Rotary International’s First Woman President to visit Uganda on Imagine Impact Tour

The Rotary International President, Dr. Jennifer Jones will, early next month, visit Uganda to assess the impact of work done by Rotarians in the country under the tour code named the Image Impact Tour.

Rotary International’s First Woman President to visit Uganda on Imagine Impact Tour
Rotary International President, Dr. Jennifer Jones

By John Kusolo

The Rotary International President, Dr. Jennifer Jones will, early next month, visit Uganda to assess the impact of work done by Rotarians in the country under the tour code named the Image Impact Tour.

Jones, a Canadian, and the first woman President of the 117 year old charity organisation, took office as President in July 2022 and has her objective, to showcase what Rotarians do to change the world for the better and to activate and inspire them as people of action and change makers.

Throughout her Presidency, Jennifer Jones will visit global service projects that represent each of Rotary’s area of focus and polio eradication. The tour in Uganda will primarily focus on Peace Building and Conflict Prevention and also provide examples of how Rotary makes a measurable difference and raise awareness and understanding of Rotary in Uganda.

During her weeklong tour from Wednesday 31st August to September 7th 2022, Jones will visit the Rotary Peace Centre at Makerere University and tour a number of projects implemented by Rotarians in Uganda which include the Mengo Hospital Rotary Blood Bank, the Rotary Centenary Bank Cancer Ward at Nsambya Hospital and the Parliament of Uganda where she will attend a special seating of Parliament to recognise Rotary International.

The Rotary International President will also meet the senior government officials to discuss matters of mutual interest and will also launch the Rotary flagship projects of Basic Education and Literacy Enhancement Programme and the Rotary Maternal Village Ambulance Programme accordingly.

According to Rotarian Fredrick Kitakule, the Basic Education and Literacy Enhancement Program will focus on four priority areas which include, Enhance literacy by making reading a way of life, Empowerment of teachers to deliver quality basic education, Increase accessibility to basic education and Influence policy.

Other projects to be visited include the Mulago Heart Institute and the Buikwe Youth Vocational Institute. The Rotary International President will also flag off over 20,000 runners at the Rotary Cancer Run on Sunday 4th September 2022 at the Kololo Ceremonial grounds.

The highlight of the visit is to spearhead the fundraising drive for the Rotary Peace Centre, which is housed at Makerere University. In 2020, Makerere University was accorded the honour of hosting the first Rotary Peace Centre in Africa; one of seven across the globe. Other centres are located in North Carolina-USA, Tokyo-Japan, Bradford-England, Brisbane-Australia, Uppsala-Sweden and Bangkok-Thailand.

Meanwhile, Rotarian Geoffrey Kitakule revealed that the second edition of the Africa Peace Concert will be held at Speke Resort Munyonyo and will feature performances by prominent Ugandan artists like Naava Grey, Micheal Kitanda, Blackroots Unlimited and the Department of Film and Performing Arts at Makerere University. Rotary creates environments for peace. Entry fee is 100 USD to attend either both the fundraising Dinner and Concert at Munyonyo or Virtual Concert online.

“As a humanitarian organisation, peace is a cornerstone of our mission. We believe that when people work to create peace in their communities, that change can have a global impact,” says Past District Governor Emmanuel Katongole, Chair of the organising committee for the visit.

The Rotary Peace Program has a vision of sustainable peace, encompassing a network of peace builders and community leaders dedicated to preventing and resolving conflicts around the globe. Annually, Rotary awards fully funded scholarships for dedicated peace and development leaders around the world to study at any of its seven peace centres.

In just over 15 years, Rotary Peace Centres have trained over 1,300 individuals for careers in peace building in more than 115 countries. The program alumni serve as leaders in both governmental and non-governmental agencies, international organisations and more.

At the Makerere University Rotary Peace Centre, 40 fellows are hosted each year and as part of the course, each fellow undertakes a social change initiative in Africa. This translates into 40 projects annually being undertaken around the continent to foster peace and improve communities. These fellowships are fully funded by the Africa Peace Fund of the Rotary Foundation.

To ensure continuity of the programme, Rotary in Uganda will host a series of fundraising events around the world. In Uganda these will include a Peace Concert and a Golf tournament on Saturday 3rd September 2022, all to be presided over by the Rotary International President Jennifer Jones. According to Rotarian Fred Masadde, the Golf tournament will attract 144 golfers while the concert, will attract over 500 physical and over 20,000 online participants.

Meanwhile, Rotary District Governor 9213 Mike Kennedy Sebalu says it is a pleasure to have a female Rotarian International President because for a long time women were not part of Rotary until 1989 when women were admitted. He added that because women make the majority of the world’s population, Rotary has never been the same in terms f orientation, culture and outlook.

The Rotary District Governor 9214 Peace Taremwa, calls upon all Rotarians to embrace this occasion by being part of the series of events especially the fundraising drive. He thanked Rotary Foundation and revealed that for the past 13 years, Uganda has benefitted from 4.5 Million USD given to them to undertake different social projects which is no mean achievement.