The Beauty of International Partnerships

Governor's Message, April 2016
District 3850 Governor Oliver N. Ong

The months of March and April are exciting time for District Conferences. It is a much-anticipated event in our Rotary calendar and is also considered a “graduation rites” for District Governors. As it is a nice long-standing practice, classmates visit and support one another and I was just too happy to host 4 classmates who came to enjoy our Zambo Discon immensely with us.

I was delighted to know that one of my foreign classmates was so inspired by how we conducted our fellowship program that she decided to include dance presentations in their opening ceremony which raised eyebrows among the senior leaders, but was well received by the audience.

As your District leaders saw the importance and the wisdom of reciprocal visits, we decided to return the courtesies and in so doing, we have effectively built further goodwill and better friendships with them, having strengthened international partnerships in global grants and in other undertakings.

The presence of DGND Lindon See Diet and PP Dug Christopher Mah at the Discon of D-3590, Korea last March 25-26, 2016 was much appreciated that a sister club agreement was hatched instantly, while PDG Mark Ortiz made old friends happy in D-3600, Korea, our sister District, last April 1-2, 2016.

I likewise travelled to Korea from April 12-16, 2016 and visited DG Jung Man Hwa of D-3600 and DG Kwang-Sup Kil of D-3690 to convey my warmest greetings before taking a 4-hour bus trip together with Rtn. Mark Hongjae Jeong to D-3610 in Gwangyang for its District Conference last April 15-16, 2016.

The land travel afforded me the opportunity to see the beauty of the countryside and how Korea transformed herself from the ravages of war into one of the 10th world’s largest economies in only less than 50 years. What an enviable accomplishment as a nation.

While I was in Korea, DGE Ronnie Gabalda proudly represented our District and enjoyed himself at the District Conference of D-3480, Taiwan, our newest sister District, where PRIP Gary Huang belong to.

I was busy like a bee. Locally, I attended the District Conference of D-3790 at Clark, Pampanga on April 1 and rushed back the following day to Manila in time for D-3810 at the Manila Hotel.

Upon arrival from Korea on April 16, I went straight to Sofitel to attend the Discon of D-3830. My travels though, were put on hold when my mother suffered a mild stroke until she started recovery 3 weeks later. Thank God and it allowed me to resume travel and to Baguio last April 29-30 to attend the Discon of 3770. Baguio has retained its charm through the years and the weather at great and comfortable at 18C to 25C.

In all our visits in Korea, Rtn. Mark Honggae Jeong and Rtn. Helen Inhye Kim were with us as D-3850 Ambassadors, assisting us in every way, being our negotiators, translators and our travel buddies. Thank you so much!

This Rotary year saw great interest in Global Grants among the clubs and I am happy to inform you that we have a total of 15 applications, 13 to benefit our District and 2 supporting our Korean partners. Please see detailed project listings on the next page.

With a current DDF of only US$32,030.35 and the unused DDF of the previous year of US$24,426.57, we will reap a total of US$860,817.18 in District and Global Grant projects when all are approved. On top of these, we also supported 2 Korean Global Grant projects worth $119,640 with US$7,000 from our DDF.

We see our contributions to the Annual Fund Giving put into good use and reaping exponential results. We see the generosity of our international partners helping us to improve lives. With its synergistic effect, we see international partnerships creating big impact addressing serious community concerns with the match from TRF.

Thank you so, so much for your generous support to The Rotary Foundation and for being a gift to the world.

“As your District leaders saw the importance and the wisdom of reciprocal visits, we decided to return the courtesies and in so doing, we have effectively built further goodwill and better friendships with them, having strengthened international partnerships in global grants and in other undertakings.”

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