Improvement in the lives of those in need was a goal that President Ryan Strachan admits he successfully accomplished throughout his one-year tenure as president of Rotary Club of Kingston (RCOK).
The aim, Strachan said, was in line with the 2021-2022 Rotary year theme, ‘Serve to Change Lives’.
“It has been enriching in the sense that we have acted on more than 20 projects this year — and the best part about that was seeing how collective efforts of Rotarians have added value to the lives of recipients,” Strachan told the Jamaica Observer.
“In addition, it has also meant being chief servant in the club at a time when we have not been together in person as much as we normally would. I would say it has been fulfilling from the standpoint of being able to contribute and lead the whole process of generating ideas, having and executing plans, and transferring the benefits to the recipients,” he added.
Some of the projects RCOK worked on included handovers of care packages to the Women’s Centre of Jamaica Foundation, a water tank for Calabar Primary School, tablet computers for St Jude’s Primary School, and a house for a man in Kingston.
But even though all projects were impactful, there was one that really stood out for Strachan.
“We had a school feeding programme at St Jude’s Primary which I think hit home for us because it spoke to basic education and literacy, which is Rotary International’s area of focus. When you hear about kids who could not stay focused in school because they weren’t able to afford breakfast, and a grant from Rotary District 7020 was able to feed more than 100 children for a sustained period of time, they were able to go to class and focus on lessons and increase their likelihood of being successful,” he said.
The final project on his list involves certifying two early childhood institutions.
As his tenure comes to a close Strachan said he is looking forward to the continuous growth of RCOK, and for more youngsters to get involved.
“We are always looking for high-quality members to join Rotary. I would like young people to know that they don’t have to join Rotary when they are in their 50s. We want to foster the spirit of altruism, volunteerism and caring for others. Rotary Club of Kingston is 63 years and I just want it to grow from strength to strength,” he said.
Karsten Johnson will take over as RCOK’s president on July 1.
— Brittny Hutchinson