Rotary International’s Vision: Healing Divided Worlds Through Service and Hope

By Umer Ghumman

ISLAMABAD: Rotary International President-Elect for 2024-2025, Stephanie Urchick, has outlined the organization’s strategic focus on membership growth and an ambitious scale-up of its peace pole project, which is aimed to heal the divided world facing climate crisis, economic turmoil and conflicts.


In a recent interaction with journalists, Stephanie Urchick emphasized Rotary’s commitment to enhancing membership globally. She highlighted the need for a cultural transformation within clubs to make them “simply irresistible.” The four priorities of their action plan aim to create a more meaningful, purposeful, and dedicated association focused on serving humanity with hope and purpose. Urchick expressed the desire to build a strong leadership pipeline, ensuring the continuity of Rotary’s vision.

Diverse Working Cohorts and Hopeful Initiatives

Discussing Rotary’s various clubs, including eco-clubs, cooperation clubs, and satellite clubs, Urchick underscored their role in engaging communities through clear action plans. The theme for the year, starting June 1, 2024, revolves around “creating hope in the world.” Urchick praised Rotary clubs in Pakistan for their efforts in community development and resilience initiatives amid challenging circumstances.

Healing a Divided World Through Positive Peace

Highlighting her second priority, Urchick emphasized the role of Positive Peace in healing a divided world. She encouraged the adoption of The Four-Way Test, emphasizing its potential to create a more peaceful world. The peace pole project, a visible sign of Rotary’s commitment to peacebuilding, involves erecting peace poles in local parks, town squares, or college campuses. Furthermore, Rotary’s Positive Peace Academy, an online initiative, and Peace Centers are pivotal in changing lives globally.

Humanitarian Impact: Rotary Pakistan’s Smart Villages

Stephanie Urchick praised Rotary Pakistan’s humanitarian efforts, particularly the Smart Villages project, addressing all seven areas of Rotary International’s humanitarian focus. Expressing admiration for front-line polio workers, Urchick expressed confidence that polio would be eradicated in Pakistan due to their unwavering commitment.

The Rotary Pakistan Smart Villages project aims to provide essentials like homes and shelters, with broader goals encompassing infrastructure, education, and health. Already making strides, these villages boast water treatment plants, kitchen gardens, and solar-generated electricity. Trainings for vocational and financial management skills aim to foster entrepreneurship and contribute to de-urbanization. The goal is to complete 20 Smart Villages by June 2024, with plans for expansion across Pakistan based on the needs of deserving communities.

Empowering Youth and Regional Adaptability

Rotary Pakistan leaders, including Faiz Kidwai, highlighted the organization’s commitment to youth empowerment and nation-building. Stressing the importance of a strong action group and youth organizers, Urchick mentioned Rotary’s framework for assessing membership based on regional adaptability, recognizing the unique needs of each community.

In conclusion, Urchick extended an invitation, stating, “There is a place for you in Rotary if you have the heart and the hands for service.” The comprehensive interview shed light on Rotary International’s multifaceted initiatives, contributing to a world of healing, hope, and service.

During the detailed interaction, Rotary featured insights from Urchick, her Aide Thomas Gump, and prominent Rotary Pakistan leaders, including Faiz Kidwai, Masrur Scheik, and Imran Ghaznavi.

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