Letter from Rotary President

The Rotary Club of Barbados West is built on the ideal that Rotary serves to improve the lives of people in the Barbadian community. As members of Rotary, we strive to make a difference through service and dedication. Our actions and commitment to service demonstrate our belief that we can achieve more, when we work together. Together, we can tackle the most pressing issues facing our communities and make important changes that impact the lives of those around us.

Our strong, capable team of board members, committee chairpersons and general membership are committed, passionate individuals. As Rotarians, we are united by our shared belief in the power of ‘Service above Self’. Our organisation has a long history of bringing people together to set aside differences and work toward common goals. At this challenging time, that spirit of unity is more important than ever.

Rotary International’s (RI) theme for 2023/24 is “Create Hope in the World.” Rotary International President R. Gordon R. McInally recently stated that “The goal is to restore hope – to help the world heal from destructive conflicts and in turn, to help us achieve lasting change for ourselves.”

Along with RI’s theme, our Club’s internal mantra is “Together, We Make it Possible.” I truly believe that they both capture the spirit of what makes Rotary such a special organisation. As we work towards a great year ahead, let us reflect on the theme we have chosen for this program year: “Together, We Make It Possible.”

  • Together, our Club members and other partners make it possible to provide free hearing screenings to approximately 2000 Infants B children across all primary schools in Barbados;
  • Together, and as a result of the focus on childhood obesity prevention, we made a decision to revamp our breakfast program menu and make it possible for students at Good Shepherd Primary school to have a healthier, more nutritious start to the day.
  • Together, via a global grant from Rotary International, our Club partnered with the Rotary Club of Forest Park, St. Louis, Missouri and we are collectively addressing maternal and child health needs in St. Kitts/Nevis, Antigua and Barbuda and Dominica. This project involves neonatal training of various medical personnel across these islands (such as resuscitation training) and it has already helped to lower the mortality rates of newborn children.

For the upcoming year, our Club’s 2023/24 Goals & Objectives are as follows:

  • Increase our impact, by expanding our hands-on projects, in order to add value, attract members and enhance membership engagement and connections. As part of this goal, we will involve our Interact and Rotaract Clubs in more of our projects.
    We plan to further expand our support for the Queen Elizabeth Hospital’s Pediatric Unit, as well deepen our efforts in the area of childhood obesity prevention and provide new peacebuilding / conflict resolution supports at one or more of our secondary schools.
  • Continue to expand our reach by collaborating with businesses and other organisations in order to further support vulnerable members of our community.
    In addition to our current projects, we plan to introduce new initiatives, including a focus on literacy with a specific focus on supporting students with dyslexia. We hope to join with the Dyslexia Association and others to first identify dyslexic students, then provide the requisite resources that will provide them with the tools they need to succeed in school and beyond. With this project we also hope to further collaborate with the Ministry of Education, Technological and Vocational Training so that a cadre of teachers receive literacy training in specific areas which will further support these students. Finally, we also want to close the loop by also working with the families of the identified students.

    Additionally, we will have a focus on mental health in order to address the areas of physical health, social health and emotional health – areas such as depression (including postpartum depression), anxiety, anger, suicidal ideologies, eating disorders etc.
  • Sustain a vibrant and effective online presence and “tell our story,” so that we stay relevant and expand our Public Image. It’s so very important that others are not only aware of the work we do, but the impact it has across communities.

I am confident that together, with the above goals guiding us, we can rise to the challenge and create positive change in our local communities and the world. Together, we can create a future that is brighter and more hopeful than ever before.

We invite you to partner and join us on our journey this year. Please follow us on our social media platforms and attend our weekly meetings, held at the 3Ws Oval at the University of the West Indies, on Tuesdays at 6:30 p.m. I also encourage you to peruse our website and review our impactful projects. I look forward to working alongside every member of our Rotary family and members of the wider community this year, as we move forward and continue to create a better world. Let us work together in the spirit of cooperation, friendship, and shared vision, to create a better future for our communities.

As we move forward into the new program year, we will continue our commitment to service, build stronger relationships, and achieve meaningful results. We know that it requires hard work, dedication, and passion, but we also know that Together, We Make it Possible.

Yours in Rotary Service,
Gale Reeves

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