OKC Sunrise Rotary
OKC Sunrise

Service Above Self

We meet In Person
Thursdays at 7:00 AM
Armstrong Bank
11671 S. Western Ave.
Oklahoma City, OK 73170
United States of America
1st & 3rd Thursday @ 7am
January 2022
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Home Page Stories
Join OKC Sunrise Thursday, Dec 16 at Bricktown Brewery, 1630 SW 104th St, OKC, OK, 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm. Bring a new coat for the Kids! OKC Sunrise Rotary teaming up with @EmpowerOKC. 

Public health is on everyone’s mind due to the global pandemic that still threatens the safety of ourselves and our loved ones. In a sense, COVID-19 has made all of us much more aware of the roles and responsibilities of medical professionals than we were before we had to wear masks and maintain social distance. In addition, while moving through this pandemic, we have also learned about the role we can play in keeping others safe.

December is Disease Prevention and Treatment Month in Rotary. The pandemic unfortunately has schooled most people on the toll that disease takes on our communities. But fighting disease is something that Rotarians around the world have been doing for decades. In fact, it is one of Rotary’s seven areas of focus.

As Rotarians, we believe that good health and well-being is a human right — even though 400 million people across the globe do not have access to essential health services. The work we do in establishing clinics, eye hospitals, and blood banks, as well as in building infrastructure for medical facilities in underserved communities, all returns to a central belief that access, prevention, and education are the keys to stopping deadly outbreaks that harm the most vulnerable.

My exposure to health work began with my Rotary club, Calcutta-Mahanagar. There, among other things, I helped pioneer a program called Saving Little Hearts that over the years has provided more than 2,500 free heart surgeries for children from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, and Africa. Before the program went international, it started locally with the goal of performing just six surgeries within our community. Today, our goal is to complete another 20,000 surgeries over the next five years.

The world relies on Rotary to tackle challenges like these and to set an example for others. Over the past decade, medical professionals and government workers have provided free health services to 2.5 million people in 10 countries during Family Health Days, which are organized by Rotarians around the world. Similar health camps in India also provide thousands of surgeries to those in need. Medical missions from India to Africa each year are an excellent example of hands-on service in disease prevention and treatment. Rotary members can also get involved at a local level; clubs in the United States and Mexico, for example, fund a free health clinic in Guerrero, a small town in Mexico.

And of course, our effort to eradicate polio is by far the best story in civil-society health care.

This month, think about how your club can focus on preventing and fighting disease. This is the time to take a bigger, better, bolder approach through both club and district projects that can impact more people. Re-evaluate where you are with your goals. Create strategies that can sustain change over years, not months.

Everyone deserves a long, healthy life. When you Serve to Change Lives, your actions today can help extend the lives of others.

By 

Rotary International President Shekhar Mehta joined the Rotary delegation to the 26th United Nations climate conference in Glasgow, Scotland, on 10 November to explore ways Rotary can work on environmental challenges, including by restoring mangroves, a crucial ecosystem that can mitigate the effects of climate change in coastal areas.

The climate summit, also known as COP26 (short for Conference of the Parties), brought together nearly 100 heads of state and governments over a two-week period to set new targets for fossil fuel emissions. This was Rotary’s first time at the annual conference.

Mehta co-led a roundtable discussion with Patricia Scotland, secretary-general of the Commonwealth, that focused on the critical role mangroves play in mitigating and adapting to climate change. Mangroves sequester large amounts of carbon and also protect against storm surges and coastal erosion, filter pollutants, and provide habitat for aquatic life, among other benefits.

Of the 54 Commonwealth countries, 33 contain mangrove ecosystems that together represent 22% of the world’s mangroves. Over the last half century, 50% of the world’s mangrove systems have been lost due to climate change and rapid urbanization.

“The sea is washing away coastlines because mangroves have gone,” said Mehta. “We are losing our ecosystem. Once mangroves die, our marine system and coastal communities will be lost.”

I first discovered the value of service when I saw how a few simple acts can immeasurably change lives. It began when I joined others in my club for a project to bring toilets and clean drinking water to rural villages near our city. It moved forward when we promoted sanitation and provided opportunities for education across the country, thanks to generous gifts from supporters who believed in our projects as much as those of us on the ground did.

There is no better time of the year to be reminded of that generosity than November, which is Rotary Foundation Month.

As the charitable arm of Rotary International, The Rotary Foundation is the engine that powers so many Rotary projects throughout the world. The Foundation transforms your gifts into projects that change lives. It is the Foundation that helps us to get closer to our goal of eradicating polio, to show more people how we promote peace through tangible actions, and to demonstrate the impact our projects have in our areas of focus.

Consider some recent projects that were made possible by the Foundation:

  • The Rotary clubs of Guatemala La Reforma, Guatemala, and Calgary, Alberta, received an $80,000 global grant to organize a comprehensive plan to train nurses and rural health care workers to prevent and treat cervical cancer and to implement a sustainable system of referrals in seven regions of Guatemala.
  • More than two dozen hospitals in Honduras received personal protective equipment for their medical staff thanks to a $169,347 global grant sponsored by the Rotary clubs of Villa Real de Tegucigalpa, Honduras, and Waldo Brookside-Kansas City, Missouri.
  • The Rotary clubs of Cotonou Le Nautile, Benin, and Tournai Haut-Escaut, Belgium, received a $39,390 global grant to provide agricultural training at an ecologically responsible permaculture mini-farm connected to a center for children in Sowé, Benin. This will help a new generation of farmers become economically self-sufficient.

I like comparing The Rotary Foundation to the Taj Mahal, a monument of one man’s love for a woman. The Foundation is a dynamic monument of our love for all of humanity.

This month I am asking all Rotary clubs to bring attention to the Foundation. It is what connects all Rotarians worldwide and transforms our collective passions into projects that change lives. Visit rotary.org/donate; once there, you will have an opportunity to give directly to the program you’re most passionate about.

Thank you for giving your all to Rotary. You are the reason that Rotary is able to do more and grow more. Let’s continue to represent that important legacy this month, this year, and beyond as we Serve to Change Lives.

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