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Rotary International is clearly a very successful and rewarding “fellowship”! It is also one that is well-known by many expats, many of whom have been actively involved in the club and in its activities in their home countries. So it is welcome news that Rotary International has been “revived” again in?Ningbo. We say “revived” because what you may not know is that Ningbo previously had a Rotary Club from 1936 to 1952. We are therefore very fortunate that early in 2016, a group of dedicated people worked together to revive the idea of the Rotary International fellowship in Ningbo and bring its beneficial?fellowship to us as a community.

Andrea Cavagnini, who comes from Italy, is one of the founding members who has worked diligently to ensure its revival.

“Since my childhood, I’ve always been very fond of Rotary Club, a name and a symbol known in the north of Italy for its leading and inspiring role in serving local communities with a global perspective. Therefore, it came as pleasant news that a group of highly committed people was working on establishing a Rotary chapter in Ningbo as part of a wider plan to set up more chapters across Mainland China.”

Andrea tells me that in her experience, Rotary offers a unique international environment with an extended link of clubs covering almost every country, formed by people motivated to leave a positive mark in their community starting from global projects like the ambitious goal to eradicate polio from the world, to service to local communities such as education projects in schools or support for a more comfortable life for the elderly. Our newly established Rotary Ningbo Service Projects Committee is already evaluating ideas and proposals that could suit the specific needs of the community in which we are living and working and could raise awareness of Rotary in Ningbo and in the whole of Zhejiang Province.

Eckhard Goessl and Evelyn Groemminger of Pylon International, long-term residents of Ningbo and co-founders of the new Rotary Club, are pleased to see their hard work and diligence pay off with the successful reestablishment of the club in Ningbo. When asked what impressed him most about Rotary, Eckhard said “the core idea of Rotary is the commitment made by all Rotarians to ‘do good.’” He tells me that it’s widely known that the Rotary Foundation is one of the key sponsors for Polio eradication around the world and sponsors a variety of other projects and activities to help those in need.

Rotarian’s are part of a club with more than 1.3 Million active members worldwide with a history spanning over 100 years. Since the establishment of the Ningbo chapter, the club is entering its provisional stage until it becomes fully chartered. The club has been meeting regularly each Wednesday night in the Shangri-La Hotel to actively discuss and prepare the charter of the chapter.

Thanks to a change in attitudes around China and a new charge towards volunteerism, RC is growing again and will soon be able to provide service to the Ningbo community.

Eckhard tells me that among Rotarians, the concept of truth and friendship connects everywhere. Members are always welcome at any Rotary location and are always invited to participate in meetings and events. The club is diverse, accepting of all backgrounds, nationalities, and beliefs.

It is evident that part of the reason many expatriates have become involved in Rotary is because of the “Good” that they have seen in their societies. On a recent trip to the Philippines, I noticed that in nearly every small town we travelled through, there was a sign indicating that Rotary and Rotarians were actively participating in local projects. It was refreshing to see that they were helping local people to build schools, hospitals and also working in supporting Green projects. It is no wonder that mentioning Rotary brings forth such a positive response in people.

Such good has been witnessed by another founding member, Nimral Patel of India, who often saw the good deeds Rotary carried out in his home country. “In 1945, Rotary was recognized by the World Health Organization as a non-governmental organization working in the field of international help, and in the same year they launched Polio-Plus, a 20-year commitment program to eradicate polio.”

Nimral explained that Rotary has played a major role in helping the Indian government’s efforts to stunt the prevalence of polio in the country. In 1999, more than 100,000 Indian Rotary members and their

families joined the government to immunize more than 130 million children on one day, making it the largest public health event in the world. In January 2014, Rotary celebrated a major milestone, noting that no cases of polio had been observed since January 13th, 2011. India was finally certified as a polio-free?country in March 2014 thanks to Rotary’s efforts.

So, with a small group of faithful and dedicated expatriates, we have managed to once again revive a club that has altruism central in their activities. This is welcome news as Ningbo starts to come of age and become a truly mature and civilized city!

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国际扶轮社显然是一个非常成功和有意义的团体。外籍人士大多对它十分熟悉,有很多人已经加入了本国的分社并积极参与其活动。因此,国际扶轮社在宁波“复兴”是个大好消息。之所以说“复兴”,是因为在1936年至1952年期间,宁波曾有个国际扶轮分社,只是很多人都不太知道。我们非常幸运,在2016年初,一群拥有奉献精神的人齐心协力在宁波复兴国际扶轮社的理念,并让它以公益社团的形式回归。

创始成员之一Andrea Cavagnini来自意大利,他孜孜不倦地致力于国际扶轮社的复兴事业。

“从童年时期开始,我就一直很喜欢扶轮社,它因为在以全球视野服务当地社区方面起到领导和激励作用而闻名意大利北部。让人感到欣喜的是,作为在中国大陆创建更多分社的宏大计划的一部分,一群极具使命感的人正致力于在宁波创建一个扶轮分社。

“依我之见,这个由旨在为社区作出积极贡献的人们创建的扶轮社,在世界各地拥有众多分支机构,几乎覆盖所有国家,提供了一个独特的国际环境,从像根除小儿麻痹症这样野心勃勃的全球项目着手,通过参与学校教育项目或为老人提供更舒适的生活服务于当地社区。我们新近建立的扶轮宁波分社服务项目委员会已经在评估那些能够最大限度满足我们所生活和工作的社区的具体需求的想法和提案,并致力于提高宁波以及整个浙江省对国际扶轮社的认识度。”

派龙国际有限公司的联合创始人及宁波常住居民Eckhard Goessl和Evelyn Groemminger 非常高兴能够看到他们在成功重建扶轮宁波分社的过程中的辛苦付出和努力终于结出丰硕的成果。当被问及对扶轮社印象最深的是什么时,Eckhard是这样说的:

“全体扶轮社成员信奉的核心思想是‘行善’。众所周知,扶轮基金会是在世界范围内根治小儿麻痹症的主要赞助商之一。其他社会关怀项目和活动则创建了一个和谐的志愿者团队,积极投身于改善贫困人群生活的活动。

“作为一名扶轮社友,你会成为这个在全世界拥有100多年历史、130多万成员的组织的一部分。宁波团队已经成立,很快就会成为临时分社,作为正式获批之前的初步阶段。自今年年初以来,成员们于每周三在香格里拉大酒店定期会面,积极讨论并准备国际扶轮社宁波分社的宪章。

“时移世易,今天,复兴这种伟大精神和理念并通过扶轮社为所有人提供服务成为可能。在扶轮社友中,处处都能看到诚实和友爱。作为一名成员,你会受到其他任何一个扶轮分社的欢迎,并受邀参加会议和活动。不同国籍成员和各种文化的相互交融让中国的扶轮分社独具特色。”

显而易见,许多外籍人士参加扶轮社的部分原因是,他们已经在自己的国家目睹了扶轮社的善举。在最近的一次菲律宾之旅中,我发现几乎在我们去过的所有小镇里,都有迹象表明扶轮社以及扶轮社友正在积极参与到地方项目中。看到他们帮助当地人民创办学校、医院以及致力于绿色项目,真让人感到振奋不已。一提到扶轮社就能得到人们如此正面的回应也就不足为奇了。

据另外一位来自印度的创始成员Nirmal Patel所说,扶轮社广在印度为人知且相当活 跃。他对扶轮社大力推崇,并且从他所分享的内容来看,这种态度毫不让人意外。他说:

“1985年, 扶轮社被世界卫生组织认可,作为一个非政府组织致力于国际卫生领域。同年,国际扶轮社发起了根除小儿麻痹症计划,这是一个长达20年的承诺项目。国际扶轮社在与政府齐心协力让小儿麻痹症从印度消失方面扮演着重要的角色。

“1999年,10多万扶轮社印度社友以及他们的家人与印度政府协力,在一天之内为超过1.3亿儿童注射疫苗,被称为世界上有史以来最大型的公共卫生事件。2014年1月,国际扶轮社迎来了一个重大里程碑,即自2011年1月13日发现最后一例小儿麻痹症后,在随后的3年内再无新案例。2014年3月,世界卫生组织也已经核实印度成为一个无小儿麻痹症的国家。为了纪念这个历史性的胜利,扶轮社点亮了全国各地的标志性建筑物并打上四个简单有力的英文单词——India is polio free(印度已无小儿麻痹症)。

“扶轮社在金奈庆祝此次胜利的创新方式甚至打破了吉尼斯世界纪录。它动员并集结了4万多人摆出了一面印度国旗的造型!”

所以,我们正与一小群忠实且具有奉献精神的外籍人士共同努力,再次复兴这个以利他主义为活动核心的社团。值得欣喜的是,多年来,宁波已经发展成为一个真正成熟而文明的城市。


The Ningbo Rotary club meets every Wednesday in the Shangri-La Hotel in Jiangdong.
扶轮社宁波分社每周三在香格里拉大酒店举行聚会。

To find out how you can join or more information on meetings, contact them here
想要加入他们或获取更多信息,请联系:

ningbo.rotary@outlook.com

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