扶輪服務的一個特徵一直是扶輪社員們許下承諾,致力去做所需要做的事。每天,在數萬個社區中,我們環顧四周便可知道我們該如何做以及在什麼地方去做才能對別人提供最大的幫助。

 

我們提供的幫助回應許多情況,並採取許多形式。在扶輪社階層,我們可能送書到學校、替殘障的人跑腿、或在就業輔導計畫擔任義工。和其他扶輪社結合起來,我們就有能力進行範圍更廣的計畫。我們整個扶輪社網絡的參與,加上扶輪基金會的支援,已讓我們能對我們的主要且最遠大的目標做出承諾:全球根除小兒痲痹。

 

在選擇我們的服務計畫時,我們竭盡一切力量,採取各種方法,以達成最正面、而且最能持久的影響。但是為了確保世世代代能擁有一個更美好的世界,我們必須從照顧我們最年輕的一代開始。這就是為什麼,在2008-09年度,我將要求各地扶輪社員把焦點放在每個社區最珍貴的資源:我們的兒童。

 

每個兒童都應該有機會過著健康的生活。不幸地,每天約有30,000個5歲以下的兒童死於可預防的因素。我起初知道這個數字時,我想一定哪裡弄錯了,這個數字是不對的。不幸地,這個數字沒有錯。全世界各地每天都有兒童無辜死於肺炎、麻疹、及瘧疾。每天有數千個兒童死於缺乏一種非常基本的資源:乾淨的水。而且有更多兒童死於各種不同卻合併發生的因素,其中營養不良及貧窮扮演主要角色。

 

我希望在未來這一年看到降低兒童死亡率成為扶輪社及地區服務計畫的主要目標。

 

這就是為什麼國際扶輪2008-09年度的主題是「讓夢想成真」Make Dreams Real。食物及水、保健及上學、享有長久及充實的生命之機會─這是太多兒童尚未實現成真的夢想。在2008-09年度,我要請你們為這些兒童及他們的家庭「實現夢想」,並和我一起為建立一個更快樂、更健康、及更和平的世界的扶輪夢想而奮鬥。

 

絕大多數的兒童夭折發生在開發中世界,那裡正是最需要我們努力的地方。但是每個單獨的扶輪社也可以藉由協助維持自己社區內兒童的安全及健康綿盡一己之力。甚至在最有錢的國家,也有些兒童無法獲得醫療照顧。每天都有兒童因為缺乏簡單的科技而死亡,例如煙霧偵測器、腳踏車頭盔、及汽車安全座位。而且在世界每個地方,兒童仍然要面對小兒痲痹的威脅─而且會一直處於危險狀況,直到我們兌現承諾使全世界根除小兒痲痹為止。

 

作為一個家長,我知道我們的孩子及孫子對我們是多麼珍貴。我們盡我們所能去愛護他們、照顧他們、並保護他們。作為一個扶輪社員,我相信我們也有責任去愛護、照顧、以及保護我們社區內的兒童─以及世界各地的兒童。

 

最近幾年,國際扶輪的歷屆社長已選擇繼續實施一套一貫的服務重點,每一年都把焦點放在保健及防飢、水、及識字等方面的計畫。此一決定有一個很好的理由:這些都是善加使用扶輪資源就能產生真正進步的領域。這些也是需求巨大的領域,而且扶輪社員也很有能力去協助。

 

我打算保留這三個工作重點,但要請整個扶輪家庭在這個扶輪年度特別致力於能改善兒童生活的計畫。為達成此一目的,這三個工作重點彼此都環環相扣。安全且潔淨可用的水可立即大幅降低兒童死於以水為傳染媒介的疾病之風險─這是造成每天6,000人死亡的原因。良好的營養是健康成長所必需,而且能增進兒童對疾病的抵抗力。而且讀寫能力讓兒童們能更有機會在繁榮及健康的環境中撫養下一代。

 

扶輪是一個真正的全球義工網絡。我們的架構讓我們能和全世界各地的扶輪社合作,結合需要的技術及資源,在適當的時間,適當的地方,提供適當的幫助。我們的組織具有獨特的能力,可以去攻克像降低兒童死亡率這麼遠大的目標─但唯有我們一起努力才辦得到。如果我們充分利用我們自己的資源以及可透過其他扶輪社及我們的扶輪基金會取得的資源,那麼我們就有潛力去大幅改變現況─以及為全世界兒童讓夢想成真。

 

 

 

 

A hallmark of Rotary service has always been Rotarians’ commitment to doing what needs to be done. Every day, in tens of thousands of communities, we look around us to see how and where we can best help others.

 

The help we provide responds to many situations and takes many forms. On a club level, we might take books to a school, help a disabled person with errands, or volunteer in a jobs program. Together with other clubs, we are capable of projects with greater reach. And the participation of our entire network of clubs, along with the support of The Rotary Foundation, has allowed us to commit to our primary and most ambitious goal: the global eradication of polio.

 

When choosing our service projects, we do our best to work in ways that will have the most positive, and most lasting, impact. But to ensure a better world for many generations, we must begin by taking care of our youngest generation. This is why, in 2008-09, I will ask Rotarians everywhere to focus on the most precious resource of every community: our children.

 

Every child deserves the chance at a healthy life. Unfortunately, every day, some 30,000 children under the age of fi ve die from preventable causes. When I first learned this statistic, I thought that surely there had been a mistake, and the number was an error. Unfortunately, it was not. Every day, around the world, children die needlessly of pneumonia, measles, and malaria. Thousands die every day from the lack of a most basic resource: clean water. And many more die from a combination of factors, in which malnutrition and poverty play major roles.

 

I would like to see reducing the child mortality rate become a key goal of club and district service projects in the year ahead.

 

This is why the RI theme for 2008-09 is Make Dreams Real. Food and water, health care and schooling, the chance at a long and full life — this is the unrealized dream of too many children. In 2008-09, I ask you to Make Dreams Real for these children and their families, and to work with me toward the Rotary dream of a happier, healthier, and more peaceful world.

 

The great majority of childhood deaths occur in the developing world, and that is where the most work must be done. But every single Rotary club can also do its part to help keep the children in its own community safe and well. Even in the wealthiest countries, there are children without access to medical care. Every day, children die for want of simple technology such as smoke detectors, bicycle helmets, and car safety seats. And in every part of the world, children still face the threat of polio — and remain at risk until we keep our promise of making the world polio-free.

 

As a parent, I know how precious our children and grandchildren are to us. We love them, care for them, and protect them as well as we are able. As a Rotarian, I believe that we also have a responsibility to love, care for, and protect the children in our communities — and everywhere in the world.

 

For the last few years, RI’s presidents have chosen to continue a consistent set of service emphases, focusing every year on projects in health and hunger, water, and literacy. There has been a good reason for this decision:

 

These are areas where true progress can be made with the wise use of Rotary resources. These are also areas where the need is tremendous, and the ability of Rotarians to help is great.

 

I plan to keep these three emphases but to ask the entire family of Rotary to make a special effort, in this Rotary year, to focus on projects that will make a difference in the lives of children. To this end, each one of these three emphases is inextricably linked with the others. Safe and available water immediately and drastically reduces a child’s risk of death from waterborne illness — the cause of 6,000 deaths daily. Good nutrition is necessary for healthy growth and improves a child’s resistance to disease. And the ability to read and write gives a child a better chance at raising the next generation in prosperity and health.

 

Rotary is a truly global network of volunteers. Our structure allows us to partner with clubs around the world, combining the skills and resources necessary to supply the right help in the right place at the right time. Our organization is uniquely able to tackle a goal as ambitious as a reduction in the child mortality rate — but only if we work together. If we take full advantage of our own resources, and those available to us through other clubs and our Rotary Foundation, then we will have the potential to make a real difference — and to Make Dreams Real for the world’s children.

 

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