Rotary district governor visits Central Asia clubs




BISHKEK (TCA) -- From 6 to 18 September, the Rotary Governor of District 2430 Mr. Hasan Akduman and his wife Esin, accompanied by Assistant Governor for Central AsiaGiorgio Fiacconi, visited the Rotary Clubs of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan. In typical Rotarian atmosphere, the Governor was received in each country by the club members and briefed by the Board of each Club on several projects undertaken by them. In Central Asia there are presently five Clubs between Rotary and Rotaract (young Rotarians), two in Almaty, two in Bishkek and one in Dushanbe.

All together between Rotary and Rotaract, there are approximately 100 members who have carried out an impressive number of humanitarian projects, from assisting poor people to providing surgery for children, from renovating schools and orphanages to supporting young students to study abroad, and from training village children in various sanitary procedures to providing wheelchairs to the disabled.

Young children, orphans, elderly people and the disabled are receiving the most attention, but Rotary looks further and is now considering the development of a self-sustainable initiative that includes providing support for small business through micro-lending, the development of a new program for small entrepreneurs, and the creation of a subsidized dormitory for young people aged between 16 and 25.

In Almaty, the governors met the current President Angel Denev and the other Board members and Club Rotarians and with them visited an orphanage where the club has provided financial support and material to renovate various sanitary facilities. They were briefed on the activity of the Club and future plans. The Almaty Club also announced that they would put on another Vienna ball at the end of October, a very successful fund raising event that took place in 2006.

In Bishkek, the district Governor, accompanied by President Ken Arne, visited a water project in the town of Tokmok. This project, promoted by Rotary Club of Bishkek over eight years, has brought fresh water to more than 30,000 people. The next day, accompanied by past President and Secretary Arslan Kenenbaev, the Governor visited the trauma centre of Bishkek, completely renovated and equipped by Rotary with the use of a grant from the Japanese Government.

On the same day, they visited the Voenno Antonovka children’s home, supported by the Club and the Majoursten and Oslo Rotary clubs of Norway, and where the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs has built a two storey new school to be used as a vocational training centre for tailors, bakers and hairdressers.

On September 12, the first training seminar in Central Asia on various Rotarian issues took place. The seminar was attended not only by members of the Bishkek Club but also by participants from the Rotary Clubs of Almaty and Dushanbe. The successful seminar was conducted by a number of high position Rotarians from District 2430, such as Past District Governor (PDG) Akin Gokyay, PDG Mufit Melin, PDG Malik Aviral, PCP Gengiz Sonner and PCP Sedat Boyocioglu. Although this was the first seminar in more than ten years since the creation of the Rotary Clubs in Central Asia, the District Governor said that this will be followed by other similar initiatives in the future.

From Bishkek the delegation moved to Tajikistan where it was received by the Dushanbe Rotary Club President Rustam Aminjanov and other Board and Club members. After an initial briefing on the Dushanbe Club’s activities, the next day DG Akduman and his wife Esin, together with ADG Giorgio Fiacconi, accompanied by Rotary Dushanbe President Rustam Aminjanov, Past President Mukhilbullo Zuvaydulloev, and Board member Muyassar Vakhoboda, visited the Republican School-Lyceum for disabled children, where the Club has done a considerable amount of work and plans to continue.

Another project visited by the delegation was outside Dushanbe in the Vakdat district, where the Tajik Club has provided support to old people’s home. Later in the evening all Dushanbe Club members met together and were praised by the District Governor for the good work they had done.

With a presence in more than 170 countries, with approximately 32,000 clubs and 1.2 million members, Rotary is a powerful organization. The initiative should always start from the local Clubs that know better than anybody else the needs of the people and the local culture.