotary's president. He knows he's part of an exclusive club.

 "We [past Rotary presidents] have achieved great success in our businesses and in our communities," says Huang. "But success isn't about power or money. It's about giving back. Being a Rotarian has given me the opportunity to help those in need. As president, I can inspire our members to take advantage of the same opportunity and bring happiness in people's lives."

Funding gaps

Huang says Rotary members are never short on ideas and innovative ways to solve problems, but funding gaps prevent many of these projects from taking off. For instance, Rotary members in Korea, Japan, and China are strong fundraisers, but struggle to help each other use the funds because of distance and language barriers, Huang says. "I want to show Rotarians why I am their president," he adds. "The best way to do that is to see and inspire their work, participate in their projects, and help them raise funds." "I want to, along with my district governors, reach out and try to link different clubs from different countries together so we can find the right communities in need," he adds.

"That's one of the great things about being an international organization: the ability to bring different cultures and backgrounds together to find a common cause.

Friday, 8 August 2014

 Youth Service…the future of our organisation is here

Youth Services, has been officially recognised as the Fifth Avenue of Service by Rotary International. This formal action was taken in Chicago during the April 2010 meeting of the Council on Legislation, the legislative arm of Rotary International which meets every three years. Districts in Southern Africa have a long tradition of outstanding service in the area of youth services with great support and forward thinking from District leaders.

Youth Service programmes include all our Rotary service programmes for young people up to the age of 30. In our Districts these include the RI Programmes of Rotaract, Interact, Rotary Youth Exchange (RYE), and Rotary Youth Leadership Awards (RYLA) along with a large number of other projects done at the club level. Youth Protection is another important Youth Service resource available to Rotarians, clubs and youth programmes at the District level. This vital aspect of Youth Service was introduced to provide greater compliance and protection to participants of the programmes

So, why are Youth Service Programmes so important that they have now been recognised internationally?

We often hear that our youth is our future. This is certainly true and one of the reasons that we focus on literacy, leadership training, and expanding training in ethics for young people. These are the people who will be running our country and our world within the next 20 years. This is a group of individuals who will drive our organisation forward. Rotarians have always taken a sincere interest in helping to prepare the next generation with programmes and projects that help with health and education and lead the way to world peace and understanding. Beyond this fact, young people are also the future of our organisation if we choose for Rotary to survive and thrive beyond our lifetime. Through our Rotary youth programmes, we have the opportunity to not only provide service that is the keystone of our organisation, but also to develop relationships and provide exposure to our wonderful organisation and the ideals of “service above self” to the next generation.

The following programmes make up the menu of opportunities for our youth:

Rotaract is a Rotary sponsored club for young adults in the age group of 18 to 30. Rotaractors are involved in community and international service projects, as well as professional development and leadership training, and are good partners in service with their sponsoring Rotary clubs. Our Zone has somewhat lacked behind in nurturing this youth programme which is perhaps a reason for our very slow growth in Rotary membership.

Interact is a Rotary sponsored club for ages 12 to 18, typically at secondary school although it is not limited to a single school. We have a good track record in establishing Interact clubs at schools yet fail to capture the opportunity of growing the larger organisation with the parents of our Interactors.

Some of our Districts are also engaged with Earlyact, a primary school based Rotary sponsored club.

Rotary Youth Exchange is the leading international student exchange program in the world, and Districts send students out to foreign countries each year, and also hosts students from around the globe to spend a year of secondary school in our communities. This is known as the long-term exchange programme. New Generations Exchange is another cultural exchange program for students beyond secondary school for a shorter term exchange experience abroad.

RYLA, is a premium weeklong leadership camp for secondary school students. There are many such programmes within our Zone and every club is encouraged to send at least one secondary school student from their local community to benefit from the “life changing experience” offered at RYLA.

Youth Service also includes the many projects that individual clubs undertake to serve young people in our communities-such projects as the Dictionary Project, other reading and literacy projects, scholarship programmes, and secondary school projects to name just a few.

Youth Service intersects the Vocational Avenue of Service in such programmes as Career Guidance, Team Speaking Contests, The Presidential Awards Programme, etc. You can tell that there is a wide range of Programmes and projects included under the Youth Service umbrella. Virtually every club should be involved in one or more of these programmes for the benefit of their community.

Since 2011 Rotary International has been encouraging each club to appoint a Youth Service Chair to serve at the club level. The Youth Service Chair should be one of your current or incoming board members, or at a minimum, be a person who will report to the board on a regular basis to keep you and your board up to date on financial and other commitments needed to support your club's youth programmes. There are many District resources available to help you and your club with respect to Youth Service. Please contact your District Chairs for more assistance.


Natty Moodley

August 2014