News and Views
African Youth convention opens in Kampala
By Darious Magara and Cliff Abenaitwe
Over 2500 youth from different African Countries are attending the Rotary International Presidential African Youth Convention which opens today (Tuesday) in Kampala.
The conference- the first of its kind since Uganda and Tanzania were curved out of Rotary District 9200 to form District 9211 will be graced by the Rotary International (RI) President Ron Burton who is visiting the country.
Burton will facilitate a conference under the theme ‘New Generations’. The First Lady Janet Museveni will preside over the opening.
According to Ronald Kawaddwa, the conference organizing committee vice chairman, over 2500 youth from various countries on the African continent are already in the country for the for the conference.
“We have delegates from here and other countries like Rwanda, Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Kenya, Tanzania, South Africa, Egypt, Nigeria, Ghana and many other countries,” Kawaddwa noted adding that dignitaries from other continents will also grace the occasion.
The Rotary International President Ron .D. Burton has praised the Ugandan Rotarians and Rotary actors for supporting various under privileged groups in Uganda.
He praised the two groups especially Rotary actors for championing the cause of the poor in Makindye East an area in Kampala and for other great contributions in several places in the country.
Burton will facilitate a conference under the theme ‘New Generations’.
According to a press release issued by Ugandan Rotary clubs , the Kampala meeting urges young leaders to ‘take charge’ of the future.
Speaking from Kiwuliriza Primary School, Burton handed over mosquito nets and reproductive health kits which was one of the contributions done by local Rotary members.
Other services that the locals benefited from was free HIV/AIDS testing and counseling services, malaria and cancer screening for women. Locals also got free family planning services and health education on hand-washing.
“From clean water to malaria prevention and distributing mosquito nests, HIV testing and counseling, Rotary clubs combine their talents and resources to carry out impactful and sustainable projects,” Burton said.
He said the best example is Rotary’s effort to eradicate polio worldwide, the organization’s top priority. Rotary and its partners are close to their goal of a polio-free world, achieving a 99 percent reduction in cases since 1988, when Rotary helped launch the Global Polio Eradication Initiative.
Emmanuel Katongole, governor of the Rotary district that includes Uganda and Tanzania, said the special conference will provide the youth professional groups opportunity to exchange ideas and explore new ways of working together to make the world a better place.
He said the next generation of global leaders faces a wide spectrum of political, economic and social issues from such interactions with Rotary global networks of volunteers dedicated to humanitarian service they can create change.
Hosted by Ugandan Rotary clubs at Hotel Africana, Kampala, the Rotary International Presidential Conference on New Generations is the second of five youth-focused conferences scheduled by Rotary President Ron D. Burton. First Lady Janet Museveni will open the conference to be closed by the King of Tooro Oyo Nyimba.
Burton and other Rotary leaders will discuss and publish projected Rotary’s wide range of humanitarian efforts.
To date, Rotary has raised more than US$1.2 billion and committed countless volunteer hours to fight the disease. Rotary has provided grants totaling $4.38 million to support polio eradication activities in Uganda.
Burton has made outreach to younger generations a priority during his presidency as a way to bring committed new members into Rotary. The other New Generations conference sites are Chennai, India (5-6 October 2013), Buenos Aires, Argentina (15 March 2014), San Francisco Bay Area, USA (28-30 March 2014), and Birmingham, England (14 April 2014).
“The conferences are intended to have the result of bringing change to people’s perception about young people and about Rotary,” said Burton.
Rotary is a global network of volunteer leaders dedicated to tackling the world’s most pressing humanitarian challenges to the poor. Rotary’s world members hail from more than 200 countries and geographical areas.