I like to quote Confucius at many Rotary events, because his ideas are so much like ours. Confucius would have been a great Rotarian. Take this Confucius quote, for example: “The failure to cultivate virtue, the failure to examine and analyze what I have learned, the inability to move toward righteousness after being shown the way, the inability to correct my faults — these are the causes of my grief.”
If you turn the saying around to positive language, it sounds exactly like the first goal of the new Rotary Action Plan. When we talk about Rotary increasing our impact, we mean investing in relationships, making decisions grounded in evidence, mobilizing our resources to create solutions that last, and always learning from our experiences.
The Rotary Foundation already does this so well and will continue to be the best possible investment in a better world as the Action Plan is put into effect. Our global grants respond to real community needs. That’s because we approve them only after a rigorous community assessment. Then the projects are tailored to the information uncovered during the assessment.
Now your Foundation is making a difference on a broader scale than ever through our programs of scale grants. These are competitive grants, designed to respond to a need that a community has identified. Programs of scale will benefit a large number of people in a significant geographic area. They will be sustainable, evidence-based interventions with measurable outcomes and impact. Each grant will support, for three to five years, activities that align with one or more of Rotary’s areas of focus.
Programs of scale build on our experience in the eradication of polio, and we must never forget that we still have important work to do to eliminate this disease. When I visited Pakistan in November, I was overjoyed to see so many young Rotary leaders working hard for End Polio Now.
Wonderful things are happening with our global grants, and the Rotary Action Plan will help us do more than ever. Let us continue to cultivate virtue, examine and analyze what we learn, move toward righteousness based on our new knowledge, and keep improving everything we do.
Gary C.K. Huang
Trustee Chair 2019-20