By Insight Post-Uganda
Amidst the chaos and strife, a glimmer of optimism shines through as Rotarians band together, driven by a common purpose to alleviate the devastating impact of war and nurture harmony within volatile and war-ravaged societies.
Inspired by the passionate call of Denis Awori, the Former Kenyan Ambassador to Japan and Korea, these committed individuals (Rotarians) embrace the role of peacemakers, diligently working to mend divisions and promote stability in a world plagued by unrest and disharmony.
Awori had graced the installation of the new Rotary President of Sonde, Paul Nelson Wanyama Sigombe at Kabira Country Club. To his deep understanding of the devastating consequences of conflict, he delivered a resounding call to action, urging Rotarians to become catalysts for peace and reconciliation.
Their mission was more critical than ever as the nation mourned the tragic loss of 42 lives including 37 students at Lhubiriha Secondary School and five others adult victims of the merciless attack by suspected ISIS-linked Allied Democratic Force Rebels (ADF) in the Kasese district on Friday last week.
According to Awori, Rotarians, distinguished by their unwavering commitment to service, must stand poised to embark on a journey that would bring solace and stability to war-ravaged communities. ‘Their dedication extends beyond their own borders, as they sought to address global conflicts such as the ongoing disagreement between Russia and Ukraine,” he noted.
With a steadfast resolve, heads, Rotarians usually embrace the daunting task of peace reconciliation, aiming to heal wounds, mend shattered societies, and restore hope where it had been snuffed out by the horrors of war.
The Rotary Club of Sonde welcomed its first male president, Paul Nelson Wanyama Sigombe, as its third president. He took over from Connie Magomu Masaba, who followed the Charter President, Kate Barasa Asekenye.
Upon assuming his role, Sigombe expressed appreciation for the former presidents’ efforts in establishing a solid foundation for the club. Within a span of three years, the club has managed to attract 177 fully registered Rotarians as members.
Additionally, the club achieved significant success during the 98th District Conference and Assembly held in Mbarara, earning multiple awards. These accolades included recognition for membership diversity, public image, literacy enhancement in schools and the community, as well as the empowerment of basic education teachers.
Moreover, the club received recognition as the first runner-up for increasing accessibility to basic education, the Rotary Club of the Year award, and the second runner-up for the 7 by 7 Challenge and Well Club Service Projects award.
Sigombe pledged to enhance the solidarity among club members through training and hospitality. He also emphasized the importance of members using their vocations, education, and skills to serve others while upholding high ethical standards.
“We understand the importance of engaging prospective members. Instead of simply inviting them to join, we aim to showcase the incredible opportunities that Rotary offers and explore how we can support them in achieving their goals,” stated Sigombe, the newly elected club president.
Furthermore, he intends to carry on with the ongoing projects and initiatives aimed at enhancing the quality of life in the community. These projects include the improvement of Bukerere Health Centre II and the implementation of environmental protection measures, such as the planting of 200,000 trees.
In addition, his presidency will focus on engaging youths and young adults, encouraging them to assume leadership roles within the club. He also plans to sponsor youth members to participate in the Rotary Youth Leadership Awards (RYLA) training program.
“We have a promising group of future leaders within the club. As you may have noticed, many of our new leaders are taking on club leadership positions for the first time. This approach allows us to build capacity, and these new leaders will undergo comprehensive training,” he emphasized.
Connie Magomu Masaba, the previous president, expressed gratitude to her team for their guidance and support throughout her term, which contributed to the successful execution of various initiatives.
Masaba also extended her appreciation to all the generous funders who made the activities possible. The club organized Family Health and Community Days, providing essential healthcare services to communities and undertaking valuable endeavors like cleaning community centers. They also promoted basic education and literacy enhancement programs, as well as community greening initiatives through tree planting.
In partnership with Rotary Club Sunrise Kampala, Sonde is implementing a significant Maternal and Child Health (MCH) Project at Bukerere Health Center II, located in the Sonde neighborhood.
“RC Sonde has committed USD 5,000, but we currently face a funding shortfall of approximately USD 40,000. It is crucial for us to bridge this gap to bring hope and improved healthcare services to the mothers of Bukerere and neighboring villages,” Masaba explains.