Rotary commits to boosting major sectors in country

Rotary International (RI) President Shekhar Mehta and his wife Rashi present Uhuru Kenyatta with a commemorative plaque as District Governor Alex Nyaga and IPDG Patrick Obath look on. [File, Standard]

Rotary International has announced a raft of new commitments in the areas of literacy and education, health, and the environment.

Speaking during a meeting with President Uhuru Kenyatta in Nairobi, the President of Rotary International Shekhar Mehta said the three-pronged initiatives will be implemented in partnership with regional governments.

The projects will be implemented in District 9212, which covers Kenya, Ethiopia, Eritrea, and South Sudan.

"In literacy and education, Rotary Clubs in the District will implement the loving classrooms initiative aimed at promoting social cohesion and positive relationships among communities, starting with children in primary and secondary schools," said Mehta.

"Rotary will also promote the uptake of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) through the introduction of audio-visual material to complement classroom and lab-based studies," the president added.

The other initiative in the literacy and education pillar include Girl’s Empowerment Initiative.

The initiative aims to provide a dignified learning environment for all girls, by improving access to education opportunities and enhancing the learning environment through efforts in renovating existing dormitories, kitchens, bathrooms, toilets, and sewer lines, while sustaining the provision of sanitary towels.

The organisation's president said the health pillar will see over 250 children from the region benefit from essential heart surgeries done by doctors from India.

"The initiative will entail Medical Missions visits by heart specialists from India, who will in turn train local doctors to handle similar surgeries in future," he said.

Further, Mehta announced that Rotary in partnership with the government will establish 10 eye hospitals to cater for cataract operations and establish blood banks in areas that are currently underserved.

Rotary International has partnered with the Ministry of Environment to plant over 10 million trees.

Environment CS Keriako Tobiko said the ministry would donate 1.5 million seedlings to be planted across the country.

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